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  December 4th, 2023 | Written by

US Airport Rankings – The Best and the Worst for 2023

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A poor air travel experience can derail any trip. Whether it’s business or pleasure, getting through the airport and on to your destination, with some nice perks in between, is a shared objective. US travel can be hectic but some airports do it better than others. 

The Wall Street Journal held its annual “US Airport Rankings” and the 2023 edition has arrived. The Journal examines the nation’s 50 busiest airports using metrics such as value, convenience, and reliability among others. In total, roughly 30 factors are evaluated per airport and then complemented with traveler survey input. Once the numbers are tabulated the airports are then divided into large and midsize categories. 

Phoenix (PHX)

This year’s number one large airport is Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. Flight delays are few, the weather is nearly always great, and perhaps best of all, Sky Harbor is easy to get to. But in addition to favorable weather and first-class infrastructure, it also helps that Sky Harbor is home to American and Southwest Airlines which carry up to 75% of the airport’s passengers. These two airlines score well in reliability and the average taxi-out time (from when a plane leaves the gate to takeoff) is under 15 minutes. Some of the Journal’s worst-rated airports featured taxi-out times north of 26 minutes. 

Sky Harbor’s overall score was 63.4 and Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport came in a close second at 63.2. There was no airport on the list that scored a perfect 100. The fact that 63.4 was the top score in the large airport category shows how entangled and complicated it can be running a 24-hour business where users seek ease of use, reliability, and great customer service. 

San Jose (SJC)

San Jose Mineta International Airport took home the crown in the midsize category. The Northern California airport scored 71.2 and lived up to its tagline – Fly Simple. SJC boasts best-in-industry on-time performance, expedited security lines, as well as short walks to nearly everything a traveler could ask for within the airport.   

Last year’s midsize winner, Sacramento (SMF), finished a close third with 70.0 points while San Antonio surprised the group finishing second with a score of 70.4. 

Northeast Woes

The two worst-performing large airports were Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) and John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) out of New York. Departure delays and weak infrastructure unable to handle heavy arrivals dragged the two to dismal rankings – 43.6 for JFK and 37.6 for EWR. JFK is in the midst of significant upgrades while Newark is hoping its newly redesigned Terminal A will help to ameliorate some of the more persistent issues. The greater New York/New Jersey area certainly deserves better.