The day before Thanksgiving is the busiest travel day of the year in the US, with an estimated 47m people on the move with many traveling by air.
Prompted by the promises of president-elect Donald Trump to invest more in the nation's infrastructure, a recent Google survey conducted by TravelPulse looked at the glaring disparities between international and domestic airports. Trump had said in an earlier speech that "you land at LaGuardia, you land at Kennedy, you land at LAX, you land at Newark, after coming in from Dubai and Qatar and [you have seen these these incredible airports and you land here] ... our airports are a mess."
With attention to detail largely missing in US airports, those surveyed – which included both passengers and aviation experts – chose Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson airport as the best in the country in part because of the number of amenities it offered and for being business friendly.
TravelPulse engaged 300 respondents from consumers to aviation experts in seven categories including ease of access, amenities, airline volume, terminal modernity, terminal comfort, family friendly and business friendly. The airports that qualified were given five choices for each categories: antiquated/awful, behind the times/below average, average, above average, and exceptional. Each category answer was weighted -4, -2, 0, 2 and 4 and points were assigned accordingly.
TravelPulse equally weighted consumer responses, expert responses and their independent research (weighing in relevant past surveys and studies done by other air travel organizations and government agencies).
The top six in airline volume satisfaction among those surveyed were LAX, JFK, O'Hare, SFO, Orlando and Las Vegas. In the business friendly category, all of the top five were also the biggest airports in the country.
Small airports did very well. Fort Myers, Manchester, Columbus, Savannah and Greenville were all in the top 50 but Orlando still topped the list as the easiest to access both getting to and around once inside.
A lot of positive responses from readers were for newer airports; Phoenix, Portland, Ore., and Nashville and two airports that had undergone massive renovations and makeovers in the last 20 years, Detroit and Denver, also came out on top.
Top 10 Best Airports (and the worst):
6. San Francisco
The Worst: New York LaGuardia