The 10 Worst Airports In America

This article just arrived in my inbox courtesy of Smarter Travel


Best and Worst airports in america

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.

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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:

  1. Sacramento International Airport
  2. Indianapolis International Airport
  3. Anchorage International Airport
  4. Jacksonville International Airport
  5. Palm Beach International Airport
  6. John Wayne Airport
  7. Tampa International Airport
  8. Southwest Florida International Airport
  9. Raleigh-Durham International Airport
  10. Dallas Love Field

And the bottom 10 (worst first):

  1. LaGuardia Airport
  2. Newark Liberty International Airport
  3. Los Angeles International Airport
  4. Philadelphia International Airport
  5. Ft. Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport
  6. Chicago O’Hare International Airport
  7. Honolulu International Airport
  8. JFK International Airport
  9. Boston Logan International Airport
  10. 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!

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Traveler Beware – 3 Reasons To Avoid London Heathrow Airport

I just got back from a month in Italy leading two more Glam Italia Tours. They were amazing! It is so incredibly gratifying and exciting to see the look on ladies’ faces as they discover Italy for the first time, and to be part of these fantastic memories that they will have forever.

From the Glam Italia Tour 2016

But let’s talk about Heathrow.
Since I left London a lifetime ago I have steadfastly avoided using Heathrow airport. (Much as I will do anything to avoid Chicago O’Hare, where you are basically guaranteed your flight will be delayed)
Back in the day London Heathrow was always an absolute zoo, and with so many other airport options available I’ve always taken a more palatable option. On this most recent trip I broke my own travel rule and allowed myself to be routed through Heathrow. Never again!

Three Reasons To Avoid London Heathrow Airport

1. They Were Ridiculously Short Staffed.

I flew to London from Rome, arriving late in the evening. Terminal 5, the British Airways terminal had a total of 3 people working passport control
Three! If ours was the only plane arriving, that would have been bad enough, but there were other planes arriving too, each dumping hundreds of passengers, so the wait was excessive. Personally I got through in about an hour an 15 minutes, but other passengers were in line over 2 hours. This could be disastrous for anyone connecting to another flight. 
I had to catch a bus (in the pouring rain) to Terminal 4 and just made the last bus of the night by the skin of my teeth.

2. Of the 3 passport control workers, 2 were sick. 

They had the nastiest, meatiest, lung curdling coughs you have ever heard in your life, and rather than cough into tissues or into the crook of their elbows, they hacked up their lungs into their open hands. And then without so much as batting an eyelid used the same hands to pick up each passenger’s passport. 
I would have been grossed out if they were using disinfecting wipes or hand sanitizer after rustling up fluids from the bottom of their lungs, but watching them attach their cooties to each person’s passport was just revolting. I wonder how many hundreds of people they exposed to their germs? 

3. Incredibly Small Allowance At Security

At the security x-ray leaving Heathrow they gave out zip lock bags slightly larger than an American Zip Lock sandwich sized bag, for all your liquids and creams. Each passenger was allowed one bag only and it had to zip closed.
I fly internationally multiple times per year, round and round the world. I take the exact same travel beauty products on every flight, packed in the exact same see through travel cosmetic bags. All the airports that I fly in and out of have the same rules, except for Heathrow. 
The security people at Heathrow Terminal 5 threw so many expensive products in the trash – it was unbelievable! I am all for keeping travelers safe, and I do appreciate that they don’t consider our shoes to be a threat and as such let us keep them on, but seriously I do not see the merit in confiscating travel sized skin care products (all of my beautiful Tatcha products!), a MAC Paint Pot, Chanel lipstick, mascara (just how much damage can a girl cause with a tube of DiorShow Blackout???) cream blush, a half tube of Makeup Forever Lift Concealer, a travel sized (1.6 oz) Oribe Cote d’Azur Hair Refresher, travel sized toothpaste (although one glance at their manky grills and you can see that British teeth and toothpaste don’t necessarily go together). I can’t remember what else they took, but it really was ridiculous. 

The way I see it, if there really truly is a safety threat in a carry on bag that contains more than a sandwich sized plastic bag of beauty products, why not just tell your unsuspecting fliers at check in when we still have the option of throwing them in our suitcases?
The poor lady who went through security ahead of me was in tears as her beauty products were thrown in the trash.

I do appreciate that the Brits are the best at counter terrorism and that they confiscated my eye cream as a means of keeping the plane in the air. I want all planes to stay in the air and therefore happily comply with every rule, but in the future I will avoid Heathrow like the plague that it’s passport control workers want to spread, and maybe get to keep my travel sized toothpaste while I’m at it.