These Are the Best Airports for a Long Layover

Per a new study by, Seattle-Tacoma International is the best U.S. airport to get stuck in for a few hours

Empty airport lounge with plane outside

Not all layovers are created equal.

That is to say, some are an hour long — just enough time to grab a coffee and get to your gate — while some are eight hours long. And sometimes those eight-hour layovers are in busy airports, where food and shopping abound, but other times they’re in less-developed, regional airports where you may be able to get a bag of chips and a bottle of water…if you’re lucky. Fortunately, a new study by — which has revealed a list of the best airports for layovers in the United States — will maybe help you avoid winding up in the latter position.

The study determined food and beverage ratings based on landside and airside choices and prices; hygiene ratings on cleanliness of seats, washrooms, public areas and food; staff service ratings on available info and help, shopping and food; and shopping facilities on landside and airside choices. Customer ratings were taken directly from Skytrax, the number of hotels within two miles of each airport was sourced from, and most common domestic flights in the U.S. from Stacker. The findings were as follows:

Airport Ratings

As a New Yorker, I concede that I was surprised to see JFK in the six spot…or on the list at all. And the fact that this study looked almost exclusively at busy airports means that some of the usual fan favorites, like Savannah Hilton Head, Hartford Bradley International Airport and even Indianapolis International Airport, were left out.

The most glaring omissions, however, seem to be in the best global airports for layovers list:

Global Airport Rankings

Noticeably absent is what is widely considered to be the best airport in the world: Singapore Changi Airport (though it did fall one spot, to second-best, in Conde Nast Traveler’s 2022 Readers Choice Awards). Though, if CNT’s readers are to be believed, then airports like Hamad International and Abu Dhabi should also be on the list.

All of that said, I’d actually be more interested in a study outlining the worst airports to have a long layover in.


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