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Best/Worst US Airports

Today's (Saturday-Sunday, November 19-20, 2022) Wall Street Journal has an article ranking the 20 busiest US airports. They provided stats on 12 different factors of convenience, reliability, and value. At the top are San Francisco, Atlanta (!), and Minneapolis. At the bottom are Newark, JFK, and Fort Lauderdale. Newark ranking worst in 6 out of 12 factors. I'm sorry I can't provide a link, but worth a look to the interested.

Posted by
3452 posts

Thanks for the official link TheOrdinaryRebeca, much more informative.

Posted by
3319 posts

Newark ranking worst in 6 out of 12 factors

Having passed through Newark on my way home from Portugal last month, I bet I could name some of those factors. Yikes, the chaos.

Posted by
1459 posts

I found ATL to be very easy in Sept. and hoping my experience transiting through there next week is just as positive

Posted by
11044 posts

Roubrat...I, too, found Atlanta pretty easy in October when I arrived back to the US. I did have access to the Delta Sky Lounge which was nice as the concourses were crowded. Coming thru Immigration was pretty easy (no awful Border/Custom's agent like I've gotten the last 2 times thru Seattle) for GE and I was familiar with the PlaneTrain set up.

Posted by
1459 posts

Pam, we did have a drill sergeant type agent yelling at everyone, but at least we moved through fairly quickly so we were rid of him before long.

Posted by
8152 posts

I have come through Atlanta my last several times between France and the U.S. and find it easy to navigate and get around in.

My last time there was ....yesterday !

Posted by
39 posts

We logged 2.5 miles walking at Newark flying to Athens. I think they changed our gate 4 times and then someone forgot to load a cart (!) that was apparently critical for takeoff, so we had to taxi back to the gate...

Posted by
9222 posts

I have to agree with Mona that flying to and from Sacramento International is never an ordeal like some other airports.

Posted by
11044 posts

Kim!! I'm glad you got thru it well.

One caveat with Atlanta is if flying in winter know that they can't handle weather that the cold country airports handle as a routine. If anyone gets caught there overnight and needs a place to bed down in the airport I suggest the floor under the ceiling sculpture Forest Walk. ribbit-ribbit

Posted by
5137 posts

Stan, when I saw your title, I thought Newark & JFK! I haven’t been to Fort Lauderdale; thanks for the warning! ; )

I do like Minneapolis & Atlanta for transfers.

Posted by
3753 posts

Jean in Idaho, We've flown in and out of Ft. Lauderdale many, many times, and have never had any real problems at all. It is a bit small, so it can be crowded when cruise ship(s) passengers are all trying to fly out the same morning. But otherwise it's much, much better than the ranking would suggest. And it's way better than Newark.

Posted by
8152 posts

If anyone gets caught there overnight and needs a place to bed down in the airport I suggest the floor under the ceiling sculpture Forest Walk. ribbit-ribbit

Hahahahahahaha

Posted by
2262 posts

Anyone that ranks, Atlanta’s immigration as one of your top airport is living in fantasy land

This is the airport where I saw the global entry agent grill a flight attendant for 15 minutes because he had too many stamps in his passport. Gee I wonder why? after all it’s not like he flew on airplanes to foreign countries as his job? Apparently the immigration agent had never heard of that.

It’s also the airport for a few years ago they decided they didn’t have enough staff so in order to prove that they went out of work slow down. Check one person’s paperwork, get up, go talk to your friends go get a cuppa coffee come back check one person‘s paperwork. Repeat- they did this for days. They were very proud of themselves

and of course it’s also the airport where we took out the kiosk to allow you to use mobile entry because we couldn’t allow anything helpful could we?

The last few times I’ve flown through at least half of the global entry kiosk were out order.

Having cleared immigration in a large number of airports in the United States, if I didn’t live in Atlanta, I would never fly here internationally

Posted by
1650 posts

My preferred entry point into Europe is MUC. I try to avoid the rats maze that is FRA.

Posted by
915 posts

Kim--We transfer in Atlanta next week, heading to Munich though. On the way home we transfer at CDG which I am dreading, but I made sure our layover is like 4 hours.

OAK is the easiest airport, especially for being an international one. It is so tiny, and easy to catch an Uber etc.

I am not a fan of SEA even though it is my home airport. The security lines have been a mess for ages, and the Uber situation is a huge mess. The lounges have not been great either in quite a while, although a new one is being built and due to open any time.

PDX is super easy, like OAK, and probably my favorite.

Posted by
11044 posts

@mikliz, I transited thru CDG on the way over in September and it was much easier than I thought even though the inbound from Seattle landed at one of the tarmac gates. All the times I've left from CDG (on Delta) we left from an inside gate so I suspect that will be your case on the way back this time. Since you've got plenty of time I think you'll be OK.

In Seattle I don't like landing at the S gates because I hate those long escalators to go up and over to the new International arrivals area. I'm going to look for elevators next time. That was also where the Border Control guy (who was actually the one that usually does Customs) asked the Delta Pilot in uniform ahead of me how much money he had. He said "I don't know" and walked on. He grilled me as well...wanted to know where I'd worked before I retired and what I did. Since I have global entry it was all in his screen. So stupid and a waste of his time.

Posted by
915 posts

Pam--Thank you. We have had to board on the tarmac at CDG before and I really dislike that, so yes, hoping for an inside boarding. I just overall dislike CDG, but will survive;) Yes, that super tall/long escalator at SEA now is a bit dizzying. We did it a few weeks ago coming back from Iceland. This upcoming trip is with our daughter and son's gf, neither of which have Global. So I will go through there and then have to wait on them;)