While going on vacation or exploring a new city is thrilling, dealing with airports is often the least exciting part of a trip! Unfortunately, regarding U.S. airports, not all facilities are created equal — some airports you should avoid at all costs. Recently, experienced travelers met in an online discussion to reveal their picks for the absolute worst airports in America.
1. John F. Kennedy International Airport
While JFK International Airport is the crown jewel of New York City’s travel hub, it’s not a perfect airport by any means. Its most significant advantage — hosting countless direct flights to cities in Europe — is also its biggest weakness: The airport’s immigration lines are famously long. Most travelers try to avoid JFK if they fly internationally, but it’s often easier said than done.
2. Orlando International Airport
It shouldn’t be surprising that a tourism-driven city like Orlando is home to one of the least pleasant airport experiences in the country! The security line at Orlando is the most amusing and baffling experience,” explains one avid traveler. “Imagine 40 families ahead of you with exhausted screaming kids — none of whom have ever flown on an airplane before, apparently. Once there was a family with five kids ahead of me who forgot to remove nine electronic devices from their bags — each of which was found and then removed individually.”
3. Charlotte Douglas International Airport
Despite winning countless awards in the industry for its innovation in the early 2000s, Charlotte Douglas International is a far cry from good. From long layovers, a confusing airport layout, famously slow-moving people, and a reputation for some of the worst flight delays in the country, many people attempt to fly in and out of any other airport.
4. Miami International Airport
Sometimes all that’s needed to understand how the public feels about an airport is hearing a review from someone intimately familiar. One woman pulls no punches with her assessment of Miami International. “It feels like a mental institution,” she declares. “There’s one working outlet per concourse. Low ceilings. Not enough bars. It’s the worst, the people are the worst, and Miami is the worst. America has a lot of horrible airports, and Miami is the worst of them.”
5. Los Angeles International Airport
Don’t get me wrong: LAX is a state-of-the-art airport with plenty of comfortable seating, bars, and restaurants. It’s not the airport itself that maddens travelers — it’s physically getting to and from the airport that is horrible! Thanks to Los Angeles‘ infamous highway system, getting in and out of the airport is nearly impossible unless you can access a private helicopter.
6. Daniel K. Inouye International Airport
Honolulu’s main airport desperately needs repairs and improvements to its logistics. Many travelers think it is the only downside to traveling to Hawaii! Terminal 2 is 60 years old with few renovations, the restaurants and shops close at around 5 o’clock despite having tons of flights left in the day, the immigration facility is insanely undersized, and it is falling apart,” reports one woman.
7. Newark Liberty International Airport
New Jersey lives up to its stereotypes through Newark Liberty International! From unfriendly staff, constant ongoing construction, and a general feeling of sadness permeating the concourse, most travelers would instead take a train than fly out of Newark. As someone who has been in the airport, I don’t blame them.
8. Denver International Airport
Any traveler who flies into Denver International is shocked at how far away it is from the city. In addition, there are plenty of problems found inside the airport! “Denver is way too large, for starters,” reveals one frequent flier. “Almost missed a flight out of there once. The rental car drop-off seemed like it was ten miles from the actual airport. Inside the airport, it’s absolutely enormous. The security line took forever — way longer than any New York-area airport.”
9. Kansas City International Airport
Despite undergoing recent renovations, Kansas City is home to one of the worst airports in America. Countless travelers report encountering confusing signs, navigating through a horrible terminal layout, and eating subpar food options. Based on those findings, I have no desire to ever visit Kansas City. How do so many cities get their airports completely wrong? Do they have no pride?
10. Philadelphia International Airport
As someone familiar with Philadelphia International, I agree with any seasoned traveler who says the airport desperately needs a complete overhaul. Everything — from the concourse to the terminals to the restrooms — needs a makeover. Traveling in or out of Philadelphia feels like traveling back in time.
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