Here Are the Quantifiably Best and Worst Airports in America for 2018

Or, why you should avoid flying through New York

By Kirk Miller

 
Phoenix Sky Harbor
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09 November 2018

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We recently told you how to not act like an A-hole at the airport and ended our feature with this travel warm fuzzy: “There is a system in place — one that many smart people have developed through decades of analysis and good old-fashioned trial-and-error.”

Apparently not all airports got the memo.

One of our favorite travel sites, The Points Guy, just released its 2018 list of the best and worst airports in America. (Spoiler alert: all New York options are still awful.) For their first list in two years, TPG put more emphasis on comfort and services, accessibility and timeliness, while also including new factors such as environmental awareness and “quality of life” services (nursing stations, pet-relief areas, etc.). As well, the report relied on objective, verifiable data, not surveys or opinions.

A few takeaways:

  • Phoenix won best airport by doing very well across the board — without actually being the best in any one particular category.
  • New York’s trio of airports scored the dubious hat trick of earning the three worst grades in the report. JFK was singled out in particular for delays, cancellations, rideshare prices and general inaccessibility.
  • Not really by its own doing, Washington Dulles moved up from 24th to 8th place, benefitting from the report’s new methodology. Conversely, Hawaii’s HNL fell eight spots because of the report’s different emphasis points.

As the authors note at the end, none of these airports “even come close to competing against the best airports in other countries around the world.”

So in lieu of Phoenix, maybe your next trip should feature a layover at Singapore’s Changi Airport, which offers a free 24-hour movie theater and a rooftop swimming pool.

The full results and a breakdown by category can be found here.

Photo: Phoenix Sky Harbor

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