As we sat down to analyze the results of TravelPulse’s survey seeking the top 100 U.S. airports, we figured we’d have some surprises.
In this batch of airports, ranked No. 71 through No. 90, a couple of big-name facilities might be a little lower than you thought.
NO. 71: RICHMOND INTERNATIONAL, Va.
Richmond fared well in ease of access as the airport is extraordinarily easy to get to and quite easy to navigate once inside the terminal. Where Richmond suffers is volume – only 22 flights a day spread over 12 cities.
It is also just 108 miles south of Washington D.C. and its two major airports, which offer hundreds of options, and a little more than two hours north of Durham, and Raleigh-Durham Airport’s many choices.
NO. 72: LUIS MUNOZ MARIN INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, San Juan, P.R.
Puerto Rico’s largest airport, Luis Munoz Marin International had drawbacks in the modernity and terminal comfort categories which, not surprisingly, are often linked together.
Where San Juan has its true problems, however, is ease of access. Not getting to the airport, mind you, but getting through it. The check-in lines and security lines can often be seemingly endless here.
NO. 73: CHICAGO MIDWAY
Midway can be a great alternative to the hustle and bustle of its older, bigger brother at O’Hare, earning points for terminal comfort and family friendliness. Losing points, however, on ease of access.
“Midway is so far out from the city of Chicago it makes driving in a bit frustrating,” one survey-taker wrote.
NO. 74: WILL ROGERS WORLD AIRPORT, Oklahoma City
Will Rogers never met a man he didn’t like. He, unfortunately, hasn’t seen the advent of modern air travel. His eponymous airport drew big numbers from the survey for ease of access, and with the ability to get to the facility and park for cheap and get around inside, you can see why.
Where OKC loses points is on airline volume – only six airlines, two of them being Allegiant and Alaska.
NO. 75: SPOKANE INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, Wash.
This is a great alternative to driving four-plus hours from the northeast portion of Washington state, or from western Idaho, all the way to Seattle. Ease of access is great, but amenities are lacking.
There are only five airlines flying out of three concourses here, and the options are limited – and if you get stuck on a delayed or canceled flight, be sure to stock up on food and beverages before the stores close.
NO. 76: BIRMINGHAM SHUTTLESWORTH INTERNATIONAL, Birmingham, Ala.
Clean and well-appointed. Getting to the BHM is fairly easy, though the parking deck fills up quickly and might necessitate off-airport parking. Amenities are good, but finding a seat can sometimes be a hassle.
NO. 77: BLUE-GRASS LEXINGTON AIRPORT, Ky.
One of the better small airports in the country, with nonstops to some of the bigger Midwest and southeast cities, including Dallas, Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago and Detroit, and a few east coast flights thrown into Newark and Philadelphia.
Surprisingly, a few survey-takers said Lexington was not as business friendly as they had hoped – surprising given that this is the premier destination in the U.S. for breeding thoroughbred racehorses.
NO. 78: PALM BEACH INTERNATIONAL, Fla.
Surprising that PBI didn’t receive more love than it got in the survey. This is a delightful airport that gives passengers options without having to fly into Miami or Fort Lauderdale to the south or Orlando to the northwest.
“Palm Beach and Ft. Lauderdale terminals definitely looked spiffy and modern, with a tropical ambiance tinge,” said one respondent.
“Can't really say anything about WiFi, but there's nothing noticeably antiquated at either airport.”
No. 79: KANSAS CITY INTERNATIONAL
The beauty of MCI – why it isn’t KCI is beyond us, but just roll with it – is its location. Smack dab in the middle of the country, less than two-and-a-half hours to either coast. Problem is, the airport is lacking in amenities and terminal comfort.
“This is an airport still living in the past,” on respondent said. Then again, beauty is in the eye of the beholder.
“Kansas City is beautiful, warm, friendly, woody and rustic, but of course it doesn't have to handle much volume,” said another.
NO. 80: TUCSON INTERNATIONAL
Clean and efficient, and depending on which fares you opt for it can at times be far less expensive than Phoenix.
NO. 81: TULSA INTERNATIONAL, Okla.
The plusses that Tulsa had in ease of access were negated by lack of amenities and for not being as business friendly as some would have hoped, although others respondents noted that the airport did have plenty of electrical outlets and USB chargers.
NO. 82: BILL AND HILLARY CLINTON NATIONAL AIRPORT, Little Rock, Ark.
It is quick and easy to get in and get out, and Little Rock earned points for its business-friendly atmosphere. Then again, did you expect anything from an airport named after a former President and a President-Reject?
NO. 83: OAKLAND INTERNATIONAL
Points in the negative for terminal modernity and comfort from readers of TravelPulse, point in the positive for business friendly and family friendly from staff and experts.
Positives – the two terminals are connected so no need to go through security again if connecting. Negatives – food options and the baggage claim area.
NO. 84: DAYTONA BEACH INTERNATIONAL, Fla.
Ease of access and family friendly were in the black; everything else in the red. The amenities aren’t the greatest but, like many small airports, some passengers will sacrifice amenities over service and short security lines.
NO. 85: HUNTSVILLE INTERNATIONAL, Huntsville, Ala.
Despite being able to get into Huntsville fairly easily, terminal comfort and airline volume were a big deal to several respondents.
Huntsville only has four airlines – United, American, Delta and GLO – going only to 11 cities. And one of those, GLO, goes only to New Orleans.
NO. 86: JACKSON-EVERS INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, Jackson, Miss.
Renamed after the slain civil rights leader, Jackson-Evers loses most of its points on terminal comfort.
NO. 87: WESTCHESTER COUNTY AIRPORT, White Plains, N.Y.
It is an absolute breeze to get in and out of Westchester County, a very viable alternative for those looking to avoid the big three major New York airports. A single terminal, with a parking deck literally right across the street.
JetBlue is the primary tenant here, but the airport lacks in amenities and food choices. There is a deli and a full-service restaurant, but both are on the landside and there isn’t much beyond security.
NO. 88: DANE COUNTY REGIONAL AIRPORT, Madison, Wisc.
Mad City! Home to the University of Wisconsin, Madison’s airport is clean, attractive but just doesn’t produce the kind of volume that would give it higher standing in that category.
Milwaukee, in fact, is less than a two-hour drive from Madison. Food and beverage options are limited but, again, that’s to be expected at a smaller airport.
NO. 89: NORFOLK INTERNATIONAL, Va.
A good little connection airport that goes to Baltimore, New York, Atlanta, Chicago and Charlotte.
NO. 90: SIOUX FALLS REGIONAL AIRPORT, S.D.
Sioux Falls is undergoing a major renovation, from ticketing to baggage, and we suspect its lower marks for amenities and terminal comfort will rise considerably afterward.