People who are frequent flyers usually don’t have many nice things to say about airports. While the flying experience itself is okay, there are many other things that can grate on your nerves. Long wait lines, high ticket prices, rude staff and lost luggage can make the experience pretty miserable. However, there are a few diamonds in the rough that will make your experience significantly more bearable. According to CNTraveler Magazine, travelers ranked the following six airports as the best in the U.S.
The Indianapolis International Airport (IND)
The best of the best. This Midwestern terminal is a mere eight-years old. Not only does it have a centralized plaza, the TSA checkpoints are designed to get the passengers through without delay. Once you make your way to the concourse, the shops and food stands like Shapiro’s Delicatessen makes your layover a whole lot easier. This airport has topped the list for three-years straight.
Portland International Airport (PDX)
The Portland International Airport is considered one of the most traveler-friendly airports in the world. Not only does it have bike paths and MAX light rail line, there are many great local shops like the home-based Nike. Many new, helpful apps streamlines the process even further. Get real-time updates at the touch of a finger.
Tampa International Airport (TPA)
Although its 50-years-old, it’s still a passenger favorite. Known as “The gateway to Florida’s West Coast,” TPA has undergone a number of airport expansions over the years. The beautiful upgrades include more shops, restaurants and free WiFi. Jump a downtown shuttle and you’re there within 5 minutes. New flights are being added all the time.
Dallas Love Field Airport (DAL)
Located just outside the city center, DAL proves that big things come in small packages. Although it’s gone through a few expansions over the years, it the airport is still warmly accommodating showcases a lot of local history. Enjoy several boutiques, eateries and some really great cowboy boots from select shops. Movement through checkout is pretty swift. If you have a layover, there’s lots to do while you wait.
Savannah Hilton Head International Airport (SAV)
The Savannah Hilton Head International Airport is not necessarily a big airport. In fact, it sees less than 1 million travelers every year. But what it lacks in size, it makes up for in ambiance and layout. A very snazzy airport, indeed. Intimate, inviting and great for folks who love the water. Great shops and places to eat for serious foodies. You can pick up packs of scuba gear or Cuban cigars and even chow down on some of the best seafood in the U.S. One bite of a crab cake from Phillip’s Seafood and you won’t want to leave.
Palm Beach International Airport (PBI)
Nestled between the ever-growing cities of Miami and Ft. Lauderdale, PBI is definitely designed for the traveler with a layover. The concourse is decked out with beautiful colors. And the recently installed putting green allows you to get a little practice in before you reach your destination. New apps allow you to get real-time updates on everything from flight departure/arrival and weather.
It’s true that most airport experiences are less than stellar. Each year, flyers have a long list of complaints that largely fall on deaf ears. The good news is, some airports actually care about the traveler’s comfort. Before you book your flight, get information about the airport. If the reviews aren’t good, you may want to get a flight elsewhere.