This City Has the Two Worst Airports in the Country

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If you’re flying into or out of the New York City area, you might want to consider using John F. Kennedy International Airport if possible. The region’s other two major airports, LaGuardia and Newark Liberty, score at the bottom of their respective size categories in J.D. Power’s just-released 2018 North American Airport Satisfaction Study.

Based on responses from more than 32,000 American or Canadian residents who traveled through at least one major U.S. or Canadian airport during the past three months, the study examined six factors. In order of importance, these are: terminal facilities; airport accessibility; baggage claim; security check; check-in/baggage check; and food, beverage, and retail facilities.

The results are divided into categories according to the number of passengers passing through each airport annually. Mega airports are those that handled 33 million or more flyers; large airports service between 10 million and 32.9 million; medium airports have between 4.5 million and 9.9 million.

Results are calculated on a 1000-point scale. Overall passenger satisfaction has risen just a single point, to 762, up from 761 in 2018. The biggest improvement came in the security check area, up five points from last year because of improved procedures at the Transportation Security Administration and the growing adoption of biometric technologies. The security line is still one of travelers’ least favorite parts of the airport experience, however. This is how long you’ll wait at the 40 largest airports.

The two highest-scoring facilities in North America were Oregon’s Portland International (in the large category) and Indiana’s Indianapolis International (a medium airport), both with 833 points. The top mega airport was Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County, with 786 points.

While New York’s John F. Kennedy scored among mega airports in the “about average” range, with 758 points, Newark Liberty took the bottom slot for megas, with a score of 695 — 31 points below the next-lowest scorer, Los Angeles International, at 726.

The score for LaGuardia, considered a large airport, was even lower, and the gap between it and the next-lowest was greater. Honolulu International garnered 719 points, while LaGuardia sank 57 points further down, landing in the cellar with a mere 662 points. 

Suffice to say, neither Newark nor Laguardia — nor JFK, for that matter — is considered among the best-run airports in the world.