Let’s be honest: traveling is stressful! Especially when it involves flying. Whether it’s parking at the airport, battling your way through security or dealing with missed connections, a trip that involves air travel is rarely hassle-free.
One surefire way to reduce anxiety is to hire a reputable limousine service to drive you to and from the airport. A fully-vetted chauffeur will get you to your destination safely and reliably, with no stops along the way or last-minute cancellations. And you won’t have to worry about whether or not your driver will be there when you return – even if your flight is delayed.
It’s also smart to include a bit of research on the airports you’ll be using as part of your travel planning. From the quality of food and other services to on-time arrivals/departures, the performance of airports in the U.S. varies widely – as do the annual lists of “best” and “worst” airports by publications such as Conde Nast Traveler, the Wall Street Journal and Forbes. However, it’s clear that certain facilities consistently rank high with travelers, while others frequently fall short.
Despite ongoing challenges, overall customer satisfaction remained steady through 2019. In addition, J.D. Power’s North America Airport Satisfaction Study for 2019 reported improved scores for one of the biggest headaches: getting through airport security. This can be credited to better TSA processing and more widespread adoption of screening technologies that move passengers through checkpoints faster.
The following list of some of the “best” and “worst” U.S. airports (in no particular order) has been compiled from several sources. The criteria used for these rankings are not necessarily consistent and the surveys come from a range of travelers. However, they generally look at key factors like ease of access, timeliness of flights and onsite amenities.
Travelers who are in a position to choose their departure and/or destination airport can use this list to help plan their trips. If you don’t have a choice, knowing in advance that you may encounter problems can help you be better prepared.
10 of the Best Airports in U.S.
- Portland International Airport (Oregon): One of the country’s most traveler-friendly airports, offering easy access, local food and shopping specialties, and a movie theater that screens free short films 24/7.
- Denver International Airport: Strong public transit options and high overall satisfaction from frequent travelers.
- Tampa International Airport: Ease of use, including proximity to downtown, efficient design and a convenient people-mover system.
- Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport: Stellar customer service, upgraded shopping and eateries, plus onsite spa service and a fitness studio.
- San Francisco International Airport: Some of the best food and lounges in the U.S.
- Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport: Impressive local dining and entertainment options, and an app that lets you get food delivered to your boarding gate.
- Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport: Efficient security screening, fast Wi-Fi, well-reviewed restaurants and short taxi-to-takeoff times.
- Sacramento International Airport: Luxury lounges, whimsical art installations and massage services, plus “green” initiatives like an onsite solar farm and electric shuttle buses.
- Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International: The world’s busiest airport offers convenience and unique amenities including fine dining, rentable sleep suites and three interfaith chapels.
- Indianapolis International Airport: Quality food options pre- and post-security and TSA security checkpoints designed to speed people through.
10 of the Worst Airports in the U.S.
Issues include congestion due to ongoing construction projects, long security wait times, poor on-time performance, limited dining selections and/or no lounge access.
- John Glenn Columbus International Airport
- LaGuardia Airport (New York)
- Eppley Airfield (Omaha)
- Newark Liberty International Airport (New Jersey)
- Buffalo Niagara International Airport
- San Antonio International Airport
- Bradley International Airport (Hartford)
- Hollywood Burbank International Airport
- Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport
- Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport