The quality of an airport can have a high impact on the quality of your trip. As a native of Phoenix, Arizona, home of the top-rated airport in the country, I’ve definitely been spoiled. I could sing the praises of Phoenix Sky Harbor all day, but let’s get a little bit negative and talk about the airports that just plain suck. If you’re traveling within the United States anytime soon, avoid these 7 worst airports.
1 La Guardia
To be fair to poor New York City, I am only including one of their three terrible airports on this list. Newark and JFK don’t have much higher ratings than La Guardia, but the latter seems to be the least popular. While all three have terrible drive times (over an hour to get to the airport from the city!) and high parking fees, La Guardia has the highest rate of cancellations and delays.
2 Chicago O’Hare
It you like long lines and crabby people, by all means schedule a layover at O’Hare Airport. While my personal recollections of this airport aren’t all that bad, reviews by customers on Yelp and other online review sites show that not everyone has a good experience. Quite the opposite. The crowded, busy, disorganized and far-flung terminals are especially hard on those with connecting flights.
3. Boston Logan
Boston is notorious for its grimy terminals and unfriendly staff. Perhaps these go hand in hand—how can you be in a good mood in a dirty work environment, and how motivated are you to clean when your coworkers make your job miserable? Maybe Boston should make better working conditions and insist on a higher level of work quality. Besides this, the wait for security and baggage is atrocious.
4 Orlando International
Lines, lines, lines… be prepared to wait for a very long time if you ae going to fly out of Orlando International Airport. Many passengers complain that a two or three hour long line is not unusual at this airport. Really, you could spend the same amount of time driving to a different airport and skip all the stress.
5 Washington Dulles International
It is one thing to have a poorly-run business, but it’s quite another to have that business be the first place that foreign travelers see when they enter the United States. The rudeness, the disorganization, the lines, the confusion… there’s really not much to be positive about Washington Dulles. One of the worst aspects is how far it is from downtown Washington D.C. With no rail lines running into the Metro system, you are stuck with renting a car (you don’t want to drive in D.C.!), taking an hourlong bus ride, or paying a whopping amount for a taxi or Uber. What a shame that this is the airport than serves our nation’s capital! I can only imagine what foreign diplomats and dignitaries must think.
6 Los Angeles International
For such a large and important airport, Los Angeles International is not very impressive. Quite the opposite, actually. Too many things are broken or closed, the entire airport appears understaffed, and the staff that does exist doesn’t really seem very well trained. Confusion and chaos rule the terminals, causing many passengers to vow never to fly though LAX again.
7 Houston George Bush Intercontinental
If you are not a U.S. citizen, do not fly through this airport. The immigration process is terrible, the lines are long, and people are rude. The entire customs system needs a total re-haul and many international visitors end up waiting hours for the simplest of immigration tasks to be completed. Do yourself a favor and try a different airport! If you are a U.S. citizen, you’ll still find ridiculously long security lines and confusing systems.
Now that you know which airports are the worst, be sure to avoid them! Sometimes you don’t really have a choice of which airport to use and you just have to make the best of it. Other times, you do have the option! You should pick the best and least stressful option. Do yourself a favor and pick an airport that will give you a good experience. I may be a little biased, but let me invite you to Phoenix Sky Harbor. We know how to treat visitors here! Get your trip started right with a good all-around experience.