Every seasoned traveler has her list of favorite and least favorite U.S. airports: the one with the quiet bar and tranquil mountain view or the one with luggage service so poor that it makes a developing-world airstrip seem like red-carpet treatment. We asked our group of experts to weigh in with their best and worst.
“If I let my taste buds choose, they’d pick Dallas-Fort Worth’s international Terminal D for some Texas-style barbecue or a big ol‘ beefy burrito. And La Bodega Winery is the only airport winery in the country. The airport atmosphere is bright and inviting with works of art depicting Texas landscapes.”—Jennifer Gaines, Travelocity, Contributing Editor at Pink Magazine
“Definitely LAX. You can get a delicious seafood dinner at the Daily Grill in the international terminal. And a cocktail at the futuristic Encounter restaurant, which sits in the epicenter of LAX, helps pass the time away.”—Staci Robinson, Attorney and Author, Interceptions
“Minneapolis. It has lots of security lines; abundant, healthy food choices, like D’Amico and French Meadow Bakery; and great places to buy appropriate business gifts for trips.”—Ellyn Shook, Senior Executive, Accenture
“Reagan National. It’s close to downtown D.C., so it’s easy to sneak in a little sightseeing if your flight is cancelled.”—Kim Martin, President, WE Networks
“Greenville-Spartanburg (South Carolina). It has a beautiful outdoor setting, a patio garden with sculptures, a beautiful fountain, and lots of green to walk around and enjoy. And free wireless service.”—Sarah Ioannides, Orchestra Conductor
“Burbank (California).Walking through it, you feel as though you’re stuck in a 1981 Amtrak station, waiting for the conductor to yell, ‘All aboard!’ Your only meal choices are Round Table Pizza and a no name café with sandwiches that barely look fit for a bagged lunch.”—Staci Robinson
“Denver. It’s on the outskirts of town. If you’re stuck, you’re really stuck there.”—Kim Martin
“Chicago, O’Hare. It’s very noisy and hard to find an outlet that works for the computer—and sometimes even a chair to sit in. Though there are plenty of restaurant choices, the noise is very frustrating, especially if you want to rest or talk on the phone.”—Sarah Ioannides
“LaGuardia (New York) because you’ll be there a long time and it’s a dump. I’ve been sick a couple times from the food.”—Clare Metcalf, Senior Client Partner, Korn/Ferry International
“Las Vegas, McCarran for two reasons: I always lose my last bit of cash at the slots as I’m waiting to board my flight and the strip sits in clear view just beyond the airport windows, taunting passengers with all the fun to be had on the other side of the walls. It’s absolute torture for me to see that!
By Kathryn Whitbourne