Congress reacted swiftly when furloughs of FAA air traffic controllers caused a surge in flight delays. But even without the cutbacks, travelers at these airports feel lucky when they depart on time.
The tech boom has brought a flood of passenger traffic to San Francisco International, which serves both San Francisco metro area and the Silicon Valley.
It's also a major gateway to Asia, with nearly 900,000 travelers flying to Hong Kong last year alone. All told, 44 million passengers used the airport in 2012, an 8.4% gain over 2011.
About two-thirds of all delays in 2012 were attributed to extreme weather, which included the area's well-known fog.
NEXT: Chicago Midway International