Avoid these risky air carriers that cancel flights frequently during the holiday season

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It's one thing to be delayed a few hours at the airport ahead of a flight — but that's nothing compared to getting stranded at the gate while trying to fly home for the holidays.

If you booked a Spirit or JetBlue flight, you may want to mentally prepare yourself to spend Christmas alone.

A new study by MileCards.com looked at holiday cancellation rates of major and regional air carriers from 2010 to 2015, and found that Spirit terminated flights at twice the rate of other major carriers.

Regional carriers are by far the worst choice when booking an end-of-year flight. Over three percent of flights were cancelled compared to one percent experienced by major national carriers. To avoid regional flights, look for the words 'operated by' or 'DBA' when booking an itinerary.

14 PHOTOS
Air carriers ranked by holiday flight cancellation rate
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Air carriers ranked by holiday flight cancellation rate

13. Hawaiian Airlines - 0.0% cancellation rate

Photo: AP

12.  Alaska Airlines: 0.2% cancellation rate

Photo: AP

11. Virgin America: 0.3% cancellation rate

Photo: AP

10. Frontier Airlines: 0.7% cancellation rate

Photo: AP

9. Southwest Airlines: 0.8% cancellation rate

Photo: AP

8. Delta Airline: 1.0% cancellation rate

Photo: AP

7. Mainline Carriers: 1.1% cancellation rate

Photo: Reuters

6. American Airlines: 1.3% cancellation rate

Photo: AP

5. United Airlines: 1.4% cancellation rate

Photo: AP

4. All Carriers: 1.5% cancellation rate

Photo: AP

3. JetBlue: 2.0% cancellation rate

Photo: Reuters

2. Spirit: 2.3% cancellation rate

Photo: AP

1. Regional Carriers: 3.1% cancellation rate

Photo: AP

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On the other end of the spectrum, Alaska Airlines and Hawaiian Airlines had virtually no cancellations during the holiday season, thanks in part to their limited operations in the Midwest and the East Coast.

MileCards found that among global U.S. carriers, Delta is least likely to leave you stranded.

However, you can throw all of that out the window if you are flying out of New York's airports. Newark, LaGuardia and JFK make up the top three worst airports for holiday cancellations, while Honolulu is the best.

If your holiday plans are still up in the air, consider a Hawaiian Christmas!

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