It's not a reflection of poor service to avoid hubs in the more northern latitudes such as ORD, MSP, DTW, etc especially as this winter is forecast to be a particularly snowy one. I for one will stick with the Texas hubs (DFW or IAH) as the safest bet as I would sooner die than spend the holidays here.
Trouble is, its hard to tell where the trouble will be this year. DALPA is pushing for Delta 737 drivers to get a pay raise to current 777 levels. SWA rampers (http://www.twu555.org
) will most likely strike without more management concessions. I have nothing against the labor movement but one has to keep abreast of events in order to prevent ruined holidays etc.