The whole idea of being comfortable in an airport kind of has an oxymoronic tinge to it – sort of like ‘open secret’ and ‘seriously funny’ or ‘act naturally.’
The category of Terminal Comfort engendered some of the most passionate replies to our TravelPulse survey looking for the 100 best and worst airports in the U.S.
“I don't think of airports as comfortable places. They specifically design the seats to discourage anyone getting too comfortable,” one respondent wrote. “It's just not a very people-friendly industry or mode of transportation."
And many of the comments were similar – broad overviews of the whole idea of whether you can even be comfortable in an airport.
“Just finding a seat shouldn’t be the standard. I’m glad I don’t have to sit on the ground but would it kill you to have some cushions?” one survey-taker wrote. “The first airport that invests in a massive amount of FufSacks or memory foam bean bags, they’re going to win huge points with travelers.”
Said another: “Would it kill the airports to create real lounge areas outside of the ones we have to pay for?”
One other respondent said that “Detroit is a place that gets it right,” and, not so coincidentally, Detroit Metropolitan was the leader in this category, edging out Denver, Orlando, Charlotte and a tie between Portland and Cincinnati-Kentucky.
According to sleepinginairports.com, Detroit is a top 10 airport to have a delayed or canceled flight.
“Detroit Metropolitan is a great airport for those who like their exercise. To move from the Concourse A water feature, designed by those of Bellagio fame, to the modern McNamara terminal, you'll walk a substantial distance through a psychedelic light tunnel,” the website wrote. “Given that DTW is notorious for winter storm delays, the airport also earns points for managing stranded passengers. Perks like the $15 “Westin Workout” pass gives travelers access to the hotel's full health club while the airport's snow cleaning staff works efficiently to get plans back on schedule.”
The bottom rankings were Las Vegas, Washington-Dulles, new York-JFK, Los Angeles International and, in the dead bottom spot, New York-LaGuardia.
“LaGuardia is dated and unclean,” a survey-taker said.
“LAX smells like an old shoe,” said another. “I always have to sit on the floor or practically stalk someone to find a seat in Atlanta or LAX.”
And despite its glitz and glamour, Las Vegas wasn’t exactly a hit.
“Las Vegas, blech!” wrote one respondent. “Nothing to do, surrounded by the sounds of slot machines, and everything, even nonsmoking areas, smells like cigarette smoke!”