Bloomberg’s Airport Frustration Index Reveals the Worst Airports in North America
Are you currently attempting to get on a flight to go see your family for Thanksgiving? If so, I have some bad news for some of you: There’s a pretty good chance you’re flying either into or out of one of the worst airports in North America. Bloomberg Business Week has just released what they’re calling their “Airport Frustration Index,” and, well… if you hate flying already, it’s probably going to make your blood pressure go through the roof. Sorry, everyone. I feel for you.
Between late September and early November 2014, Business Week surveyed FlyerTalk forum members and Bloomberg.com readers about their experiences in the U.S. and Canada’s airports — from security to food and entertainment. They received responses for 152 airports; only airports for which they received more than 30 responses made the cut, though, resulting in a ranking of the 36 worst airports in North America. Here’s a look at the top 10 overall losers — that is, the worst of the worst; to see how all 36 airports ranked, as well as how they stacked up in terms of commute, leisure activities, and the accuracy of departure times, head on over to Bloomberg Business Week. Oh, and don’t forget to consider Travel and Leisure’s study on the best and worst airports for flight delays while you’re at it — there are more than a few crossovers, so hey, at least the data has been corroborated, right?
Counting down from sort of awful to the positively miserable and illustrated by a series of increasingly distressed GIFs, we have:
10. Philadelphia International
Frustration score: 65.6
I’ll be honest: I’m actually sort of surprised to see Philadelphia in the top 10. I live roughly the same distance away from the Philly airport and Newark—but Philly always has fewer delays, significantly better prices (we’re talking several hundred dollars’ difference), friendlier TSA agents, and free Wi-Fi in most of the terminals. Maybe my decade living in New York City acclimated me so much to flying out of two of the worst airports around — LaGuardia and JFK — that almost anything seems better… but still. Philly gets an A plus in my book.
9. Miami International
Frustration score: 66.2
At least Miami isn’t so bad when it comes to flights departing when they’re supposed to; 82 percent of the time, the departure times listed on each ticket are actually accurate.
8. Dallas-Ft. Worth International
Frustration score: 67.0
I’m going to go out on a limb here and say that Dallas-Ft. Worth has earned the title of Most Mediocre Airport in America. It came in roughly at the middle for almost all of the categories Business Week scored it on.
7. Toronto Pearson
Frustration score: 67.7
I’ve never been to Toronto, but apparently Pearson also has one of the worst commutes — it came in number three on that list.
6. Los Angeles International
Frustration score: 71.5
The most frustrating thing about LAX is the fact that there’s nothing in it. Everything closes super early, so if you’re flying at night and need to keep yourself occupied until you board… you’re on your own.
5. New York John F. Kennedy
Frustration score: 83.0
JFK also took first place for “worst commute.” I can confirm its awfulness; when I lived in Brooklyn, I was about 25 minutes away from the airport by cab… except on days when traffic was awful, in which case it took an hour and 45 minutes instead.
4. Chicago O’Hare
Frustration score: 84.9
Real talk: I was definitely expecting to see O’Hare in the number one slot. It even manages to screw things up for people who aren’t going anywhere near it — almost every single time a flight of mine has experienced significant delays (usually direct flights to and from either New York and Boston or New York and LA), it was because something went wrong at O’Hare. Both Chicago airports, however — O’Hare and Midway — did take the top two slots for “most inaccurate departure times,” so do with that what you will. They’re only on time 69 and 68 percent of the time, respectively.
3. Washington Dulles
Frustration score: 87.5
No one seems to really like spending time at Washington Dulles while waiting to board, either. Apparently it has not-so-great security and worse shopping, according to the “time at the terminal” list.
2. Newark Liberty International
Frustration score: 90.1
In its defense, Newark is way better now than it was about 15 years ago… but it’s also in, y’know, Newark.
1. New York LaGuardia
Frustration score: 91.0
Congrats, LGA! You are officially the worst airport in North America! What are you going to do now? Go to Disney World? Not without a massive delay, you're not.
Images: Giphy (10)