While plenty of airports frequently torment frequent fliers thanks to their poor layouts, constant cancellations, and never-ending construction projects, there are still a few gems in the aviation world! Recently, seasoned travelers met in an online discussion to reveal which American airports buck the trend and give fliers a memorable experience.
1. Palm Springs International Airport
What other airport allows travelers to lie on the grass and read a book while waiting to board? Palm Springs International is a haven for outdoor lovers, and the airport is designed with high-class relaxation in mind. From its grassy concourse to its countless outdoor restaurants and bars, traveling to and from Palm Springs is a joy every flier should experience at least once!
2. San Francisco International Airport
Despite the city’s reputation for being a town quickly turning into a third-world country, San Francisco’s airport is world-class in many ways. “It’s clean, the local food stalls are tasty, it’s nicely decorated, there are working outlets everywhere, the water fountains actually work, and it’s easily accessible by public transit and car,” reports one woman. “It’s my home airport, and I have no complaints.” Sadly, it sounds like the airport is nicer than the city these days!
3. Greenville International Airport
For any traveler looking to avoid the chaos of Charlotte International Airport, Greenville is the place to fly in and out of. Located only 80 miles from Charlotte, Greenville International is a quaint airport that nevertheless acts as a convenient travel hub for thousands of travelers daily. Most fliers wouldn’t wish flying out of Charlotte on their worst enemy; by comparison, Greenville is the most incredible airport in the world!
4. San Diego International Airport
One would think an airport located in a tourism-driven city like San Diego would be a logistical nightmare (like Orlando). However, as a long-time resident of San Diego, I can happily report that this is far from the truth! San Diego International is efficient, modern, and very easy to get in and out of. Nearly all travelers agree — after all, what’s better than landing in San Diego and being greeted by palm trees as soon as you enter the airport?
5. Portland International Airport
Portland is a city full of culture and art, so it shouldn’t be surprising that its airport shares some of the same unique traits! “I’m there a couple of times a year to see family, and the focus on local vendors and musicians is great,” confesses one man. I love that the carpet keeps it quiet and less hectic than most airports, considering that Chicago is my home and those airports are much more prone to chaos.
6. Albuquerque International Sunport
Albuquerque International takes all its design cues from its host city. From the design to its decorations, the airport feels like a living and breathing complement to the city of Albuquerque. Many travelers confess that they didn’t think an airport could take on the unique identity of the American Southwest until they landed in Albuquerque and witnessed it for themselves.
7. Asheville Regional Airport
Sometimes the smallest regional airports put the biggest smiles on travelers’ faces. Asheville Regional in North Carolina is small, operating only a few gates on its busiest days. It’s a bare-bones airport in every sense of the word, but it’s also very efficient. Security is a breeze — most people are in and out of the security line in under two minutes. As a bonus, the airport is just outside one of the hippest and “coolest” towns in the United States, Asheville!
8. Dallas Fort Worth International Airport
Sometimes an airport becomes great for having none of the annoyances of other airports! DFW doesn’t do anything extremely well, but it has no glaring weaknesses, which is enough to make it one of the best U.S. airports. “For its size and air traffic, DFW is pretty efficient and easy to get to other terminals,” reveals one man. “It’s a large city, so it does get busy, but it is nice, and the flights in and out are usually pretty smooth. It gets rave reviews for having nothing wrong with it.”
9. LaGuardia Airport
LaGuardia has become a state-of-the-art airport that makes New Yorkers proud, thanks to recent renovations. Frequent travelers can’t believe the difference just a few years have made — LaGuardia is now a modern travel hub with all the creature comforts travelers crave in 2023. (Now, if only JFK International could undergo these same renovations!)
10. Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport
It always helps when a city continuously reinvests in its airport infrastructure. Phoenix’s airport is a prime example of this! “Yes, it’s pricey and always busy, but it’s pretty convenient once you are inside,” explains one woman. “I’ve lived in Arizona for many years, and they keep investing heavily in improving the airport. What else could you want as a resident?”
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