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Best and Worst U.S. airports: No surprises


A new survey by travel site confirms what many other surveys have found: New York has 3 of the 5 worst airports in the U.S., and none of the best are in large-market cities. Top winner was Phoenix's Sky Harbor.

That should tell you one aspect of the issue: When you look at data for timeliness (including delays and wait times), access  (time to city center and transit options) and airport amenities (lounges, restaurants and WiFi), the big markets are at a real disadvantage.

Sheer volume makes it hard to keep things moving through airports, and city traffic makes the second category difficult. Airport amenities, on the other hand, may be more affected by new construction than metro size, and Phoenix is one of those that's been building and expanding lately.

So here they are: 30 U.S. airports ranked from top (Phoenix) to bottom (LaGuardia). Check back in a few years to see if LaGuardia's ongoing complete rebuild changes its status.

  1. Phoenix Sky Harbor (PHX)
  2. Portland, Ore. (PDX)
  3. San Diego (SAN)
  4. Salt Lake City (SLC)
  5. Honolulu (HNL)
  6. Seattle-Tacoma (SEA)
  7. Charlotte (CLT)
  8. Las Vegas (LAS)
  9. Tampa (TPA)
  10. Minneapolis/St. Paul (MSP)
  11. San Francisco (SFO)
  12.  Washington Reagan National (DCA)
  13. Baltimore-Washington International (BWI)
  14. Fort Lauderdale (FLL)
  15. Atlanta (ATL)
  16. Chicago Midway (MDW)
  17. Boston (BOS)
  18. Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW)
  19. Miami (MIA)
  20. Houston Bush Intercontinental (IAH)
  21. Los Angeles (LAX)
  22. Denver (DEN)
  23. 24. Washington Dulles (IAD)
  24. Orlando International (MCO)
  25. Detroit (DTW)
  26. Chicago O'Hare (ORD)
  27. Newark Liberty (EWR)
  28. New York JFK (JFK)
  29. New York LaGuardia (LGA)

The best part of every trip is realizing that it has upset your expectations

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I believe Airports should be judged solely on whether you had a pleasant experience. There is no way Orlando isn't in the Top10. New York is a disgrace. But I pass through as an alien - US residents see no problem. Philadelphia is a dream. Excellent Airport.

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