The holidays are in full effect now that turkey day is a mere snooze away. After the big feast, it’s time for Black Friday, endless holiday parties, Hanukkah, Christmas, the New Year then finally time for some actual R+R. Although merry, the holidays can get a little overwhelming. Especially when traveling is thrown into the festive mix.
According to AAA, more than 46 million Americans will be heading somewhere other than their own couches this holiday season — you’re probably already one of ’em! — and 3.55 million are or will be hitting the skies. We looked through some of the reports of the best and most dreaded airports in the country to pull together an unofficial (it’s scientific enough… ;) ranking of airports across the country. See if this list matches up to *your* travel this year and for holidays past. Heading to one of the “airports to avoid” RIGHT THIS SEC? Hopefully your travel-ready hair is at least lookin’ right.
Airports to Avoid
According to Business Week, unshockingly some of the worst airports in the nation are also the busiest. Whether due to a ton of canceled or late flights, terrible food options (is that what they call it?) and no room for sitting or charging your electronics, these travel terrors earned their place on the notorious list.
1. New York LaGuardia Airport: This cramped, always delayed airport is what we feel like a vacation in hell would be like. Also, it always feels like you’re gonna land in the water so don’t pick a window seat if that kinda thing makes you anxious :-X
2. Newark Liberty International Airport: One of the oldest airports in the nation definitely could use a few upgrades. You’ll feel like you’re stuck in the worst transit station as it’s dirty, smelly, has awful food options and (worst of all) pay-only WiFi.
3. Washington Dulles International Airport: One of the busiest airports for international travel has a lack of transit options, which is a huge flaw in the system. How do they expect us to get to the White House on time for our holiday photo opp?!
4. Chicago O’Hare International Airport: Trying to make that connecting flight? You better have your running shoes on as this huge airport doesn’t make it easy to cross from one end to the other. Also, frigid Chicago temps = endless delays. You could always fly into Milwaukee (?).
5. John F. Kennedy International Airport: If you’re not fortunate enough to be in the shiny, new JetBlue terminal, you’re in trouble as this is one of the most complex and confusing international airports around.
Let’s be real, no matter the situation an airport is pretty much the last place you wanna be. But sometimes they can be a little less awful whether there are endless food options, shops for days, breweries even, few delays and, most important of all, fast security checkpoints. Condé Nast Traveler surveyed readers and uncovered the 10 best airports. If you happen to have any unexpected delays, fingers crossed it’s at one of these.
1. Indianapolis International Airport: The six-year-old airport was designed to efficiently get travelers through security. No wonder it’s a fave.
2. Tampa International Airport: Take in the beauty of this airport before heading to the conveniently close downtown. Oh, you’re leaving? Maybe you can find a reason to stay for a bit longer…
3. Portland International Airport: Get to the most connected airport by bike, transit or car. Then pick up some comfy travel soles at the Nike store.
4. Long Beach Airport: Have a glass (or two) at the outdoor wine bar while gazing at the gorgeous palm trees before heading off. That’s if you don’t miss your flight from luxuriating in the feeling that you’re at a five-star resort.
5. John Wayne Airport, Orange County: Steer clear of the nearby LAX if you can because this single concourse airport makes it simple for the traveler to get from the curb to the gate (and vice versa) in minutes.
Which airports have given you the biggest nightmares? Which is a destination in itself in your book? Let us know in the comments below.