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The 10 Worst (and Best) Airports in the U.S.

SmarterTravel

As any road warrior worth his rollaboard will tell you, the country’s airports are no friendlier than its skies. Ancient terminal buildings, threadbare carpets, stinky restrooms, poorly designed crowd control, sparse seating, unappetizing food concessions… the list of travelers’ gripes is a long one.

But according to J.D. Power’s newly released 2015 North America Airport Satisfaction Study, some relief may be in sight. Since the study was last conducted, in 2010, the average traveler-satisfaction score rose from 690 (on a 1,000-point scale) to 725.

The study scored airports on a combination of six factors: terminal facilities, airport accessibility, security check, baggage claim, check-in/baggage check, and terminal shopping.

Among large airports, the top 10 (best first) were:

  1. Portland International Airport
  2. Tampa International Airport
  3. McCarran International Airport
  4. Orlando International Airport
  5. Salt Lake City International Airport
  6. Denver International Airport
  7. San Diego International Airport
  8. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport
  9. Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport
  10. Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport

And the bottom 10 (worst first):

  1. Newark Liberty International Airport
  2. LaGuardia Airport
  3. Los Angeles International Airport
  4. O’Hare International Airport
  5. Philadelphia International Airport
  6. Logan International Airport
  7. JFK International Airport
  8. Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport
  9. Honolulu International Airport
  10. Baltimore-Washington International Airport

One of the study’s key findings was the strong links between customer satisfaction and both check-in and security-clearance times. Travelers who were able to complete the check-in process and clear security faster were significantly happier with the overall airport experience than travelers experiencing longer wait times.

Craft beer vendors and strolling musicians might be nice, but travelers aren’t at the airport for sustenance or entertainment. They just want to get where they’re going, fast and hassle-free.

Reader Reality Check

Any surprises, either at the high or low end?

What’s the most important part of the airport experience to you?

This article originally appeared on FrequentFlier.com.

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