This article just arrived in my inbox courtesy of Smarter Travel
I have certain airports that I will not use, no matter what. My most loathed airport in the USA is Chicago O’Hare, largely because in all my years of flying I have never had a successful connection through O’Hare. On the occasions I have had to fly through O’Hare something always goes wrong, whether its delayed flights, planes not arriving, missed connections. Its a nightmare! (If you want to really screw up travel plans, fly United through O’Hare. They are the devil’s duo). No matter how many hundred dollars I can save by flying to Europe through O’Hare I never ever do it.
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I do disagree with Smarter Travel about some of the items on this list though. I think LAX Tom Bradley terminal is just fantastic. I am thrilled to route any flight through there,and often I start my international flights at LAX. One thing I always notice when using the Bradley terminal is that the workers smile at you. They are polite and friendly. A couple of years ago I flew from Rome to JFK, where everyone was rude and angry, shouting at travelers and being as difficult as humanly possible. Four days later I flew to Australia from LAX and thought I was in a different country! None of the TSA agents or airport workers were hostile, everyone had a smile, and I watched them being friendly and helpful to everyone.
Phoenix Sky Harbor should also be on the good list. Apart from the fact that its my home airport (I live in Phoenix), Sky Harbor is an incredibly efficient, easy to navigate, very well appointed, thoroughly modern airport. I always consider myself very lucky to have this as my home airport.
I do use Philly frequently too, routing out to Italy via Philadelphia, but unfortunately I usually get routed home via JFK. In my experience Philadelphia has a pretty modern facility, is functional, and I’ve never had a problem.
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If you do have travel on the horizon, especially international travel, check out this article before you book your flights. With international travel you often have options on which airports you want to route through, and having a little knowledge ahead of booking your flights can be incredibly helpful, and save you a massive headache. If you do have to use one of the bad airports when flying internationally make sure you have travel insurance to cover you for lost luggage and missed international connections. I use Allianz insurance for all my international travel.
The 10 Worst Airports In America
By Tim Winship for Smarter Travel
As any road warrior worth his or her rollaboard will tell you, the country’s airports are no friendlier than its skies. Ancient terminal buildings, threadbare carpets, stinky restrooms, poorly designed crowd control, sparse seating, unappetizing food concessions… the list of travelers’ gripes is a long one.
And that’s on top of last year’s results, which showed the average traveler-satisfaction score rising from 725 in 2015 (on a 1,000-point scale) to 731. Even that modest uptick was encouraging, given the 5 percent increase in airport traffic and the sky-high wait times at security checkpoints earlier that year.
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The study scored airports on a combination of six factors: terminal facilities, airport accessibility, security check, baggage claim, check-in/baggage check, and terminal shopping. Based on those criteria, the 10 highest-rated airports were as follows:
- Sacramento International Airport
- Indianapolis International Airport
- Anchorage International Airport
- Jacksonville International Airport
- Palm Beach International Airport
- John Wayne Airport
- Tampa International Airport
- Southwest Florida International Airport
- Raleigh-Durham International Airport
- Dallas Love Field
And the bottom 10 (worst first):
- LaGuardia Airport
- Newark Liberty International Airport
- Los Angeles International Airport
- Philadelphia International Airport
- Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport
- Chicago O’Hare International Airport
- Honolulu International Airport
- JFK International Airport
- Boston Logan International Airport
- Lambert-St. Louis International Airport
It’s worth noting that the three lowest-ranked airports are currently undergoing massive construction projects, which can’t help but impede traffic and generally make navigating those airports a frustrating and time-consuming experience.
Of course, when the projects are completed, flying to or from those airports—and indeed most airports—will still be frustrating and time-consuming, just less so.
What are your best and worst airports? Tell me in the comment section below!