Outdated infrastructure, overcrowding, chronic delays, and demoralized staff: That’s what you’ll find in some of America’s worst airports, according to readers of Travel + Leisure.
If you'd like to see your images on Yahoo! Travel, join our Flickr group and submit your own!
In our first-ever airport survey, we asked readers to rate America’s 22 major airports in seven categories: flight delays; design; amenities; food and drink; check-in and security; service; and transportation and location. The best-scoring airports have tackled these issues head-on, refurbishing terminals and adding amenities that make the worst airports look evermore outdated by comparison.
Readers singled out the lack of play facilities for children at many airports, as well as lackluster spa facilities. Travel can be stressful enough, and based on reader responses, there’s a demand for more drop-in airport spas where you can get a quick neck, back, or foot massage while waiting out that flight delay.
Here, based on overall survey scores, are America’s worst airports.
Worst: No. 1 New York (LGA)
Dilapidated La Guardia hasn’t aged well. The airport has the dubious honor of ranking the worst for the check-in and security process, the worst for baggage handling, the worst when it comes to providing Wi-Fi, the worst at staff communication, and the worst design and cleanliness. If there was a ray of hope, its location, which ranked 16th, was considered superior to six other airports.
No. 2 Los Angeles (LAX)
LAX ranked at the bottom of most categories—that includes location (20th), check-in and security process (21st), impression of safety standards (22nd), baggage handling (20th), staff communication (21st), and terminal cleanliness (21st). Clearly, this worn-out airport is ready for a major Hollywood makeover.
No. 3 Philadelphia (PHL)
Philadelphia’s airport is singled out for a lousy design and lack of cleanliness (20th), surly staff (20th), and long check-in and security lines (20th). The only thing worse is waiting for your bags, ranked 21st in efficiency (make that inefficiency). That its location came in at 13th is not much consolation.
No. 4 New York (JFK)
Ease of getting a taxi may be the best thing to be said about JFK. You will wait—and wait—in check-in and security lines, likely wait again for your luggage, encounter a less-than-helpful staff, and wander in vain looking for a Wi-Fi signal. All of these were ranked 19th by our readers. Even worse is the airport’s location (21st) in relation to the nation’s largest city. Taxi!
No. 5 Newark (EWR)
Ah, Newark. It leads the other two New York-area airports, but that’s not saying much. While readers ranked it 11th for location and convenience, its other scores—16th for staff communication and a string of 18th places for design, cleanliness, baggage handling, and miserable check-in and security lines—are near the bottom of the barrel.
Click here to see America's best airports.