LOS ANGELES IS MY HOME. If it wasn't for the joy of returning home from stressful business trips I would avoid LAX and rate it as my least favorite in the U. S.
Least modern, lack of charging stations, horrible food services etc etc etc. Not to mention constant traffic jams 24 hours a day..
I am confident that there is a worse airport in our vast country, I just haven't found it yet.
I welcome other's opinions and thoughts.
ONE YEAR ANNIVERSARY POST (done in all caps, the misterchk way )
Once again - LaGuardia takes the honors
3) I find myself in the sweet spot - Dulles - Other than the train to terminal C (which drops you off with a further walk than if you took the People Mover to D and walked to the attached C) and the occasional delay with the People Mover (it's fine when it runs regularly, and it was much better in '14), I'm doing just fine with Dulles and am actually glad that it's rated poorly; a) it may keep numbers down b) it may lead the local airport authority to try even harder
4) For those not wanting to click (or for the apparent ongoing issues with links not clicking through, mine and jakeal's and others of late haven't always gone through) Here are the Top Ten most frustrating;
1. LGA - New York LaGuardia
2. EWR - Newark Liberty International
3. IAD - Washington Dulles
4. ORD - Chicago O'Hare
5. JFK - New York John F. Kennedy
6. LAX - Los Angeles International
7. YYZ - Toronto Pearson
8. DFW - Dallas-ft. Worth International
9. MIA - Miami International
10. PHI - Philadelphia International
My criteria was based on scientific testing utilizing an advanced method known as the "CPH" gage.
This is the most sound gage in determining the stress one experiences during their stay at an airport.
CPH records your consumption of Cocktails Per Hour consumed during your stay.
You can easily deduce that the higher marks are the least enjoyable airports.
I agree with your list, especially LGA. I would also add STL to the list, althought the Southwest terminal isn't too bad. I don't think the main terminal at STL has been updated since Carl Icahn took over TWA. There are long walks, not enough seats at the gates, poor attitudes by the workers, and people who never 'stand to the right, walk on the left' on the moving walkways. I assume the number of seats at the gate has become less of a problem since American now only flies the regional jets in STL.
Agree on the poor STL Airport situation!
This place is run like a "Third World Countries Airport, at best"!
Really sad reflection on a city with a lot of problems!
erc One upside to living in North Jersey is the fact I have access to three airports.
LGA is the WORST. No train available to get to/from it. Parking is super expensive, and the central terminal is a dump.
EWR is closest to me, but due to runway configuration it often has delays and Terminals A and B are awful but I can get to it by train very easily which is great and can save me big $ on parking. So EWR is a solid option for me.
JFK is good for cross country flights. If I am going to SFO, LAX, HNL I would rather fly non stops, and more are available from JFK at usually cheaper fares. The airtrain makes is more convenient as well.
Airports just don't really bother me. (Do you believe that? They really don't!)
I now fly about 50-60 segments/year and about 25% involve LAX, it being one of my two most primary airports. While true, it is probably my least favorite U.S. airport that I frequent, I'm not really bothered by it. Maybe I've become immune to all the stuff we have to put up with regarding air travel, I don't know, but even with the lousy food and traffic there, it's just not a big deal to me (and whenever I do fly in/out of LAX, it's always to someplace GRRREAT!, so how can I be unhappy?) Being familiar with it probably helps too.
I am fairly satisfied with all of my domestic airport experiences, so to say that LAX is my least favorite U.S. airport really isn't much of a slam. My more frequent experiences (in the last 10 years) at PDX, SEA, BOI, GEG, SMF, DEN, LAS, DFW, BNA, ATL (yes, ATL!), SNA, SAN, LBG, FAT, DCA, and JFK have all actually been pleasant (or at least benign). BBG is a very cute airport. The only reason I will not fly there is because it is not IFR rated, and if you get stranded, because it is such a small operation, you are really stuck. I wouldn't say that I dislike SFO (I've had excellent experiences flying in and out of there on Lufthansa), what I patently dislike is the United domestic terminal and all that United - at least there - is not. Uugh. (To clarify, the United Express flights to/from there have been just great - 'dem EMB125's are a hoot - it's the United terminal operations that are pthhh.)
I have to agree with pluto77 as airports don't really bother me much at all. I've been to and had all the possible delays at PHL, but you then simply head over to the Marriott and enjoy the bar or find a way into the CL and enjoy Nathan fora few hours.
EWR is pretty much the same as PHL with delays and as mentioned the runway configuration at PHL and EWR don't help things and neither does the close proximity to DCA, IAD, JFK and LGA when thunderstorms move in, no place for the planes to hold so they get held on the ground some 3 hours away.
I normally attempt to fly into places that have multiple parallel runways for landing and take-off, spots like DEN, IAH, TPA, DFW, MSP, MIA, DTW, LAX, and yes even ATL, even though ATL is going to top my list for my most disliked airport in America. Just don't like it at all even though they run a bunch of airplanes in and out each day.
I would have to agree with LAX --- very old and outdated and inconvenient. The terminals seems that they were not built to handle that capacity or the security so you get a lot of lines and chaos. And both the food options and power outlets are severely limited.
In terms of connectivity -- I would say JFK, LAX and BOS because in all three none of the terminals are connected to each other so if you are transferring from one terminal to another, you have to exit security, transfer,and then go through security all over again. And with JFK, any transfer under 2 hours has always been missed
My last connection at LAX, we got off the plane and onto a shuttle bus that took us directly to another gate in another terminal (all domestic flights). We did not have to reprocess through security (this was from a T4 gate to a T6 gate). Not necessarily true though if connecting to an international flight. Security at the Bradley Terminal appears to be tighter.
We don't travel for business, so if we are in an airport it means we are going someplace fun. As a result, we are most likely in a good mood and looking forward to getting to our destination. We attempt to choose flight schedules that don't involve long layovers; therefore, we haven't gotten to know any airport very well (good or bad).
Luckily, most of my flight departures over the years have been from COS (Colorado Springs), DEN (Denver) and AUS (Austin). These airports are generally user friendly. My travel is for pleasure rather than business and this no doubt influences my perception. My least favorite airport is DFW. When "attack fares" become available from DFW, I weigh the hassle of the drive from Austin to Dallas and the ensuing goat rope at DFW in my value calculation.
I'm also not a fan of LAX and will try to avoid it at all costs. I'll go out of my way to fly into Burbank (BUR) so I can avoid the chaos of LAX. I have to agree with pluto77 that the Branson airport (BKG) is "a cute airport" but it can be a hot mess! I wrote about my not so great departure experience in Branson on Yelp:
LGA was my home airport for 6yrs with the random JFK long haul flights mixed in. I'd have to say it's a pretty frustrating airport at times but I have it fairly well worked out. If you are not familiar with the airport it can be hugely frustrating but regulars through there generally find a flow that works for them. Being a AA flyer, it was always pretty easy, mainline flights were in main terminal D gates, regional (eagle) flights were down the C gates. There's no connection between them behind security so if you wanted to hang in the lounge near D2 but you were flying out of C gates, you had to clear TSA to get to both places. Parking was always a pain but you get used to it I guess. On average it was 1-1.5mi walk from the car to the gate depending on gate/path taken....and you have to walk it rain, snow, shine, whatever.
The worst thing with it is the change of airlines. God help you if you are making a connection between AA, United, JetBlue, SW and a few others and say Delta or USAir. You have no inter-terminal bus, no covered walkway and over a mile to walk through the elements. It can be pretty hellish.
Mix all of that in with the fact that flight delays are frequent, traffic in the area can be some of the worst on the planet at peak times, limited public transportation and several of the approaches are constantly on the top 10 most dangerous in the world, it's a wonder how it stays so busy.
They have started some renovations, the most notable is the ATC tower but I suspect they'll get the bulk of it done by 2050
Well, now that we've got LAX on the ground, I'll kick it a bit as well. Like vaboy, I try to avoid it (a big fan of John Wayne, movies and airport) for the very reason zuk writes about, lack of familiarity; although if even as a veteran user you still need to walk 1.5 miles, what good is experience?
When I flew there in the fall, I got around ok, but the sheer volume of traffic (foot and car) added significant minutes to the ground transportation departure. I had the misfortune of having a Hertz rental through Hotwire and boy was I regretting never taking the time to sign up for the Gold Club (a Marriott benefit). You would have thought it was the Wednesday before Thanksgiving. It was so packed with customers waiting for cars that even this tech trogloydyte jumped on a kiosk (which had a line, but I still beat the guy in front of me in the other line by about 15 people). Returning the car also added more time than usual to the trip, between the distance away from the terminal, the sheer volume waiting to turn in cars, and the timing of the shuttles.
So misterchk you have lots of company in your feelings toward your hometown airport, we must have missed this post last year watching our hometown football teams, because your CPH gage still holds true today .
Parking is the reason for the walk at LGA. To park for a week at the extended lot is $120ish, give or take a few bucks. To park at the terminal where you cut a good bit of the walk out, its $200ish for the same amount of time. I have pulled a few weeks in the terminal lot when I knew it was going to snow and just told the customer that's what it cost. Most of the time though, my travel costs are covered by a fixed price so if I can save $300/month it helps.
And if I'm honest, I need the walk