Grounded Nightmares: 12 of America’s Worst Airports

By Nina Roman

Everyone claims to have experienced the worst airport, but which one is the worst? Continue reading to learn more!

LaGuardia Airport (New York)

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With a tremendous number of aircraft and passengers, the metropolitan region of New York has some of the most complicated air traffic in the whole world. Sadly, LaGuardia can’t handle the pressure.

23% of arrivals and over 20% of departures at the airport were delayed in 2018. LaGuardia also needs urgent renovations to the seating, restrooms, shops, restaurants, and services because of its confined space and clutter!

Newark Liberty International Airport

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The Newark, New Jersey, airport’s finest feature is its cheap train connection to New York City, however, the good news ends there.

The layout of the terminals is reportedly poor, there are few food options, and delays are common.

According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, delays have occurred on 22.9% of Newark-bound flights and 29,6% of arrivals so far in 2018. And that is even progress!

Los Angeles International Airport

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Although poor weather doesn’t cause delays at LAX, arriving or departing passengers must still battle L.A. traffic.

Unfortunately, the extremely long security lineups and baggage retrieval make matters no easier.

Your effort to exit the airport might easily be delayed by an hour or more due to the lengthy luggage queues.

Kansas City International Airport

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You would probably think that the smaller an airport is the less complicated it is for things to go wrong. Well, Kansas City International Airport argues otherwise. 

Flyers are compelled to pay for expensive cabs or parking valets close to the airport because there isn’t enough affordable parking nearby and it’s far away.

Additionally, there aren’t enough spaces for security screenings, the restrooms are small, and there aren’t enough seats for everyone, forcing them to sit or lie on the floor or rest against the walls.

Denver International Airport

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The biggest airport in the United States and the second biggest in the world is Denver International. It has an intriguing design and is served by public transportation that links you to the metropolis as well as to other interesting locations like Boulder. 

However, there are few food options (this airport has the worst sandwich we’ve ever had), and the main concourse is now undergoing extensive renovations that disrupt the flow of travelers. This airport is ranked 67 out of 151 worldwide.

Boston Logan International Airport 

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Similar to La Guardia, the Boston Logan Airport experiences regular delays. This is partially due to the enormous influx of travelers it receives as one of the main transit ports for New England. No one is surprised that it has decent food as well—this is Boston, after all!

Arguably, no better options are available if you are flying into Boston Logan. Just be ready for a largely unimpressive and chaotic experience.

Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport

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Airports Council International named this airport among the most outstanding in North America in 2018 — but passengers disagree.

The airport in the Twin Cities added several substandard improvements as trade grew. Today, the layout incorporates underground sidewalks, escalators, car traffic, trams, and illegible signs.

Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport

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Sky Harbor Airport has won recognition for its punctual flights, nursing rooms, pet relief zones, and dedication to environmental sustainability. Nevertheless, some locations have been abandoned permanently due to the ongoing work.

Terminals 2 and 3 are gloomy and outdated. After 9 p.m., according to travelers, there are no eateries or even a single coffee shop operating outside of the security checkpoints.

Additionally, passengers lament the broken seats, lack of Wi-Fi, working outlets, and two tiny restrooms.

Chicago Midway International Airport

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Since 2018, Midway Airport in Chicago has been undergoing renovations. Unfortunately, something terrible has happened.

There were more gates crammed in, which caused extreme crowding, little seating, and security queues that spilled into the parking lot. Popular restaurants like Potbelly Sandwiches have been substituted by cheap businesses that offer terrible services and even terrible food.

Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport

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The present terminals at this Arlington, Virginia, airport were officially inaugurated in 1997 but the original terminals opened in 1941.

All of this renders DCA an architectural curiosity, but one that falls short of modern travel needs.

The airport has a chronic shortage of power outlets, and Terminal A’s elegant glass-wall construction transforms it into a hot greenhouse every afternoon. Travelers also claim that the airport is not easily wheelchair accessible. 

Baltimore Washington International

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BWI is a more recent airport in the D.C. region, and initially, many liked it. But it has grown so much that it is now an utter mess.

Dragging your stuff through the terminals takes time, and renting a car requires driving 20 minutes away. Also, according to travelers, there are unclean restrooms, few outlets, and unfriendly airport staff.

Miami International Airport

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The airport is constantly overflowing with visitors and unhappy Floridians eager to leave the city or simply return home.

Travelers lament the distances between security and boarding, the confusing signage, and the generally subpar service.

Nearly 1 in 5 flights are delayed, which is okay if you like to wait around in stifling humidity.

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