Denver and Orlando the nicest big U.S. airports, New York's the worst


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A travel website, The Points Guy, posted their own ranking last week, placing Phoenix, Salt Lake City, and Portland at the top. Interestingly, they put Orlando near the bottom at 24.

My old hometown airport, Cincinnati Northern Kentucky, was actually a pretty decent one, even though it was almost entirely a Delta hub.


Five of the WSJ’s top ten are in The Points Guy’s bottom 15. I suspect it has to do with methodology. Both rankings seem to be data-driven but I can’t tell what data sets they share.


Thanks for reminding me to never fly anywhere ever.



A link that people can actually access who aren’t WSJ subscribers – or a way to get around it – would be helpful, thanks!


That’s not the reaction I’d expect to a list of the most comfortable, easy-to-access, and reliable airports.


Denver International Airport is so nice because it’s kept up by the Illuminati. They’re so thoughtful!


Denver International: $2 billion over budget and 16 months behind schedule and I guess worth it?

Umm, while confirming that info I found this.


Denver security lines are a nightmare. Orlando requires you to take a train to the gate. But they have lots of shopping options…who cares? Meanwhile, Kansas City’s airport looks outdated and has limited food and shopping but you can get from the plane to the curb in under a minute. I’ll choose convenience over shopping any day.


I absolutely hate Denver’s airport. Arrival is fine, but the departures area is the Platonic ideal of hostile architecture. A giant, cacophonous shopping mall designed to get you to security as slowly as possible (via a retail mezzanine) with absolutely no relief such as seating, water fountains, etc. There are vast, unused areas that could have benches, play areas for children, etc, but instead the only seating is inside the trash fast-food restaurants that carry the implicit obligation to buy something. The TSA there is the most hostile I have ever encountered with a long, snaking line and agents striding up and down barking threats like prison guards. Maybe I took the worst possible route the last time I was there, but it really seems like it was designed to milk every cent and ounce of energy out of weary travelers.

Also, I know people hated LaGuardia, but I loved it. I could pop in and out in under 30 mins when dropping someone off and upon arrival I was out the front door in less than 15 minutes from the gate. Yeah, it was ugly and beat up, but man was it easy to navigate.


Food court quality factors heavily into my estimation of airports, since I’m going to need to eat at most of them. Maybe things got better at Denver, but when I went through there a few years ago the restaurant selection was miserable. Phoenix also sucks. Seattle is okay. San Francisco is good, at least inside the security gates. San Jose is weak. JFK is very weak. Chicago is pretty good. Newark is alright. Amsterdam and London have great food choices.

(Hey, armies are not the only thing that travels on its stomach.)


One of my favorite airports is Amsterdam, because besides its cleanliness, good food, etc, they do two things beautifully:
• Have big, clear, simple signage that tells you where to go very effectively
• Automates as many things as possible to speed you through the gross parts quickly

I especially liked the robot bag check area. You scan your passport, stick your bag in a compartment, it’s weighed and scanned, you stick a tag on it, and it’s swept away. No ten-minute wait while someone asks questions about where to buy souvenirs in the airport.


I had that reaction, briefly, as well.

Shortly thereafter, every-craptastic-thing else about flying on US commercial airlines came rushing back.


ATL comes in at 4! No wonder the state is trying to steal it out from under the city.


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