As America gears up for the Holidays I read an interesting article on which are the best and worst American Airports to be delayed at this season. It isn’t clear if they have been included because of percentage of delayed flights or on their retail offerings. See what you think.
1. Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson: 85% flights depart on schedule and over 221 retail outlets and 100 places to eat. From experience Terminal F (International) is not a great place to be waiting for a flight so travel between the other terminals to get a better and cheaper choice.
2. Seattle Tacoma: Includes a virtual forest and 1,000 sq ft dog park (??) and the fastest Wi-Fi of any other airport – apparently. Again if you are travelling international you don’t have the luxury of experiencing either the dog park or the forest. Just the dismal Hudson News shops and an overpriced duty free store with a smattering of expensive eateries.
3. Las Vegas McCarran: Fewer than 1% of flights are cancelled and there is plenty of family themed activities and the rather innovative sounding Fly Fit walking paths and over 50 retail outlets. I have never flown from Las Vegas but I bet there are one armed bandits everywhere to extract those final dollars from you – as if you haven’t spent enough already!
4. Chicago OHare: Offering over 130 retail outlets and an aviation themed play area for the kids there are worst airports to be delayed at. It also features an athletic club and a yoga room at the Hilton Hotel.
5. San Francisco: Not a great punctuality record but redeems itself with America’s first airport therapy pig and new Arts Centre.
6. JFK New York: There is a 25% chance that your flight will delayed from JFK but it does offer over 2 dozen different members only lounges and 34 bars. There is an XpressSpa to massage the stress out.
7. Dallas Fort Worth: DFW has a good record for delays and cancellations and is one of the few airports in the world to fly to 200 different destinations. It offers Yoga Studios and Art displays with dozens of retail and food outlets. Take the inter terminal transit to experience great views of the airport and the range of retail.
8. Denver: DIA Wi-FI is ranked good for download speeds and there over 70 retail outlets to choose from.
9. Orlando: An on time average of 76% means that you will have to experience the range of stores and coffee outlets here. Your last opportunity to get your overpriced Disney, Universal or NASA souvenirs.
10. Los Angeles: LAX has about 80% of on time departures but I like this about it. It offer a PUP – Pets Un-stressing Passengers programme to offer anxious travellers.
11. Phoenix Sky Harbor: Apparently the worst airport to be delayed at and saved by its Sky Harbor Fitness Trail that affords superb views of the surrounding mountains and desert landscapes.
12. Miami: A higher than average cancellation rate but does offer plenty of respite for displaced travellers. There are 65 restaurants, 22 bars and 10 coffee shops. I guess this would be my perfect opportunity to get my Miami Starbucks mug!
13. Houston George Bush: A high cancellation rate, well 2.86% so trying to redeem itself with Wi-Fi and a Harmony in the Air programme featuring live performances to calm waiting passengers. Actually it was here that I was delayed entering the States. I had a 2 and half hour connection to get a flight to Dallas and didn’t get to the Border Security desk for two and half hours. Nightmare!
14. Newark Liberty: Here we go! Reporting a dismal 68.41% of flights that depart on time and only has 17 shops and 22 restaurants. I also remember a WH Smith shop there which was just as awful as the ones on the UK high streets. I guess it just isn’t large enough to cope with its international traffic.
15. Charlotte Douglas: Slow Wi-Fi speeds and lack of retail outlets put this airport at the bottom of the worst airports to be delayed at. I remember it being very large and brightly lit but luckily we weren’t delayed.
What is your worst airport experience? Arriving at Houston must rank near the top for me as well as waiting for a delayed British Airways to arrive from San Diego in the early hours of the morning to pick us up at Phoenix to fly back to the UK. All the shops and restaurants and closed and it was 02.30 before the flight arrived and a further hour before we could board. It made my oldest daughter so tired and stressed she threw up at the boarding gate…….