With approximately 15,000 airports in the United States alone, there’s a broad spectrum between the best and worst airports to travel through. It’s important to know which offer the best transportation, amenities and layover-killing entertainment options (and avoid the ones that don’t have much of either). From on-time departures to restaurant selections, here are our favorite and least favorite U.S. airports:
While this is one of the busier airports in the country, it’s still not a bad place to travel through. The Charlotte airport has a flight cancellation rate of only 1%. Although the airport is growing in traffic, it has done an excellent job of increasing the number of runways and expanding concourses to accommodate more flights. Also, travelers find that CLT is easy to get to and get around. If you find yourself with a longer layover here, you’ll have easy access to free wi-fi, multiple dining and shopping options, and some delightful rocking chairs to relax in (which has become the calling card of this Southern hub).
There are good reasons why this newer, medium-sized airport has been consistently ranked near the top for the last five years. Unlike many others, the Indianapolis airport was designed in a way that allows for optimized flow through TSA checkpoints and baggage checks. Additionally, travelers love the selection of stores and dining available inside the two spacious concourses. Indianapolis International takes pride in its local culture, as well, and visitors will get a good taste of Indy cuisine and history while they’re there.
This New York airport gets a lot of hate from travelers due to its reputation for long delays and flight cancellations. On average, passengers spend 24 minutes in the plane waiting for take off, one of the worst wait times in the country. Wi-fi is difficult to access and many travelers rank LaGuardia low on the cleanliness scale. In addition, those driving to pick up a friend or family member from this airport should plan to leave early and get stuck in traffic. If you want to leave your car at the LaGuardia airport while traveling, expect to pay a pretty penny, as well. Daily parking rates start off at $29. JFK is a better option when flying into and out of New York City.
LA may be a city associated with luxury and excitement, but its airport is consistently ranked near the worst in the country. Visitors to this airport should expect long security lines, not enough seating, expensive food and dirty bathrooms. According to many, traffic to the airport is a nightmare and the lack of signage leads to confusion and frustration. However, there are some multi-billion dollar renovations on the table for LAX that will hopefully improve travelers’ future experiences in the airport.