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The Wall Street Journal Thinks This Airport Is the Nation’s Best

The Wall Street Journal Thinks This Airport Is the Nation’s Best
Scott Dylan

Which large airports in the United States are the best when it comes to features, amenities, wait times and more? The Wall Street Journal just released its very first U.S. Airport Rankings. The publication has ranked Denver International Airport in first place among the 20 largest airports in the United States.

Factors like Wi-Fi speed and the wait times at security lines were considered when rankings were tallied. In addition, visitor input played a role. Yelp scores given to airport restaurants were actually used to rank airports. Even the cost of using a ride-share app to get from each airport to local convention centers were considered.

The Wall Street Journal also surveyed 4,800 of its faithful readers when creating its ranking. Readers shared their opinions on overall experiences, security experiences, restaurants, shopping options, airline clubs, bathrooms and availability of electrical outlets. A total of 15 metrics were used. Here’s a look at the airports that made the top 10:

  • Denver (DEN)
  • Orlando (MCO)
  • Phoenix (PHX)
  • Atlanta (ATL)
  • Dallas-Fort Worth (DFW)
  • Las Vegas (LAS)
  • Seattle-Tacoma (SEA)
  • Charlotte (CLT)
  • Los Angeles (LAX)
  • Boston (BOS)

Certain airports scored better than others when it came to specific categories. For instance, Orlando scored well when it came to offering convenience and low walking distances. Phoenix shined when it came to offering a low percentage of cancelled flights and relatively cheap parking options.

Some airports failed to dazzle Wall Street Journal readers at all. LaGuardia, Kennedy and Newark all ranked pretty low due to what visitors perceived as high fares, crummy food and higher-than-usual cancellation rates. It shouldn’t come as a surprise that the three airports that ranked the highest actually have one interesting detail in common.

That common denominator is the fact that they all experience strong competition via the nation’s major airlines. Top-ranked Denver is one of the only airports to offer connecting fights from Southwest, Frontier and United. There’s no doubt that those airlines are definitely doing their part to make sure customers have shining experiences when passing through Denver.


[Image: Wikimedia/Dbenbenn]

View Comments (13)


  1. tenn_ace

    December 10, 2018 at 12:41 pm

    Oh man, if Boston is in top 10, you guys are really in trouble lol

  2. strickerj

    December 10, 2018 at 1:09 pm

    For some of these, a low flight cancelation rate isn’t a result of anything the airports have done, but just that they happen to be in places with good weather. I definitely agree the New York area airports suck though.

  3. ChinaShrek

    December 10, 2018 at 1:33 pm

    I like Boston a lot. I usually take the bus there from Maine and it is very easy to navigate the terminals. I find the facilities very clean. The WIFI is free and quick.

  4. luitje


    December 10, 2018 at 4:55 pm

    SEA in the top 10? Guys must have had a really good pot while in Seattle.

  5. rylan

    December 11, 2018 at 9:38 am

    Denver? Guess they didn’t survey anyone that flies through there for the fall/winter months with all of the snow problems.
    I can’t see how ATL is on there at all either… its a busy zoo of people trying to make connections with epically long lines whenever thunderstorms come through.

    BOS has one good terminal – A. The others are old and feel like you’re in an old airport. Then there is terminal E for international… which is just awful. Sloth-like security, insufficient gate seating/space for even half of the pax on a plane, and limited shops/food or other things to do unless you’re in an airline business class lounge.

  6. cerealmarketer

    December 11, 2018 at 1:38 pm

    They only ranked 20 airports, so #10 (BOS) is only middle of the pack. Got a score of 50 vs 70 for Denver, and almost 70 for MCO and PHX.

    Surprised though DTW ranked 2nd from last on convenience. Guess the inside terminal train didn’t get credit vs the walking distance and restaurant ratings were low. It’s a roomy modern terminal otherwise.

  7. SpartyAir

    December 11, 2018 at 4:41 pm

    LAX in the top 10? I consider it the worst in USA. The only thing good at LAX is the new United Club. It is the least crowded club in United’s network.

  8. Mtothe M

    December 12, 2018 at 5:27 am

    Boston? Atlanta? LAX? Exactly how many kickbacks/perks did these “reporters” receive?

  9. Tailgater

    December 12, 2018 at 8:29 am

    I highly dislike LAX. Airport signage is sometimes inadequate and one has to walk very long distances between terminals. Sometimes, I make an extra effort for navigational signage but it assumes that people already know airport layout.

  10. KRSW

    December 12, 2018 at 8:39 am

    How did BOS/SEA make the list? Or is this indicative of just how pathetic US airports are?

    BOS is ancient. I’ll give the janitorial staff credit — it’s clean and in good repair, but wow, is it old.

    SEA is a disaster. That’s one airport which needs to be completely torn down & rebuilt. The layout looks great on paper but is difficult for people unfamiliar with it to grasp on the ground. Restaurant options aren’t great. Security’s a nightmare if you don’t have Pre/GE. Oh, and let’s not forget the terrible layout to get to a taxi/hotel shuttle from baggage claim which involves multiple elevators and long walks. The AS lounges are nice and the staff in them friendly, but that’s about the only positive thing I can say about SEA.

  11. KRSW

    December 12, 2018 at 8:40 am

    Whoa, I didn’t even see LAS on the list. How the heck did that make it on there? Unless you’re in the new terminal, the rest of it almost makes LGA look nice.

  12. spartacus

    December 12, 2018 at 1:34 pm

    I guess whoever did the ratings wasn’t in the McNamara terminal at DTW. I always choose a DTW routing when possible. As for the airport halfway to Kansas, to each their own, I guess.

  13. Flight44

    December 30, 2018 at 8:44 am

    LAX in the top ten? Pffft. Yeah. Sure.

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