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I’m super fortunate in my career to get the opportunity to travel. A lot. And while lots of people dread the experience of flying, I actually love every single minute of it. Well, everything except when I’m stuck in the Pre-Check line behind someone like my mother, who is totally clueless and is only there because she’s traveling with me. THIS LINE IS FOR EXPERIENCED TRAVELERS ONLY, OLD WOMAN.
Anyway, given that I fly multiple times a month, I’ve spent a lot of time in this country’s airports – hell, I’ve even slept in a few of them. So when travel expert “The Points Guy” dropped his list of best and worst airports in the U.S., I had some thoughts. But before that I share them, here’s how he arrived at this rankings, according to Forbes:
Using data from the Federal Aviation Administration, the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, J.D. Power, Google Maps, iFly.com, and the airports’ official websites to determine the rankings, the website looked at the thirty busiest airports in the US, analyzing them for timeliness which included cancellations, delays and security waiting times; accessibility from the city it services and amenities like restaurants, lounges, WiFi and parking rates. The study only looked at information for domestic flights.
Okay, so here are the best airports, according to those parameters:
5. Honolulu International Airport, Hawaii
The only one on this list I haven’t been to yet. I’m thinking that I should get sent there for the sake of research though, right?
4. Salt Lake City International Airport, Utah
Despite the fact that I’ve actually flown through Salt Lake numerous times, I can’t actually tell you much about the airport. Why, you ask? Because the freaking place is shaped like a giant U and my arriving flight always comes in at the top of one part, with my departing flight leaving from the top of the other. So my SLC experiences have usually been me running full tilt from one end of the airport to the other.
3. San Diego International Airport, California
I love everything about San Diego, including the airport. Terminal 2 is definitely nicer than Terminal 1, but either way, you’re in San Diego, so you can’t be mad about life.
2. Portland International Airport, Oregon
This is probably my favorite airport. It’s clean, there’s a lot of different food options, actual free wifi and trees in the concourses, which is nice since I barely see the outside world when I’m traveling for work. The only bummer is that there’s no Voodoo Doughnuts at the airport.
1. Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, Arizona
I’m not sure how this one come up ahead of Portland, because every time I’ve flown out of Phoenix, it’s been a shitshow. It seems like it’s where they send all of the TSA people to train, because they legit have no idea what they are doing. Luckily, there’s a pretty nice wine bar after security to ease the pain.
And now for the worst:
5. Detroit Metropolitan Airport, Michigan
Honestly, I’ve been in airports far worse than Detroit. However, I also haven’t been in the entirety of the Detroit airport – I’m an airline snob and I only fly Delta 92 percent of the time, so the only terminal I’ve been in at Detroit is McNamara, which is relatively new and quite lovely. But for all I know, the other terminal (North) could look like… well, Detroit.
4. Chicago O’Hare International Airport, Chicago
If we’re talking Chicago airports, I actually hate Midway way more than I hate O’Hare… which is saying something because I do loath O’Hare. While Chicago is one of my favorite cities, both of the airports are crap. #sorrynotsorry.
3. Newark Liberty International Airport, New Jersey
I’ve actually only flown out of Newark to fly internationally, and since The Points Guy based his list on domestic flights, I don’t really feel like I can comment. My experiences there have been generally good, but maybe things are different on the international side of things.
2. John F. Kennedy International Airport, New York
If I had to pick between the three NYC airports – an odious task, as it were – I would probably pick JFK as my **shudder** favorite. And that’s only because I’ve only had to fly in there once and have never set foot in the place again.
1. LaGuardia Airport, New York
Ok, me and Mr. Points Guy are in full agreement here. LaGuardia is like a third world country. There’s construction, buses between terminals, “free” wifi that turns off after 30 minutes and I’ve been delayed there enough times to know that there’s no decent food options. And nevermind it takes you nearly half an hour to get into the city.
So, fellow travelers, what are your thoughts? .