Presenting North America's Most Frustrating Airports

Tyler Durden's picture

As the busiest travel week of the year gathers pace (amid fears of a winter storm cluserf##k on the East Coast), we thought Bloomberg Businessweek's rankings of the most (and least) frustrating airports in North America might help travelers looking to skip town...

The most frustrating airport in North America is.... Laguardia...based on the time it takes to get there; how easy it is to clear security; the quality of terminals and restrooms; amenities; and how often flights take off on schedule.


But JFK has the worst 'commute'...


And O'Hare the worst track record for on-time departures...


Source: Bloomberg Businessweek

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Seize Mars's picture

Step one, is some club member selling machinery and consulting to the government so they can violate the fourth amendment? (Chertoff)

Step two, decide that I dislike the government and their airports. And the club members are about thiiiiiiiiis close to getting on my nerves.

max2205's picture

Ohare is a beta fema camp

KnuckleDragger-X's picture

Ain't no beta about it, especially if your trying to escape.....

flacon's picture

I stopped flying into and out of USA ever since they populated the airport with TERRORIST STAFFING AGENCY. 

fredquimby's picture

Same. Not been for a year now.

You can keep your freedom fries bitchez

junction's picture

New York City's airports are just a reflection of the cesspool of incompetence and corruption that NYC has become since Mayor Koch and his Mafia gombah supporters took control of the city, with the help of then Governor Hugh Carey.  Cops were openly selling heroin back then and the only response by Koch was to give cars to meter maids to generate more parking ticket income. The billions spent by the Port Authority on graft ridden airport construction projects now is financed by $12 bridge and tunnel tolls for commuters to travel within New York City.  

Titus's picture

church. Cocksuckers running the security in new York airports magnify the terrible infrastructure. Every time I have to fly through new York I swear I'm never going to that fucking city ever again just because of dealing with airport security. They are cocksuckers just to be cocksuckers. They need a clean sweep of personnel and management. And while were at it the Toilet Security Administration needs to be dissolved. I don't want my asshole checked goddamnit.

A Lunatic's picture

Good to know just in case I ever decide that getting sexually molested, radiated, and otherwise treated with the disdain and contempt normally reserved for incarcerated violent criminals is a fair price to pay in order to take to the friendly skies.....

world_debt_slave's picture

yep, haven't flown since 2003, and never will again.

McCormick No. 9's picture

Haven't flown since 1996. If I never fly again it will be to soon. I enjoy travel, but mostly by canoe and pack animals. It's easier to get around illegal/unconstitutional VIPER checkpoints this way.

Seize Mars's picture

Let's face it. Flying nowadays is a living hell. Don't get me started on the DC airports, they suck donkeys. Notice at Dulles how you get the feeling it's been designed very, very tactically...once in the terminals you feel very...bottled in. I'm sure that's on purpose, cuz DC is control-freak heaven.

edotabin's picture

As you said, the biggest problem is flying itself. It plain sucks. While the airport plays an integral part in this chain, there are many other factors and I avoid flying whenever possible. Keep in mind, I have traveled rather extensively to many destinations around the world.

-Start out 3-4 hours prior to departure

-Pain in the ass to get to airport (in many cases)

-Don't park here, can't park there, no waiting here, tow away zone there, cell phone waiting area there......

-constant advisory messages barking at you

-long lines

-pay extra for your bag(s)

-rude, inconsiderate people all around

-employees that rarely care

-security checkpoints that suck ass almost literally

-overly commercialized surroundings with exhorbitant prices

-late depatures

-boarding process stinks

-not enough room for carry-ons or for passengers

-greedy ass airlines squeezing every possible millimeter of floor space to their advantage

-no legroom and getting worse, not better

-the inconsiderate ass that decides to recline his seat, taking away the 1 inch of knee room you may have

-seats too narrow and getter narrower not wider

-inconsiderate, loud, sick, stupid, boistrous people sitting next to you

-grossly padded flight times so airlines can cover their asses

-rude, power-hungry employees that bark and order people around

-service in general sucks eggs


-tiny bathrooms that flush way too loudly, usually stink and are too dirty overall

-narrow ass aisles that barely allow two people to pass let alone if that stupid drink cart is out.

-that general feeling of being "stuck in a fucking tube"

-deplaning is a mess

-baggage claim

-lost luggage

-mishandled/abused luggage

-breathing all that exhaust when exiting from many arrival terminals

-overpriced transportation to and from various popular destinations

-connecting/intl flights add a whole slew of additional factors


Flying is simply not worth it.  Proper high speed rail could easily reduce the need for many flights under 3-4 hours or even longer flights if the passenger is more flexible.



economics9698's picture

So glad I fly out of OIA.  Orlando.

BlindMonkey's picture

I am in Detroit today. The airport is waaaay overbuilt for the light traffic and it is a palace. I don't see how it is in the top 25.
And somebody rates the airports without actually ever traveling through Hartsfield. That place is one of top 5 shit holes.

NoDebt's picture

Build all the terminals you want.  If the limitation is how many planes you can land or depart from the runways, you're gonna be waiting.

Most major airports over-book the arrivals and departures KNOWINGLY.  Even if everything worked perfectly there are many flights that are mathematically impossible to get going on time.

There was a flight I used to take from Ft. Lauderdale to Philly that allotted 15 minutes to land, de-plane, refuel, board and take off again.  And even that assumes the plane arrived on time to begin that process.  Obviously, that's impossible.  It's on-time departure rate was 0% (literally).  

BlindMonkey's picture

I arrived this morning and noted a gate that said "next departing flight 3:50PM"

Yeah. I don't think there are a whole lot of takers on the Detroit airport.

FrankDrakman's picture

Yep. At Toronto, there are often twenty flights with published departures of 7 am. Obviously, you can't have 20 planes on the runway at one time, so at 2 minutes per, it's 7:40 by the time the last one takes off. 

I once asked "Why do they do this?" and was told that biz travellers always want "the first flight out", so all airlines publish a 7 am takeoff, knowing full well that it will only happen occasionally. 

Robert Vesco's picture

Detroit built a new airport shortly after Daimler bought Chrysler to handle direct flights to and from Germany.  

Buckaroo Banzai's picture

I wouldn't say Hartsfield is a "shithole". The facility itself is OK . It takes forever to get to your gate, and the security lines are obnoxious.

Now, LaGuardia is a shithole. Dirty, old, broken-down, and worn out. The one thing it has going for it, is parking is a breeze.

JFK is, on balance, the most consistently miserable airport thanks to impossible traffic, difficult and expensive parking, and never ending construction projects. I have missed more flights due to traffic than I can count.

Vegas was a great airport until they moved the rental cars offsite. The security lines can be awful there.

Toronto's airport takes forever to get to and the taxi ride costs a fortune. Plus, it's full of Canadians.

LA actually has a great network of airports. LAX is a pain but there are four other airports to fly into (Long Beach, John Wayne, Burbank, and Ontario) which are very convenient. Burbank and Long Beach are nifty little airports.

Denver used to have a terrific airport until they built that stupid NWO monstrosity outside of town. I guess they really needed that giant underground FEMA base.

O'Hare traffic is awful. The flight delays are supposed to be bad, but I don't remember having any problems. But I made a point never to connect through O'Hare for exactly that reason.

Alex DeLarge's picture

Plus, it's full of Canadians. --->Indians.



Emergency Ward's picture

LAX, shithole of the TSA genital-groping perverts!  And the Tom Bradley International Terminal!  AUUUUUGHHHH!

Titus's picture

And in my experience they are fucking immigrants that cannot speak English but question white Midwestern farm boys which country they were born in.

Bangalore Equity Trader's picture


The USSA TSA is working, everyone hates flying, fuel consumption is going down.

Which is worse - bankers or terrorists's picture

I was in the biggest shithole of them all....Chennai Airport....on my way to Singapore today. I do have to say that Bangalore airport has turned out pretty nice. It does basically top most of the airports on the US list. 

tgmur10's picture

I wouldnt know, I no longer fly ConAir....

NoWayJose's picture

ALL Airports - there, fixed it...

logicalman's picture

Beat me to it.

40 years ago, travelling was mostly enjoyable.

These days, it's something I only do when I have to.

If I want my balls handled, I'd like to choose who gets to do it.

KnuckleDragger-X's picture

The cattle car seating next to a little monster brings on Vietnam flashbacks even though I was never in Vietnam....

Buster Cherry's picture

Yay! Houston has a good airport(s)

Vooter's picture

And then you're in Houston...

nmewn's picture

Shameless thread jack...but if a progressive Gruber 2X4 upside your noggin isn't enough to get your attention:

"Dame Vivienne Westwood, the fashion designer, (Edit: cough cough, pardon) has declared that people who can’t afford to buy organic food should "eat less" and stop getting fat.

The millionaire designer made the comments as she delivered a petition to Downing Street protesting about genetically modified food."

(Edit: Mrs. N...popcorn please!)

When a BBC Radio 5 Live interviewer suggested that "not everybody can afford to eat organic food", Dame Vivienne replied: "Eat less!"

(Edit: Must fight urge to Gawggle her weight...must resist...)

Told that many people in Britain are visiting food banks because they don’t have enough to put on their tables, so "to eat less isn’t an option", Dame Vivienne was dismissive.

"They don’t have any choice – this is the point, isn’t it," she said.

"You’ve got all these processed foods, which is the main reason people are getting fat. They’re not actually good for you - they don’t give you strength, they give you weight."

(Edit: Thanks my dear, extra butter & salt, just the way I like it)

"I eat vegetables and fruit. I don’t eat meat. I believe meat is bad for me so I don’t eat it. It’s also bad for the animals."

(Edit: I've never seen a fat lion, except at a zoo)

"If there was a movement to produce more organic food and less of the horrible food, then organic food would obviously be a good value price, wouldn’t it?"

(Edit: Mzzz...Dame, is it? Have you ever thought of giving the bounty of your garden to the poor in your spare time, that is, when your not "designing" horrendous, culturally vague, yet completely ordinary womens attire? Surely YOU can afford it)

"In the interview, for 5 Live’s Afternoon Edition, Dame Vivienne spoke about her environmental campaigning.

"We need to change to a green economy and a green world and that is easy to do. The alternative is hell," she said."

(Edit: Try the cake dear Queen Antionette, you seem stressed out, its really quite heavenly)

"Dame Vivienne later issued a statement saying her comments had been misunderstood."

lol...really? She seemed very clear. Highway to hell or sumpin ;-)

logicalman's picture

By the way, Dame Vivienne, what did you ever do in life that actually benefited anyone but yourself?

Go fuck yourself. (Dame Vivienne, I mean)


nmewn's picture

These are the ones, the wealthy self-righteous, the narcissistic beyond description, who think everyone should do & think as they do or else. They have to be kept away from the levers of power by any means necessary, I can easily see her kind making life & death decisions for everyone else.

"You're too stupid or poor or lazy, I will make this choice for you because you always choose poorly."

While I'm not a big fan of GMO's or hormones & pesticides in our food at the same time it has kept millions from starving to death. These stern faced, cold eyed people (like her) looking down their nose at everyone are just as bad as any eugenicist who has ever come before her.

Too much sugar child, here, have a carrot...what a bitch.

Leraconteur's picture

""While I'm not a big fan of GMO's or hormones & pesticides in our food at the same time it has kept millions from starving to death.""

Yes, it is not good for you.

However, people don't starve to death any longer. The global issue is obesity, disease and healthy nutrition.

This was a huge issue 30 years ago, groups formed...and's more or less gone. The only way to get mass starvation is to have a 1) massive civil war that 2) displaces everyone including farmers and 3) kills people with bullets.

Watch the Chinese. In the next 10 years they are going to balloon up in size, and they do not look good fat.

SilverDOG's picture

Truly not certain in which reality you choose to exist.

You must either be mainstream terminally ill, below the age of 25, and living in a supermarket,

OR all above combined.

People are starving to death right here in USSA. 

People are starving to death f-ing everywhere.


Pesticides, hormones, GMO, and trading mythical amounts of paper contracts representing food that does NOT exist.

Looks FABULOUS for world food supply proclamations... and does not exist.

Lack of genetic diversity(weakness) in seed, does not remotely justify molesting DNA in order to hedge proven idiocy.

note; investigate the Irish civil war and starvation result as the civil war damaged the crop with blight. sarc/

MalteseFalcon's picture

I haven't flown since mid 2001.  Flying blew donkey balls even before the TSA.  If the airlines weren't subsidized by the MIC, they'd have all gone BK last decade.

ReactionToClosedMinds's picture

Over the years (decades really sad to say), the mere mention of 'flight out of JFK' has created an immediate knot in my stomach and anxiety from that point on until I reach my flight AND it departs.  To non-NYCers, it is hard to explain.   NYC is great in terms of the volume and selection of international flights.   But depending upon where you live in the metro NYC area, the trek to JFK is as demanding as anything that exists in the entire world of international travel from all I have seen.  Even NYC cabbies are hesitant, depending upon the time of day and year, to embark upon the trek.

Am surprised the JFK does not receive even worse ratings.  It has improved slowly I will admit grudingly.  It was daunting around early 1980s but admittedly better now.  But nowhere else is as bad...maybe Tokyo or Mexico City.  Sao Paulo was better surprisingly than JFK (Even though I never received my luggage in time after a week of key (key biz for me at least) meetings  (fortunately the good natured denizens of Sao Paolo gladly helped me spend my money to purchase ready to wear business clothes).

Buckaroo Banzai's picture

I would argue that JFK traffic has gotten progressively worse in the last twenty years because it is 24/7 now. You can arrive at 1am and still hit a wall of traffic on the fucking Van Wyck. And don't get me started on the bridges and tunnels.

Wahooo's picture

I last traveled to NYC in the 1990s and will never visit again. JFK is its own circle of hell.

Leraconteur's picture

The midtown-JFK express does not exist? 25 years gone? Wow.

Fast, empty, clean, 35 minutes, and you are there. Easy. Hop on a bus, at the terminal.

Compare re-entry to North America thru JFK where you alight and come out on the sub-basement taxi level with massive fumes, horn honking, and no daylight. Welcome to America! flying out of HKG and placing your luggage at the counter at the MRT station 40 kms east of the airport. Yes, your luggage gets to your flight, no it isn't stolen, yes, it's the most civilised way to travel.

FrankDrakman's picture

Er.. why do you drive? We took the subway/AirTrain for about $10 each, and were at the airport from midtown in less than hour with no worries. 

Hohum's picture

Airline travel will peak by 2020 and decline by at least 50% in the following decade.  So it may become a slightly less unpleasant experience.

laomei's picture

summary: all american airports are shit.  even backwater 3rd world airports are better than the "best" us airports

SilverDOG's picture

Totally agree.

The "challenges" in such airports is actually enjoyable: NOT personally, socially, physically, psychologically, insulting and invasive, as it is in the USSA.


laomei's picture

my biggest challenge at a typical airport: oh no, the smoking room is so far from my gate and i have to take the moving sidewalks for a whole 4 minutes to get there.  security lines overseas move fast, there's no real bullshit to deal with, no crazy power-tripping assholes to deal with.  going through immigration channels is actually quite ok.  and the airport layouts are not retarded.

post turtle saver's picture


seriously, *fuck* air travel in the US, especially domestic air travel

McCormick No. 9's picture

When has flying ever been fun? As a former professional pilot, sitting in the cockpit, it is a living hell. In a DC-3 you turn fucking VALVES, like in a steam locomotive. The Convair 240 has seats designed by dark-lord chiroprators to literally destroy your lower back. Modern jet cockpits aren't so bad, until you have to sit in the jump-seat. I don't know about now, but pilots ride the jump-seat (due to horrible crew scheduling policies) more than any other seat.

Back in the day (pre-TSA), the process of getting a jump-seat was a real bitch, especially if you were not an employee of the airline you wanted to ride with. You had to find out what the key-lock codes were, pass through secret doors, talk to smirking crew schedulers in dank dungeon rooms beneath the airpiort, and finally, endure the sarcasm of the actual plane captain "another freight-dog, beggin' for a ride... why don't you get a REAL job?" I can only imagine how difficult it must be now, if it's even possible. Basically one had to approach the whole endeavor philsophically, as in "Hoka-hey!  Today is a good day to miss my flight and not get to work on time!"

It's nice to see that nowadays, everyone gets to be treated like a pilot, ie, POS.

Vooter's picture

I just refuse to fly, unless I can absolutely not avoid it. Why would anyone put themselves through that shit? And it's too bad, because I'm actually an aviation fan...