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Top three favorite and least favorite airports

Top three favorite and least favorite airports

Old Aug 22, 19, 11:04 pm
Original Poster
Join Date: Dec 2018
Posts: 160
Top three favorite and least favorite airports

Curious to hear from international travelers too. Mine are largely influenced by my familiarity with the airports but hereís my list:

PDX: I feel this ones pretty much undisputed hopefully? Thatís why it wins best airport every year for the last decade.
SFO: A lot of bad things about sfo but Iím so familiar with it that itís my number 2. Also I think itís the prettiest major airport to fly in to.
ONT: I almost didnít put this one because itís not fair to pick smaller airports since there are so many great ones but I figured ONT can qualify because it is actually an international airport. Most peaceful security line ever. Iíve often joked about it to TSA when Iím the only one in line. Since I hate LAX see below, I find ONT an amazing option for SoCal flyers.

Least favorite:
JFK: I havenít spent a ton of time at JFK but when I did I felt like I was a cow on my way to get slaughtered with really rude angry farmers yelling at me on my way.
LAX: To me the only thing redeemable about LAX is the Alaska lounge (before the remodel). That long mile plus walk going UPHILL to get to baggage claim is always a final F U to me after a tiring flight. My wife totally disagrees with me and thinks LAX is great so who knows.
EWR: Actually only flown in there a couple of times so I could be wrong but no AC through the long lines of security with that hot humidity being swarmed around by a couple old fans stuck with me.

honorable mention to San Diego which is also fantastic in my opinion! Curious to hear if thereís obvious ones I missed on either side.
StephanP37 is offline  
Old Aug 22, 19, 11:13 pm
Join Date: Aug 2018
Location: PDX
Programs: AS MVP Gold 75K
Posts: 1,628
Favorites: PDX, DEN, PAE
Least favorites: EWR, EWR, EWR
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Old Aug 23, 19, 1:12 am
Join Date: Oct 2016
Location: PDX
Programs: AS MVPG75; Bonvoy, National Exec, United Silver
Posts: 100
Favorites: PDX, AUS, SNA
Least Favorites: LAX, ORD, SEA
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Old Aug 23, 19, 1:46 am
Join Date: Jun 2017
Location: SAN
Programs: AS MVPG75K, UA Gold, IHG Spire, Choice Platinum, Hyatt Discoverist, National Exec
Posts: 292
Favorites: SAN, PDX, DAL
Least Favorites: BOS, EWR, JFK
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Old Aug 23, 19, 2:27 am
Join Date: Oct 2005
Location: SEA
Programs: AS G75K, DL PM, IHG Gold, HHonors Diamond
Posts: 828
Favorite: SEA, ANC, MSP
Least Facorite: JFK, DEN, LAX

Favorite small airport: MFR
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Old Aug 23, 19, 5:09 am
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: SFO
Posts: 31
Feel like you really have to categorize here. For domestic airports with an AS presence:

PDX - If you know you know. Have you seen that carpet?
SFO - only for T2. It's such a joy to use this terminal as a frequent AS flyer. Pre-check is rarely more than 5 minutes, Clean and modern amenities, decent food options, AA lounge is one of the better domestic ones. T1 and T3 are meh, Intl Terminal is pretty decent. Getting to do simultaneous takeoffs/landings is cool. The views coming out are always spectacular, whether you're over the bay or over the city/hills->ocean. Only downside (and it's a big one), is the distance between runwaysónot enough to allow for IFR parallel landings, so any amount of weather means massive delays. Real PITA to fly through during the winter.
LGB - OK not an AS airport but I love it so much, retro feel (but properly modernized) and super efficient.

BOS for AS - the 3 C gates you have to use are truly abysmal. Siloed off from the other C gates, no lounge, no food, old, etc.
JFK - Terrible in every way. Hard to get to. Terrible at managing traffic flow. Old low ceilings. Dirty. Feels like an extension of Penn Station. All around awful.
EWR for AS - similar to BOS but slightly bigger and there is an AA lounge, except it's horribly outdated.
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Old Aug 23, 19, 8:13 am
Join Date: Sep 2017
Location: Between SFO and STS
Programs: Alaska MVP Gold, United Serf, Delta Gold
Posts: 730
Fav: SFO T2, SAN T2, DXB T3
Suck: DEN (used to like, now loathe), MCO, BOS
Thank goodness I haven't flown through EWR in years.
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Old Aug 23, 19, 8:27 am
Join Date: Sep 2014
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Old Aug 23, 19, 8:34 am
Join Date: Oct 2015
Location: EUG
Programs: BonVoy Pt, IHG Au, HH Dia, Nexus, Pilot FlyingJ Preferred, *$ Au
Posts: 5,136
Least favorites

1. PDX- completely overrated. Where to start...
- the carpet that should be replaced by a hard surface that can be cleaned and doesn't catch rollerbags
- the terrible layout of the terminals, everything is cramped: the main walkways, the Alaska Lounge, the holdrooms, the A dungeon and its one sided boarding
- awful live music
- poor selection of vendors and stores, particularly airside, with a heavy focus on fart sniffing
- outdated terminal design with grafted on fixes (such as the new A/B/C secured exit that meanders into the corner of the ticket area), which thanks to building themselves into a corner, like the light rail behind A, that will never be fixed
2. PVR- shark tank arrival
3. SEA- doesn't have enough space for the runways, taxiways, deicing operations and so on that they need for their current or future size

1. RDU- light and open, even the often uncontrolled humidity doesn't detract from that place
2. BLI- best small airport
3. DEN- a large airport that feels like a collection of small airports (better when the AS gate was in A with the Admirals Club)
rustykettel is offline  
Old Aug 23, 19, 9:06 am
Join Date: Jan 2008
Location: Seattle, WA
Programs: AS MVPG, 1MM
Posts: 374
So many categories but:

Favorite: PDX, SBA, SNA
Least: EWR, LAX, ORD
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Old Aug 23, 19, 9:23 am
Join Date: Oct 2006
Posts: 1,805
Originally Posted by rustykettel View Post
1. RDU- light and open, even the often uncontrolled humidity doesn't detract from that place
2. BLI- best small airport
3. DEN- a large airport that feels like a collection of small airports (better when the AS gate was in A with the Admirals Club)
I've never been to RDU, but I have to agree with #2 (and #3 to some extent).
BLI is the best small airport and DEN is the best large airport that I've been to in the USA.

If only Alaska paid attention to BLI like they did a few years ago. It's gone from a half dozen destinations to one, and not even having a late flight to SEA any more. It makes little sense how little service and competition there is out of BLI, given it's proximity to the big city
Oh well, G4 here I come (again)
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Old Aug 23, 19, 10:05 am
Join Date: May 2001
Location: PDX
Programs: AS Gold 75K DL GM 3MM Marriott Titanium Elite for Life
Posts: 297
SEA,SEA,SEA. Landing at the N terminal is a pain. Landing at the end of D or C and having to move to the other end is a pain. Car rental shuttle is a long hike and too far out. They should of connected to the light rail. Proactive cancellations when having to connect. The FAA cancelled my AS flight connecting through SEA this winter with a chance of snow flurries (no snow anywhere). Booked Delta with almost the same times and had no issue.
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Old Aug 23, 19, 11:04 am
Join Date: Sep 2011
Location: SFO
Programs: AS and if I can't avoid it, UA. IHG Spire Amb, CET 7*
Posts: 2,509

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Old Aug 23, 19, 11:14 am
Join Date: Jun 2015
Location: Seattle, WA
Programs: Alaska Airlines
Posts: 634
Hard to quantify "best" - Is best the airport with the most to do, nicest facilities, etc? Then maybe it'd be SIN. Or is "best" the airport that is so small and efficient you can just walk right thru it and to you gate in 5min? Then maybe it'd be SNA.

I guess I'd focus on which airports "get out of the way" and make flying a breeze, so my favorites would be:
1. PDX
2. LAS *
3. SNA

* when flying AS out of T3. Precheck always seems to be a breeze, there's a lounge we can access (albeit at the far end of the terminal). It's spacious & modern... and there's slot machines

Least favorite?
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Old Aug 23, 19, 11:16 am
Join Date: Dec 2007
Location: PDX
Programs: AS MVP
Posts: 566
As an MVP who rarely gets upgraded to F, my focus is on food offerings:
PDX - I'm biased with PDX being my home base, but the food options are better than almost anywhere else and the street pricing policy keeps things reasonable.
SEA - Crowds aside, the food options are pretty good here.
DAL - I've only been through there once, but I was impressed with how clean it was an how many options there were.

HNL - Ungodly awful food options. Yuck.
GEG - Bad food in the AS terminal and the long walk to car rentals sucks.
DEN - With no AS service from Portland, I'm usually on WN in C where the food options are actually getting much better, but now it's a crowded zoo with awful bathrooms and an hour+ to anywhere in town.
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