Trump in a presidential debate compared the nation’s airports to what he would expect to find in a “third-world country.” As a frequent flyer on his own personal jet, the subject of airports is something very close to the president’s heart.
Here are the 10 worst large airports in the United States based on customer satisfaction, according to a year-end study by J.D. Power and Associates, in descending order of quality.
10. Seattle-Tacoma International
Flight delays are the biggest problems at this airport in the Pacific Northwest. A hub for Alaska Airlines, Sea-Tac is constantly plagued by bad weather and airport officials are always fighting against delayed flights. Even though new landing strips were opened in 2008, the airport’s woes continued, according to Smarter Travel. The airport received about an average score in J.D. Power’s study, and those constant delays could be a major reason.
9. Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International
The 20th largest airport in the country is becoming increasingly busy, and that has caused near-constant construction projects at the airport over the last decade and a half. In 2014, a runway expansion project began at the airport that would be expected to serve 450,000 takeoffs and landings every year, according to a local law firm. However, the congestion at the airport is apparently still irking customers, who ranked this ninth for least-satisfying airport facilities in the country.
8. John F. Kennedy International
New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo has promised a $10 billion upgrade to JFK, and not just the airport facility itself, but the roads and public transit that take passengers to the airport. Congestion problems on the expressway and a lack of capacity on the Air Train taking customers from the end of the subway line to the airport are among the top complaints with this major hub for international travelers, according to Gothamist.
The project would be similar to a planned project at LaGuardia International Airport, which will be covered later on this list.
7. Houston-Bush Intercontinental
This airport has been plagued with construction issues for the last few years, as a $244 million project is set to finish on one terminal in 2017, according to the Houston Chronicle. A new, fourth terminal is set to be built and finished by 2020, and those construction challenges add to the issues already presented by long lines at security and immigration checkpoints, the Chronicle reported. By the time the construction projects are finished, the airport should be less congested and may end up moving off this list.
6. Los Angeles International
One of the busiest airports in the country, LAX is constantly ripped by locals for the bad traffic around the airport during peak hours and the long security lines, according to The Hollywood Reporter. Customers have also complained about a lack of seating in the terminals, bad food, dirty facilities and long immigration lines, according to the report. The nation’s second-busiest airport has been under construction for years, and a project at Terminal 2 recently finished.
5. Boston Logan
The main airport for Beantown doesn’t have enough parking and needs more gates in the international terminal, the Boston Globe reported. According to the Globe, the international terminal’s 12 gates were built in 1974 for about 1.5 million passengers per year, and now an additional 5 million people travel through those gates every year. Airport officials also cite a lack of an efficient way, other than buses and shuttles, to move people between terminals. A train is a possible solution.
4. Chicago O’Hare
One of the nation’s largest and busiest airports is subject to the whims of weather on many occasions, making it a tough place to consistently catch a connecting flight. That’s an issue because it’s one of the biggest connecting hubs in the country. Traffic outside the airport is a major issue for customers as well. The airport got a runway reconstruction makeover during the last decade, but that has done little to ease the complaints about an airport consistently ranked among the nation’s worst.
3. Philadelphia International
A $30 million overhaul of Terminal B at Philadelphia’s airport has been one source of headaches recently for passengers, but that could be finished in 2017, according to the Philly Voice. The airport also needs more capacity to increase the amount of international flights out of the airport, according to city officials who spoke to local news outlets. Lack of transit to the airport has also consistently plagued the airport.
2. Newark Liberty International
Newark recently expanded its flight capacity, but long lines at security checkpoints have annoyed many passengers, according to NJ.com. The website also reported the reclassification of the airport that allowed it to serve more passengers means more flight delays are likely coming to the second New York City-area airport to make the list. The airport, like New York’s other two airports, is also consistently criticized as being too busy.
1. New York LaGuardia Airport
Trump’s least favorite airport (it was LaGuardia that Trump was calling “third world”) comes in last on the list. A consistently packed and cramped space, LaGuardia is the subject of a multibillion redesign that began in recent years and has annoyed passengers.
The terminals were designed to handle about 8 million passengers per year, instead of the 13 million passengers that currently make their way through the airport, according to the study. It’s possible LaGuardia could make its way up the list after the project is done, but it remains cramped and crowded for the time being