BWIGuy1
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Best Major Airport in the US

Sat May 13, 2017 4:07 pm

Yeah... this has probably been done before, but still... what is your opinion?
Major is defined as any airport that is rated as a small hub or larger per the FAA airport categories.
Some suggestions: flight availability from the airport, quality of service, prices, airlines at the airport, access to the airport.
This topic has been well covered by other websites, but I'd like to see the opinion of patrons of this website.
 
IPFreely
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Re: Best Major Airport in the US

Sat May 13, 2017 6:11 pm

DEN and it's not close.

Congestion and delays need to be factors, too.
 
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maortega15
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Re: Best Major Airport in the US

Sat May 13, 2017 6:59 pm

What about HNL or ANC?
 
ooslc
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Re: Best Major Airport in the US

Sat May 13, 2017 8:06 pm

PDX for sure. Food is great, delays are minimal, just wish there was more intl airlines.
 
ooslc
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Re: Best Major Airport in the US

Sat May 13, 2017 8:07 pm

maortega15 wrote:
What about HNL or ANC?


If the OP is going with the FAA designation for large hub ANC is a medium hub. HNL is a large hub though.
 
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Adipasquale
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Re: Best Major Airport in the US

Sat May 13, 2017 10:28 pm

From my experience, DTW. The McNamara terminal is a phenomenal facility, delays are less severe than NYC area airports and LAX, and its a more manageable size than ATL.
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dfwjim1
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Re: Best Major Airport in the US

Sun May 14, 2017 12:03 am

Flame me if you like but my favorite is MIA. Lots of different airlines, restaurants and stores outside of security and immigration and customs have improved over the last year.
 
dfwjim1
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Re: Best Major Airport in the US

Sun May 14, 2017 12:04 am

Flame me if you like but my favorite is MIA. Lots of different airlines, restaurants and stores outside of security and immigration and customs have improved over the last year.
 
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LTU932
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Re: Best Major Airport in the US

Sun May 14, 2017 12:14 am

For me, it's DFW.
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Braniff1
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Re: Best Major Airport in the US

Wed May 17, 2017 6:56 pm

IPFreely wrote:
DEN and it's not close.

Congestion and delays need to be factors, too.


Yes, 100%. Had friends in from AUS this weekend who are world travelers; they could not say enough about good DEN, especially how much better it is than AUS's dinky under-thought-out facility.
 
Braniff1
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Re: Best Major Airport in the US

Wed May 17, 2017 6:57 pm

IPFreely wrote:
DEN and it's not close.

Congestion and delays need to be factors, too.


Yes, 100%. Had friends in from AUS this weekend who are world travelers; they could not say enough about good DEN, especially how much better it is than AUS's dinky under-thought-out facility.
 
Wednesdayite
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Re: Best Major Airport in the US

Wed May 17, 2017 9:15 pm

DEN is my home airport, so I've never connected there but having flown to/from and connected in dozens of other U.S. airports there's no comparison.

If I had to pick a #2... I've only ever connected at DTW, but I've always found it a pleasant, problem free airport.
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Airstud
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Re: Best Major Airport in the US

Thu May 18, 2017 2:35 am

SNA - Cleanest. Could lick the floors there (with unclear motives for doing so)
SFO - the food in the Int'l Terminal pre-security (Burger Joint - unbelievable burgers y fries (even if that's not exactly international fare in the U.S.))
TPA - cool people mover
LIH - the airport with no indoors :smile:
ORD - Certain vestiges of 1950's décor, plus Uno's
LAS - showmanship
CLT - the food
Pancakes are delicious.
 
PHOTOSMK
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Re: Best Major Airport in the US

Thu May 18, 2017 3:09 am

While not one of the largest in the US, Austin (AUS) is definitely one of the best airports in my opinion. The airport has amazing food options, live music, great views from the gates, and in general is a very easy airport to fly out of.
 
spacecadet
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Re: Best Major Airport in the US

Thu May 18, 2017 3:21 am

PDX pretty regularly wins polls on just this subject: http://www.oregonlive.com/commuting/ind ... agazi.html

It's a major city airport but it feels like a small town airport. It's very laid back. It's also clean, easy to get around inside and easy to get to with basically no traffic around the airport. If you're renting a car, most car rentals are inside the terminal - no need to take a shuttle (a couple companies are off-terminal, but sucks to be them because most are in the terminal).

Now, this is just my personal opinion but it also has the best airport restaurant (Beaches) of any airport I've ever been to. I make a point of getting the fish tacos and a beer flight every time I go to Portland.
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jetwet1
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Re: Best Major Airport in the US

Thu May 18, 2017 10:29 am

I love BWI, lots of food choices (at street prices), quick and easy to navigate.
 
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TransWorldOne
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Re: Best Major Airport in the US

Thu May 18, 2017 6:40 pm

I don't know if you could consider it 'major', but PDX is a lovely airport. Fresh, local food, great beer, tax-free shopping, a theatre, a barbershop, a spa, light rail service to the city centre. For a U.S. airport, it sure is hard to beat.
 
BuildingMyBento
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Re: Best Major Airport in the US

Thu May 18, 2017 7:54 pm

TransWorldOne wrote:
I don't know if you could consider it 'major', but PDX is a lovely airport. Fresh, local food, great beer, tax-free shopping, a theatre, a barbershop, a spa, light rail service to the city centre. For a U.S. airport, it sure is hard to beat.


It still feels like a stuffy, claustrophobic US airport. Not to mention, the better food is pre-security...though, I was amused by the rotating "food carts" present this past weekend.
 
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TransWorldOne
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Re: Best Major Airport in the US

Thu May 18, 2017 9:22 pm

BuildingMyBento wrote:
TransWorldOne wrote:
I don't know if you could consider it 'major', but PDX is a lovely airport. Fresh, local food, great beer, tax-free shopping, a theatre, a barbershop, a spa, light rail service to the city centre. For a U.S. airport, it sure is hard to beat.


It still feels like a stuffy, claustrophobic US airport. Not to mention, the better food is pre-security...though, I was amused by the rotating "food carts" present this past weekend.


I don't know that I would agree with you. There are several tasty food/drink options past security (Stumptown Coffee, Burgerville, Country Cat, Kenny & Zuke's, Mo's Seafood & Chowder, etc.). Lots of natural lighting, a more quiet environment due to carpet instead of marble or tile, live plants, I honestly can't think of a more ambient large US airport.
 
masgniw
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Re: Best Major Airport in the US

Thu May 18, 2017 9:25 pm

BuildingMyBento wrote:
TransWorldOne wrote:
I don't know if you could consider it 'major', but PDX is a lovely airport. Fresh, local food, great beer, tax-free shopping, a theatre, a barbershop, a spa, light rail service to the city centre. For a U.S. airport, it sure is hard to beat.


It still feels like a stuffy, claustrophobic US airport. Not to mention, the better food is pre-security...though, I was amused by the rotating "food carts" present this past weekend.


Oh man I love PDX from curbside to gate. The beer selection (and prices) make a joy of a destination/layover.
 
ucdtim17
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Re: Best Major Airport in the US

Fri May 19, 2017 10:27 pm

BuildingMyBento wrote:
TransWorldOne wrote:
I don't know if you could consider it 'major', but PDX is a lovely airport. Fresh, local food, great beer, tax-free shopping, a theatre, a barbershop, a spa, light rail service to the city centre. For a U.S. airport, it sure is hard to beat.


It still feels like a stuffy, claustrophobic US airport. Not to mention, the better food is pre-security...though, I was amused by the rotating "food carts" present this past weekend.


One of the main reasons I love PDX is because it doesn't feel stuffy or claustrophobic. It feels like it's built for 22 million passengers and there are only 16 mil. High ceilings, lots of light, always empty gates available to spread out at. I often fly to OAK, which is fine for what it is, but it feels about half the size of PDX while serving 75% of the traffic.
 
KentB27
Posts: 129
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Re: Best Major Airport in the US

Sat May 20, 2017 2:20 pm

I just flew in and out of PDX for the first time this past week. It's a great airport. Super easy and intuitive to get around in, not crowded, easy to drive in and out of, short lines, good shopping and dining options, etc. I have nothing bad to say about it.

I don't understand the love for DEN though. It's too far away from the rest of the city, it's too big, and besides the unusual architecture there's really nothing special about it. It's a cool airport but I'm not going to go out of my way just to fly into or out of there.
 
nadavatar64
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Re: Best Major Airport in the US

Sat May 20, 2017 4:16 pm

Its weird nobody have mentioned SLC! great airport, nice food court and shops and pretty easy to connect. I guess CLT is a close second.
 
kimimm19
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Re: Best Major Airport in the US

Sun May 21, 2017 2:18 pm

It depends on what you mean by best. If it's best overall then I would say SLC. Not very busy, great alternative to the mega-hubs, easy to connect, not such a weather gamble like the east coast or the south. Other good ones are DFW and MSP.

The worst I think are ORD, EWR of the ones I've been to. Haven't experienced JFK, LAX, SFO, MIA.
 
BuildingMyBento
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Re: Best Major Airport in the US

Tue May 23, 2017 1:30 am

TransWorldOne wrote:
BuildingMyBento wrote:
TransWorldOne wrote:
I don't know if you could consider it 'major', but PDX is a lovely airport. Fresh, local food, great beer, tax-free shopping, a theatre, a barbershop, a spa, light rail service to the city centre. For a U.S. airport, it sure is hard to beat.


It still feels like a stuffy, claustrophobic US airport. Not to mention, the better food is pre-security...though, I was amused by the rotating "food carts" present this past weekend.


I don't know that I would agree with you. There are several tasty food/drink options past security (Stumptown Coffee, Burgerville, Country Cat, Kenny & Zuke's, Mo's Seafood & Chowder, etc.). Lots of natural lighting, a more quiet environment due to carpet instead of marble or tile, live plants, I honestly can't think of a more ambient large US airport.


It IS possible that no "major" US airport is good.

To me, all of the majors are the same. Terrible ventilation (whether that be in the restrooms/concession stands/from the carpets), overpriced, generally inedible food/lack of health-conscious options, sanctimonious tsa agents, inadequate seating/power outlets (though the latter indeed has a portable fix), and inefficient/often broken automated check-in terminals all contribute to the pathetic state of airports. Not all airports suffer from the all of the aforementioned issues, though I tend to think they're more and more just larger versions of New Jersey Turnpike rest stops.

Indeed, TPA combined all of the above, and felt all the more crowded b/c of its bizarre hub and spoke (by way of people movers) layout. Public transit was also inadequate, though on that point it's undeniably a car-centric (or cruiseship-centric) city.

Parts of PDX, DFW and DTW are ok, but the ambience and malodorousness at all three still does nothing to make one forget that he/she is slogging through the US.
 
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BobPatterson
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Re: Best Major Airport in the US

Tue May 23, 2017 3:13 am

jetwet1 wrote:
I love BWI, lots of food choices (at street prices), quick and easy to navigate.


I'm with you on BWI, but we will lose out to all the love for PDX :-)

From curbside check-in on Southwest, to the gate with a wheelchair pusher, it really is a no hassle experience.

McDonald's coffee is fine for me, and I down need food at the airport.

$8 daily parking with quick shuttle to the terminal works swell.

Our last trip was to Birmingham, Alabama. Nice airport with easy car rentals. But I guess that might not be considered a "major" airport.
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TransWorldOne
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Re: Best Major Airport in the US

Tue May 23, 2017 4:32 pm

BuildingMyBento wrote:
TransWorldOne wrote:
BuildingMyBento wrote:

It still feels like a stuffy, claustrophobic US airport. Not to mention, the better food is pre-security...though, I was amused by the rotating "food carts" present this past weekend.


I don't know that I would agree with you. There are several tasty food/drink options past security (Stumptown Coffee, Burgerville, Country Cat, Kenny & Zuke's, Mo's Seafood & Chowder, etc.). Lots of natural lighting, a more quiet environment due to carpet instead of marble or tile, live plants, I honestly can't think of a more ambient large US airport.


It IS possible that no "major" US airport is good.

To me, all of the majors are the same. Terrible ventilation (whether that be in the restrooms/concession stands/from the carpets), overpriced, generally inedible food/lack of health-conscious options, sanctimonious tsa agents, inadequate seating/power outlets (though the latter indeed has a portable fix), and inefficient/often broken automated check-in terminals all contribute to the pathetic state of airports. Not all airports suffer from the all of the aforementioned issues, though I tend to think they're more and more just larger versions of New Jersey Turnpike rest stops.

Indeed, TPA combined all of the above, and felt all the more crowded b/c of its bizarre hub and spoke (by way of people movers) layout. Public transit was also inadequate, though on that point it's undeniably a car-centric (or cruiseship-centric) city.

Parts of PDX, DFW and DTW are ok, but the ambience and malodorousness at all three still does nothing to make one forget that he/she is slogging through the US.


So you're obviously very anti-US airports. What is it that you would change and what foreign airports are so much nicer? Except for a handful of airports in Asia, I can't think of any airports that would satisfy your standards. Even the nicest terminals in Asia are crowded and lack ventilation. Perhaps, you'd enjoy an open air terminal at a small airport like LIH or PSP? Then again, the food options at those airports are lacking so those are out. Look, I'm not denying that many US airports are the pits. Most of them are, in fact. But there are a few gems out there that offer everything anyone could want in a large structure that funnels many thousands of people a day through it. I don't think one can expect an airport to feel like a five star resort.
 
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United787
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Re: Best Major Airport in the US

Tue May 23, 2017 6:32 pm

Biased but ORD T1 & T5. Fortunately I rarely see T2 & T3.

Also, MDW is a great airport that is easy to get in and out of.
 
Georgetown
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Re: Best Major Airport in the US

Wed May 24, 2017 2:48 am

if it wasn't for horrible IRROPS at the slightest hint of fog or rain, SFO is a winner for me (T2 and T3E). A bit biased because it's my home airport, but the food offerings are varied and great, it's not hard to connect (everything is pretty compact) and even with traffic, it's pretty easy to get to from downtown.

SAN is probably too small but the new terminal there is spectacular. Can't beat the proximity to downtown. Same goes for DCA (they also have my favorite United Club).

Like PDX, totally get why people like it, but aside from the carpet (old and new) it just doesn't do it for me for some reason.

As an aside, Elway's at DEN is IMHO the best steak and martini stop in any US airport.
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rjsampson
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Re: Best Major Airport in the US

Thu May 25, 2017 9:08 pm

I vote SAN (except for terminal 1). You can be curbside to gate in 5 minutes. Most beautiful and exciting approach in the US. Beautiful location, less than a mile from downtown, incredible plane spotting (especially looking straight down the runway from many vantage points.
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Cyow
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Re: Best Major Airport in the US

Sat May 27, 2017 1:43 am

MIA all the way. With the most number of in flights now operating out of Miami, it's a avgeeks dream for spotting and has considerably improved over the last decade.
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zrs70
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Re: Best Major Airport in the US

Sat May 27, 2017 5:50 am

I'm a big BOS fan. It's not an easy airport to get around, nor does it have the best shopping or restaurants. But it's a great mix of classic, brutalist, and contemporary architecture. And the views are incredible!
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11725Flyer
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Re: Best Major Airport in the US

Sat May 27, 2017 9:40 pm

I'm a fan of PHX over ATL, IAH, or DFW when I head west. In a few weeks, my routing will be TPA-PHX-LAS-PHX-TPA.
 
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AirAfreak
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Re: Best Major Airport in the US

Sun May 28, 2017 7:16 pm

My home airport LAX is my favorite. Where else can you enjoy caviar and cupcakes before boarding your nonstop flight to Tahiti?
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