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Top 5 Worst Largest Airports In North America. Photo KnowInsiders

The worst mega airports in North America have been revealed by the North America Airport Satisfaction Study. It examines six aspects (in descending order of importance) of mega, large, and medium North American airports: terminal facilities, airport arrival/departure, baggage claim, security check, check-in/baggage check, and food, beverage, and retail.

Mega airports are those that receive 33 million or more passengers annually, large airports receive 10 to 32.9 million, and medium airports receive 4.5 to 9.9 million. The study, now in its 17th year, is based on 26,529 completed surveys from Americans and Canadians who traveled through at least one American or Canadian airport in the previous 30 days. It covers both departure and arrival experiences (including connecting airports). From their round-trip experience, travelers evaluated either a departing or an arriving airport. The study was conducted between August 2021 and July 2022.

Top 5 Worst Airports in North America Today

1. Newark Liberty International Airport

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Photo fareCopy

Within the boundaries of Newark and Elizabeth, New Jersey, in the United States, is Newark Liberty International Airport.

It serves both metropolitan areas and is situated roughly 15 miles (24 km) southwest of Midtown Manhattan and 60 miles (97 km) northeast of Philadelphia. The first significant airport in the US was Newark Airport. The largest airport system in the United States, the second largest in the world in terms of passenger traffic, and the largest in the world in terms of total flight operations is made up of Newark Airport, JFK Airport, and LaGuardia Airport.

Despite the Port Authority's best efforts, which included building a new Terminal A and stepping up customer service efforts, flyers rated Newark Liberty Airport the lowest of all North American airports in a JD Powers survey of customer satisfaction.

In the mega-airport category, Newark Airport received the lowest score of 719 out of 1,000 possible points, while Minneapolis-St. Paul International was rated first with 800 points. With 791 points, JFK Airport earned the fourth-highest ranking out of the three airports serving the Port Authority's metropolitan area.

According to Mark Taylor, travel intelligence lead at JD Power, "Newark also experiences significant traffic congestion when traveling to the airport...It's a simple fact that the airport's location makes it challenging to reach... Before they even enter the airport grounds, passengers are already stressed out by this annoyance. Construction only makes things more frustrating, but EWR will soon see better times.

Newark Liberty International Airport has a lot of downtime, so be sure to bring some extra entertainment and keep your return plans open. Terminal C is the best terminal in the country if you're a foodie and you have some time to kill.

2. O’Hare International Airport

Photo Shutterstock
Photo Shutterstock

Congestion and schedule changes are major issues.

Before the pandemic, the Chicago airport served 37 million passengers on nearly 900,000 flights annually. Okay, so they did in the end. Delays and cancellations were as common as drunk Cubs fans on North Side L trains because the airport was overcrowded and the city was prone to extreme weather conditions, such as high winds and snow.

For this and other reasons, J.D. Power's 2022 customer satisfaction survey placed O'Hare last among "mega" airports. There is hope, though: A 16-year, $6 billion redevelopment plan at O'Hare will be finished in December 2021, making the airport more pleasant and on-time. Holding my breath!

3. Los Angeles International Airport

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Photo Vinepair

CONCERNS: poor interactions with customers, excessive congestion, and a disorienting design.

Simply put, it's Los Angeles' notoriously bad traffic. The airport shuttle is a nightmare to use. You must take a shuttle from the terminal to a designated parking lot if you want to take a taxi, Uber, or Lyft into downtown Los Angeles. The high cost of meals, the lack of clear directions, and the constant traffic all contribute to an unpleasant trip.

LAX receives universally negative feedback from travelers. Like most places in Los Angeles, the hardest parts are getting there and getting around once you get there. The airport's nine terminals are spread out along a U-shaped roadway that's about as well-organized as a stampede; may God have mercy on you if you need to transfer between terminals.

Most likely, you'll have to exit security, walk or take a shuttle bus (which, by the way, only runs in a counterclockwise direction) to the new terminal, and then go through security again before you can reach your gate. By "proceeding," we mean "running as if pursued by lions." Ongoing construction adds new complications.

More gates and computerized baggage handling at the Tom Bradley International Terminal, swankier shops and eateries, and an automated trolley to the car rental location are just some of the recent enhancements. Will those changes actually make the space less confusing? And how can parking and traffic congestion ever improve if there aren't more convenient and practical public transit options than the current series of trains and buses needed to get from downtown Los Angeles to the airport?

Take public transportation to the airport to save money and time; a shuttle service is available from the Metro Green Line Aviation Station. The one-way fare of $1.75 will save you time, stress, and money.

4. Boston Logan International Airport

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Photo Enobytes

This terminal is the largest airport in New England outside of Boston. For both its overall low customer satisfaction and its high number of complaints filed against the TSA, it has made our "worst of" list.

The number of civil rights violations complaints lodged with the TSA was on par with busier airports like Dallas/Fort Worth International, despite being the 19th busiest airport in the United States.

There are ten lounges in total at Boston Logan Airport, including those dedicated to passengers of Air France, American Airlines, Delta, Lufthansa, United, and Virgin Atlantic, as well as two that are independent of any particular airline.

The two main complaints about Logan are the long tarmac wait times and the airport's size. You'll have to walk a long way, which isn't great if you're already behind schedule. And if a brisk stroll or light jog has worked up an appetite, good luck finding satisfying munchies!

Dress casually, wear shoes with a lot of tread, and enjoy the extra exercise! After a hectic work week, maybe a little light exercise is what the doctor ordered. However, there is no viable alternative to standing in line for a gate. Preparing additional media for your phone in advance is a smart idea. Get a new game or TV show on your computer and watch a few extra minutes of your favorites.

5. Toronto Pearson International Airport

Photo Toronto CTV News
Photo Toronto CTV News

According to a recent study, Pearson International Airport in Toronto has some of the least satisfied passengers of any major airport in North America.

Passengers using Toronto Pearson Airport all summer long griped about long wait times, misplaced luggage, and postponed flights.

For the second year in a row, Toronto Pearson Airport has been named the world's worst for flight delays. According to the statistics, over 50% of Pearson flights between May 26 and July 19 were affected by delays.

On Wednesday, J.D. Power released the results of a study called North American Airport Satisfaction, in which Pearson International Airport was ranked 16th out of the 20 largest "mega" airports in the continent. The airport received 755 out of a possible 1,000 points, which is below the national average of 769 but higher than Boston Logan (754), Los Angeles (753), Chicago's O'Hare (751) and New York's Newark Liberty (719).

They (Pearson) saw a massive increase in the number of passengers. Author and head of travel intelligence at U.S. research and consulting firm J.D. Power Michael Taylor explains that this has a direct effect on customer satisfaction.

Check More: Top 10+ Busiest AirPorts in the U.S by Passenger 2023/2024

Top 10 Worst Airports in the US 2023/2024

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Photo business travel

1. Washington Dulles International Airport

Even though it was praised for its aesthetic construction, this Virginia airport was criticized for its design and placement. Some of the older buildings are "starting to see some problems," according to airport manager Richard Golinowski, who recently told The Washington Post that the airport is adding a 14-gate concourse that will be finished in 2026.

2. West Virginia International Yeager Airport

Frommer's calls the Charleston, West Virginia airport's location "scary" because of the proximity of cliffs on all sides. In January, the facility, which was previously known simply as Yeager Airport, changed its name in order to be designated as "international," as reported by WOWK in Charleston. However, it will be December before the international U.S. Customs service is available.

3. Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport

This massive hub in north-central Texas landed on the eighth spot due to delays and cancellations. According to aviation news service Simple Flying, Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) is now the U.S. airport with the most nonstop flights (a title it previously held) and offers approximately 239 nonstop destinations.

4. Denver International Airport

Turbulence. Flights into and out of Denver can be bumpier than usual due to the city's proximity to mountains and hills. (Mountains plus wind, it seems, equals air waves.) The Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) publishes a guide called Tips of Mountain Flying, and Frommer's information could be helpful in this situation.

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5. Cleveland Hopkins International Airport

This Ohio airport is dinged by Frommer’s for needed updates and lack of space. A 2019 J.D. Power customer satisfaction study placed CLE even worse, coming second-to-last.

6. Philadelphia International Airport

Frommer's and J.D. Power agree that traveling to or from Philadelphia's primary airport can be a hassle due to heavy traffic and road closures in the area. In a survey of passengers' experiences at airports across the country in 2021, PHL was ranked dead last.

What you can do is acknowledge that the meaning of the word "rude" can vary from person to person. If you speak to Philadelphians directly and with respect, they will treat you with the same courtesy. They probably won't be very friendly, but don't let that put you off. In response to complaints about PHL's slow Wi-Fi, the airport has a number of excellent lounges where you can nap or stream Netflix, including the American Express Centurion and Minute Suites.

7. O’Hare International Airport

Despite its size, Frommer's says Chicago's airport is still too small, and the frequent flight delays don't help. J.D. Power's customer satisfaction survey of "mega" airports in 2021 placed it dead last.

8. Los Angeles International Airport

It's the only airport to have its own two-part "LOST" episode, but passengers' dissatisfaction with getting lost there is reflected in the show's ratings. The airport's "confusing" layout and traffic issues are common complaints about Los Angeles.

9. LaGuardia Airport

Informational updates are never as frequent as actual travel. Even though it's a smaller airport, its convenient location means it sees a high volume of passengers. In the summer of 2019, those two characteristics caused nightmare scenarios when storms grounded flights and traffic jams on the highway leading to the airport forced passengers to walk along the highway to make their gates on time.

What you can do: Allow yourself as much extra time to get to the airport as possible. Once you’re there, a pass to one of LaGuardia’s seven lounges is probably worth it.

10. Newark Liberty International Airport

From July 2019 to July 2021, BTS data shows that 24.29 percent of flights out of this New Jersey airport were either delayed or canceled. The International Air Transport Association recently removed EWR from the NYC code, as reported by Travel + Leisure. For travelers, what does this bode? T+L speculates that since there is less demand for flights to New York, airfares may increase. According to Yahoo! Finance, the new policy will take effect on October 3.

In Conclusion

You must have been frustrated or experienced bad luck at these airports many times. The sad thing is that you still have to fly and will continue to suffer - these are the biggest, busiest airports in the US, but also the shortest and safest journeys for you.

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