There are so many airports in the United States, but have you ever wondered which ones are the worst? Well, they may be closer to your home than you think.
Heading to the airport normally means one thing; you’re going on vacation. Of course, you may also be going on a work trip, but even that’s pretty exciting. Airports build up the tension of an impending vacation, and most of the time, the whole experience gets you in the mood for some well-needed rest and recuperation. Many of these airports come complete with bars, restaurants, exclusive lounges, duty-free stores, and sometimes even spas, saunas, and golf courses. This allows your vacation starts as soon as you make your way through security.
Unfortunately, that isn’t always the case – and especially not in America. Although some of the biggest airports in the United States are in the midst of one giant competition to be named the best airport that this planet has to offer, there are others that just don’t cut the mustard. The facilities are awful, the customer service is unbelievable, and the delays just cannot be fathomed. These are the worst airports in America, so you might want to book your next trip wisely…
Baltimore-Washington International Airport
Although there’s no doubt about the fact that there are countless things to see and do across the whole of the United States, most people want to check out Washington, D.C for themselves. After all, it’s one of the most iconic and most historical additions to the whole country. Home to the likes of the White House, Lincoln Memorial, Washington Monument, and even the Smithsonian National Air and Space Museum, it’s pretty spectacular.
Baltimore-Washington International Airport is one of the closest airports to the U.S capital, but you may want to consider another one if you’re thinking of visiting the city of the forefathers. That’s because Baltimore-Washington International Airport is known across the country for being pretty bleak. There are very few food and eatery options, the lounges are uncomfortable, and the rest of the amenities are lacking in the everyday luxury people expect from an airport.
Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport
If you book flights to Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport in an attempt to visit either Dallas or Fort Worth, you might want to do your research before you fly. That’s because this airport isn’t exactly next door to these two cities, and you’ll need to travel between 20 and 25 miles before even reaching the boundaries of these famous cities. If you have to wait for your taxi to drive all the way from Dallas to pick you up, then you might want to find somewhere else to spend your time.
That’s because Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport is often considered to be one of the most underwhelming airports that the US has to offer. Aside from plane watching, there’s very little else to do. Many of the terminals are almost completely empty, which means you just have to sit down and watch the world go by. Either that or you just sleep the time away…
Seattle-Tacoma International Airport
Although many people try to convince themselves that size just doesn’t matter, it seems as though that isn’t the case when it comes to airports. It’s often the smallest airports that have little to offer, and that’s certainly the case for Seattle-Tacoma International Airport. While it may be an international hub of planes and people, and although the head honchos behind this airport are expanding it every single year, it’s just not enough for the 31 airlines and the 49 million passengers who make their way through the terminals every single year.
As such, it’s become the 29th busiest airport in the world and the 8th busiest in the United States. With so many people and not enough space, you’re guaranteed to feel like a sardine in a very small can. As if that wasn’t enough, the food and drink options are essentially limited to Starbucks, Starbucks, or Starbucks.
Orlando International Airport
This one might surprise you. Although many people travel across the United States to check out the history and the natural wonders, an even bigger portion of people travel across the US and the world as a whole to check out the happiest place on Earth. Because of this, Orlando International Airport is the airport that most Disney World and theme park lovers head to when they’re in the mood for roller coasters and cartoon characters.
While there’s no doubt about the fact that these awesome theme parks can provide you with some of the best moments of your life, they can also rack up some serious traffic. Standing in line for an hour to experience It’s A Small World is nothing compared to the lines that can be found in Orlando International Airport, and this is especially true in the security hall. The TSA agents here have to deal with some rather grumpy passengers.
Denver International Airport
A lot of thought goes into the design and the general aesthetic of an airport. It’s important to not only make sure that the airport is fully functional and practical for the staff who work there and the passengers who use the airport every day, but it’s also important to make it look good. Passengers are more likely to return to an airport they enjoyed and liked the look of, which is probably why most people only fly in and out of Denver International Airport if they have to.
While in the design process of this airport, those in charge of the project wanted to give people something to talk about when they made their way into the lounges and the passenger areas. So, they filled the place with intriguing murals that seemed to scare and confuse passengers rather than entertain them.
Located in the borough of Queens, New York, LaGuardia Airport is mainly used by residents of this famous area. Of course, that doesn’t mean that those visiting the Big Apple don’t use this airport either, as it’s just a 20-minute drive into the hubbub of the concrete jungle. However, there is no border control facility at this airport, which means that those who are looking to travel to New York City from international locations will have to use one of the other airports around the city.
While there’s no doubt about the fact that LaGuardia Airport is fairly cheap and cheerful, it seems as though the people who work there aren’t quite as cheerful as some passengers would like. The ground workers are often deemed to be grumpy, and it’s no secret that pilots hate flying onto these difficult runways. As if that wasn’t enough, food and drink prices may leave you both hungry and thirsty.
Newark Liberty International Airport
Another airport located in the state of New York is Newark Liberty International Airport. While it looks pretty impressive from the sky, most of the people who have had the pleasure – or displeasure – of venturing through the airport itself wouldn’t have the same opinion. In fact, it’s fair to say that people aren’t afraid to say what they really feel about this airport, and their Skytrax review is pretty abysmal.
With an overall score of just 2/10, there are many reasons why passengers hate flying in or out of Newark Liberty International Airport. Everything from the cleanliness to the terminal seating was given extremely high scores, and that’s before you even mention the waiting times through immigration. Some reviewers have even noted that they were waiting for a whopping two hours to make their way through immigration – and that’s not good.
John F. Kennedy International Airport
Whether you know it as the John F. Kennedy International Airport or JFK, there’s no doubt about the fact that this is one of the most famous airports in New York and the United States as a whole. After all, it always seems to appear in television shows and movies. As the main airport serving the Big Apple, the John F. Kennedy International Airport saw a whopping 61 million passengers make their way through its terminals in 2018 alone.
However, despite this high footfall, the airport just doesn’t seem big enough to keep all of the passengers happy. It’s often considered to be extremely crowded and busy, and many passengers complain of long lines and delays. Crowds of people regularly have to sit on the floor and wait for their flight or huddle around with little-to-no breathing room. It’s a stressful experience, for sure.
Charlotte Douglas International Airport
Air travel is becoming more and more popular, and with budget flights now available to people across the globe, it seems as though more and more people are using planes as their primary form of travel. However, this does cause a few issues – especially when it comes to airports. To cope with the invention of new technology, higher footfall, and competition from other airports, renovations and updates normally have to take place.
While this is beneficial to airports in the long run, this can cause a huge amount of hassle to passengers who just want a quick and easy trip from one place to another. The Charlotte Douglas International Airport is one of the airports struggling under the weight of refurbishment. While the building work is expected to be completed by the time 2020 comes around, this has severely impacted how people view the airport and their overall experience.
Boston Logan International Airport
It seems as though the Charlotte Douglas International Airport isn’t the only airport that’s left passengers disgruntled due to their building work. Located across Boston and Winthrop, this international airport saw around 40 million passengers make their way through its doors last year, but many of them were left annoyed and upset to see that there was still renovation work taking place.
That’s largely because this building work first started around a decade ago, and it has been ongoing ever since. While the addition of extra runways and the overall airport expansion will supposedly make Boston Logan International Airport a great place to fly into and out of in the long run, many passengers just can’t seem to get past the loud drilling, the makeshift construction sites, and the fact that the whole place looks unfinished. Most of the time, they can’t wait to leave.
Los Angeles International Airport
While it’s full name may be the Los Angeles International Airport, there’s no doubt about the fact that most people know this place as LAX. As one of the most impressive and famous airports in the state of California and the country as a whole, many people head to this airport to try and spot some of the biggest celebrities in Hollywood.
While it may be the airport that most people heading to the City of Angels use as their primary base into the famous city, it seems as though this works against them. It’s often considered to be extremely busy, and because of this, some people vow to avoid it at all costs. Not only does it get busy up in the air, on the runways, and in the terminals themselves, but LAX traffic also clogs up the streets outside. Anyone with a flight to catch from LAX definitely needs to allow themselves extra time to get there.
San Francisco International Airport
If you’ve always wanted to go to San Francisco, then we don’t blame you. As the home of the Golden Gate Bridge, Alcatraz Island, Pier 39, and the iconic Lombard Street, it’s fair to say that there is so much to see and do. However, if you’re flying into or out of this Californian city and have a tight schedule to keep, you might want to look elsewhere.
While the San Francisco International Airport is certainly the closest and most practical airport for those wanting to see San Francisco in all of its glory, those looking to use this airport should be prepared for some serious delays. The Air Travel Consumer Report is initiated by the Department of Transport, and it’s their job to keep track of airports, their delays, and their overall passenger approval. Unfortunately, the San Francisco International Airport is the worst airport in the US in terms of delays.
Washington Dulles Airport
Many of the airports in the US have very misleading names, and Washington Dulles Airport is one of them. Although it serves the Washington metropolitan area, it’s actually closer to the attractions and the natural wonders of Virginia instead. This airport saw an increase of 5.1% in terms of their footfall from 2017 to 2018, and it seems as though this airport is just getting busier and busier as the months go by.
While this is great for the airport and all of the airlines that fly in and out of these terminals, it seems as though this is making things worse for passengers. With a huge number of people heading into this place and hoping that they will be a short drive away from Washington, D.C, they’re instead having to wait around for an expensive taxi fare that just blocks up the terminals even more than they already are.
Oakland International Airport
There are many airports in California, and while Oakland International Airport may not be the most popular choice, it certainly sees a huge number of people making their way through the terminals every single year. Situated fairly close to the San Francisco Bay Area, this airport not only sees a large number of passengers but also a huge amount of cargo – and that makes things pretty hectic.
While those who are traveling in and around the United States don’t have too many issues with this airport, those coming from overseas rarely have a positive experience of this building and its runways. One of the main reasons for this is because the immigration section of the airport just isn’t equipped to deal with such a huge footfall. Major delays are regularly reported, and many international passengers have found themselves waiting for hours just to get through.
Miami International Airport
Miami is a hugely popular destination in the United States, so it should come as no surprise to learn that it gets pretty busy. Not only is this destination hugely popular with the rich and famous, but many people also make their way to these beaches to feel the sun on their faces and swim in the ocean.
Of course, anyone who wants to check out everything that Miami has to offer has to first make their way through Miami International Airport – and that’s not an easy feat. Although they’re certainly not the worst in the country for their delays, they are pretty bad. It’s been reported that a whopping 20% of the flights leaving this airport are delayed, and that’s not what most travelers want to be served with. After all, flights aren’t cheap, and passengers have schedules to keep.
Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport
When you book a flight, you put a huge amount of trust into the airline, the staff, and the airport involved in your travel. However, taking things out of your own hands can leave many people feeling annoyed – because there are so many things that can go wrong. This is certainly the case for those traveling to and from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, despite the fact that it’s located in a hugely popular area.
Situated slap-bang in the middle of Dania Beach, Fort Lauderdale, and Hollywood, this international airport sees a huge amount of traffic every single year. Unfortunately, this traffic normally gets stuck in a jam, no matter whether passengers are flying in or out. Around 20% of inbound flights are delayed, and 21% of outbound flights are delayed on average in this airport, and those are some outrageous numbers.
Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport
While many travelers in the US head to the bright lights of bustling cities like New York, there are others who prefer something a bit more traditional. New Orleans is one of the most popular tourist destinations that this country has to offer, and it’s not hard to see why. Full of art, culture, delicious food, and some of the most impressive architecture you’ve ever seen, it’s not surprising that many people fly into the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport to check out this city.
However, it seems as though this airport mimics the city that makes it so famous because it’s pretty old-school. While tourists love this aesthetic in terms of the outside world, it’s not what they want when they are trying to make their way through the airport. With few electrical outlets and a desperate need for modernization, this airport is definitely stuck in the past.
Philadelphia International Airport
As the primary airport serving the city of Pennsylvania, it’s currently sitting at the 20th spot on the list of busiest airports in the United States. It’s estimated that around 37 million passengers make their way through the doors every single year, and all of them expect to have a carefree experience. Unfortunately, it seems as though that just doesn’t happen. Passengers have stated that the airport is just not well equipped to deal with the huge number of people and planes using this airport, and the whole place is extremely outdated.
While this has a negative effect on their reviews and passenger experience, you’ll be happy to know that those in charge of this airport have vowed to put a whopping $900 million into a renovation project. It’s hoped that this will not only improve the aesthetic and passenger experience but also improve the 20% delay rate.
Chicago O’Hare International Airport
The Windy City is a place that many people have on their bucket list, and Chicago has welcomed millions of visitors over the years. A large portion of these visitors utilized the airlines and the security that Chicago O’Hare International Airport has to offer – but some of them haven’t enjoyed this experience. While there’s no doubt about the fact that Chicago O’Hare International Airport is extremely large, it seems as though many believe it to be too large.
It welcomed a whopping 83 million passengers in 2018 alone and was able to transport travelers to 228 destinations. To do this, they have had to make use of their 7,627 acres of the airport. Many of the terminals in this airport cannot be reached on foot, which means that travelers often have to get a train from one terminal to the next. This can be incredibly time consuming and stressful.
Kansas City International Airport
While most people think of tornadoes and ruby slippers when they think of Kansas, there’s so much more to this state than offering an entrance to the Yellow Brick Road. Kansas City is a thriving metropolis that welcomes countless visitors every single year, but those entering this city don’t get to experience the best first impression.
It’s no secret that the Kansas City International Airport isn’t the most attractive building in the world, and it seems as though things don’t get any better when you make your way inside. Passengers who have seen and experienced this airport for themselves have noted that the restrooms are extremely small, smelly, and unclean, and that’s before you get to the food hall. With little option to choose from, many people try to avoid this airport as much as possible.
Cleveland Hopkins International Airport
Although many people head to Cleveland to check out the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, the Museum of Art, and the West Side Market, there are others who add one particular attraction to their list. Yes, many people head to Cleveland Hopkins International Airport every single year to shop in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and to pick up some goodies for their friends and family back home.
While there’s no doubt about the fact that this addition to the airport does give passengers somewhere to waste time as they wait for their flight, this might be the only positive there is to say about the airport. A large portion of passengers who make their way through this airport every single year has to deal with the wrath of the baggage carousels breaking down – which apparently happens all too often.
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport
If you have ever traveled in or out of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, you may be happy or unhappy to learn that you have helped it become the world’s busiest airport. In fact, it has held this title every single year since 1998, and that’s an impressive title to uphold. With a whopping 192 gates, 4,700 acres, and an average of 104 million passengers every single year, this airport is a cut above the rest in terms of its statistics.
However, it seems as though the people making up these statistics aren’t too fond of what this airport has become. With so many people making their way in and out of this airport every single day, most passengers complain that the airport just isn’t large enough to comfortably accommodate such numbers. These large crowds often cause people to miss their connecting flights because they just can’t get around them.
Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport
Texas is a hugely popular state for many people in the US and from abroad, and it seems as though most people want to make their way to Houston to check it out for themselves. We don’t blame them, either. As the home of the famous Space Center, Museum of Fine Arts, and the Museum District, there’s so much to see and do. However, anyone looking to fly in and out of Houston might have to consider another form of transport.
Although this airport welcomed 43 million passengers in 2018 and offers 10,000 acres for its runways and terminals, it seems as though this is just too big for passengers to traverse. Many travelers find it difficult to get to their gates on time, especially when they have to be on time for their connecting flights.
William P. Hobby Airport
Another Houston airport that just doesn’t cut the mustard is the William P. Hobby Airport, which is situated around 7 miles away from the bright lights of downtown Houston. Taking the lead as the oldest commercial airport in Houston, it’s fair to say that his place holds a dear place in the hearts of people who have lived in the city for their whole lives.
With four runways and a reputation for welcoming celebrities and those arriving in private jets, you would have thought that the William P. Hobby Airport would do everything it can to give passengers the perfect experience. Instead, most passengers complain about the outdated and unattractive art deco terminal, the power outlets that seem to malfunction more than they work, and the flight cancelations. Because of this, it seems as though this airport has some work to do.
Salt Lake City International Airport
Salt Lake City International Airport has always been a thriving airport, and they welcome millions of visitors every single year. One of the main reasons for this is because it’s the closest airport to the hubbub of Salt Lake City, a hugely popular tourist destination for those in the United States and those traveling from the rest of the world. While this airport ranks highly in terms of flights running on time, it seems as though it falls short in other areas.
Most importantly, most passengers just can’t get over the fact that the Salt Lake City International Airport is pretty old-fashioned. It has been due a renovation since it was first opened for business, and it seems as though the head honchos have finally listened to the complaints. New concourses and terminals are now in construction, and they’re even adding some more eateries into the mix.
Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport
Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport is often considered to be one of the best airports in the United States due to the fact that it employs a huge number of locals, the number of passengers it sees pass through its doors every year, and the fact that many people see it as a tourist attraction. However, it’s fair to say that those people who have used this airport wouldn’t agree with its place at the top.
Their Skytrax grade comes in at just 4/10, and it seems as though there is much for them to improve on. The lowest scores on the leaderboard stated that the terminal seating and the queuing times just weren’t up to standard, and it seems as though the cleanliness could also do with some work. More often than note, passengers have described the TSA screening as “chaotic.”
San Jose International Airport
We’ve already seen a few Californian airports on this list, but it seems as though the San Jose International Airport is just another to add to the list. Its situation just a short distance away from San Jose and major highways such as Route 101, State Route 87, and Interstate 880, it’s fairly easily accessible for those who are looking to drive or get a cab to the airport. Unfortunately, it seems as though the positives end there.
Those who have flown in or out of this airport may know that the design has been overlooked. One of the main reasons for this is because the terminal building is essentially just one long building. When people are coming and going in all different directions, this causes chaos inside the airport and leaves people feeling pretty grumpy.
Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport
Located around three miles away from downtown Phoenix, it should come as no surprise to learn that Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport gets pretty busy. It saw 44 million people make its way through its doors in 2018 alone, and it’s often considered to be Arizona’s busiest airport. Considering this airport serves so many people every single year, you would have thought that the facilities would be up to scratch – but it seems as though that isn’t the case.
Passengers are quick to criticize this airport and have noted that it’s in serious need of some renovation. The power sockets supposedly only work intermittently, broken seats are extremely common in the terminals, and the restrooms are just too small to serve the volume of people. As if that wasn’t enough, most terminals don’t even have food or drink facilities once passengers have made their way through security.
Chicago Midway International Airport
With airports getting busier and busier by the year, the head honchos at the Chicago Midway International Airport thought that they were doing themselves and their passengers a favor when they added more gates. This allowed them to serve more countries and passengers, and in their minds, it was a great idea. However, anyone who has used this newly-renovated airport will know that it has actually just made passenger experience even more chaotic.
More gates mean more people, and it seems as though most people who make their way in and out of this airport spend their time standing in line and waiting to make their way through the terminals. This is especially tiresome when people just want to make their way through security. Relaxing before your flight just isn’t an option when the line is snaking out into the parking lot…
Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport
If you have ever flown in or out of the Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, you’ll know that it is incredibly beautiful. With an impressive design that makes everyone look up in wonder, it seems as though it has got its aesthetic on point. However, that’s where the positives end. Once passengers are over the initial architectural masterpiece that is the airport as a whole, they realize that it just doesn’t work as a practical place to walk, sit down, or get on with their day.
One of the main reasons for this is because the steel structure offers very little in terms of power outlets and charging points. With many people making their way to the Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport as a stop-off for their final destination, not being able to use a laptop or charge their cell phone will leave them a little hot under the collar – and pretty bored.