Miami (MIA) Ranked As North America’s Best Airport?!?

Miami (MIA) Ranked As North America’s Best Airport?!?

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JD Power has released its 2021 rankings of North America’s best airports. The results make me question if I’m from a different planet…

North America’s best airports for 2021

JD Power has released its ranking of the top “mega” airports in North America, defined as airports serving at least 33 million passengers per year. Here are the top 10 airports (yes, this order is the ranking, I kid you not):

  1. Miami International Airport (MIA)
  2. John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK)
  3. Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport (MSP)
  4. Orlando International Airport (MCO)
  5. Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX)
  6. McCarran International Airport (LAS)
  7. Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW)
  8. George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH)
  9. Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW)
  10. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL)

How does this study work? It’s based on completed surveys from travelers between August 2020 and July 2021. More specifically, the study is based on 13,225 completed surveys from US or Canadian residents who traveled through at least one US or Canadian airport during the past 30 days. Travelers evaluated either a departing or arriving airport, and were asked to share their thoughts on the following factors:

  • Airport accessibility (getting to the airport and leaving the airport)
  • Check-in and baggage claim
  • Food, beverage, and retail
  • Security check
  • Terminal facilities (concourses, lounges, signage, restrooms, gate areas)
Miami International Airport landside check-in area

These rankings are kind of hilarious

Okay, I have pretty low expectations of any sort of “survey” results. The whole concept behind this kind of “research” is deeply flawed:

  • Non-experts are asked to rank something based on one experience, without any real basis for comparison
  • Arguably this is even more flawed during the pandemic, when all airports have cut back service, and people are largely traveling less, so don’t have context for how services have changed
  • I have a hard time thinking of the results as anything other than “woot, I went to Miami this year to forget about coronavirus, so I loved the airport”

Miami is my home airport, and one thing I love about the airport is how close it is to the city. It’s so nice to have a major international airport 10-15 minutes from the main parts of town. However, other than the location, there’s very little that’s appealing about the airport, if you ask me:

  • Concourses are poorly designed — they’re fairly narrow given the volume of people, and it can be quite a long walk to your gate, or you have to take the Skytrain (which isn’t particularly convenient either, since this doesn’t usually save you that much time)
  • Not all concourses are connected airside
  • The airport’s design isn’t in any way inspiring, from the seating areas, to the architecture
  • Someone will have to clue me in on the great food, beverage, and retail outlets
  • Security lines can be long, and are poorly managed
  • The airport has some of the most consistently bad customer service of any major US airport, in my experience (though perhaps that largely reflects the airport’s largest carrier) 😉
Miami International Airport airside concourse

Look, Miami Airport does the trick — it’s close to the city, and I can always time my arrival pretty well to minimize the amount of time I have to spend at the airport. I’m happy to have it as my home airport, given that I can fly nonstop to all kinds of destinations, and American largely flies wide bodies from the airport, even on domestic routes.

But to give Miami Airport any sort of awards for passenger experience — let alone to call it the best in the country — is puzzling. And let’s not even talk about JFK being number two on the list, DFW being number seven, and SFO not even breaking into the top 10.

Bottom line

Miami Airport has been ranked the best mega airport in the country, and that’s just the latest reminder that you shouldn’t trust any sort of survey results from randomly polled people about what the best airports are. If someone has only been to a couple of airports in the past year, how are they actually supposed to provide a useful ranking, when they have no context for what services are like at other airports?

Anyone agree with this survey, and think MIA is North America’s best airport, and JFK is North America’s second best airport?

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  1. Bill

    I lived in South Florida up until a few years ago and used to refer to MIA as America's best 3rd world airport... :-)

  2. Jaroz

    WHERE DO THEY GET THIS SURVEY. MIA
    OR MIAMI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT.IS NOT
    THE BEST AIRPORT. IF THAT THE CASE FORT LAUDERDALE OR FLL AIRPORT.IS BETTER THAN MIA. I LIVE IN PLANTATION FLA. AN I ALWAYS TRY NO TO FLY OUT OF MIAMI. CONGESTED AND UGLY AIRPORT
    NEVER SHOULD BE RANKED THE # 1 airport

  3. Jaime

    WHERE DO THEY GET THIS SURVEY. MIA
    OR MIAMI INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT.IS NOT
    THE BEST AIRPORT. IF THAT THE CASE FORT LAUDERDALE OR FLL AIRPORT.IS BETTER THAN MIA. I LIVE IN PLANTATION FLA. AN I ALWAYS TRY NO TO FLY OUT OF MIAMI. CONGESTED AND UGLY AIRPORT
    NEVER SHOULD BE RANKED THE # 1 airport

  4. Jose Garcia

    Overall, MIA is a good airport. Not great just good. To me MIA have the worst custom and inmigracion service in the USA and this makes me avoid it every time I can.

  5. Robert

    I am a very frequent flyer. MIA would not make even my top 10.

  6. Catalina rivas

    Is really a disgrace of this survey, how much money this survey company receive from the Cuban mafia? This is a shame to name miami airport the fest in America.

  7. Bob Not Bob

    Transited several times at MIA from JFK and GSP. Not horrible, but the best? In some MIA boosters dream. My take: really long walks between gates. Admirals Club so-so. Walk to MIA Metrorail was miles and miles and miles away.

    JD Power needs to revise its rating criteria, and include transit, connections, public transit, rental car locations, food, and compare with some actual international airports, like NRT, BKK, HKIA, Doha, etc. etc.

  8. Hugo Finol

    I do not agree, I am from Miami and I have been working at MIA for 10 years and I have many doubts about of this survey.

  9. Jamie

    I guess it’s tough to choose when they are all pretty bad! Send the to Doha or Dubai, Mumbai, Singapore, Copenhagen, Heathrow T5 then ask them again!

  10. Sam

    For a frequent AA flyer, MIA is pretty great.

    Precheck is quick most of the time. FFCI - when you qualify makes it even faster.
    After clearing security head straight across the hall for free drinks or food at Coronaville.
    Then take the short walk to the Centurian lounge for more drinks and food. And/or a short walk to the FL.
    90% of the time your gate is a max of 10...

    For a frequent AA flyer, MIA is pretty great.

    Precheck is quick most of the time. FFCI - when you qualify makes it even faster.
    After clearing security head straight across the hall for free drinks or food at Coronaville.
    Then take the short walk to the Centurian lounge for more drinks and food. And/or a short walk to the FL.
    90% of the time your gate is a max of 10 minutes away.

    As for AA people, the worst is LAX followed closely by JFK.

    SFO is a terrible airport all around. But PHL is worse

    1. D3kingg

      The problem with AA at SFO is that it’s an outstation and they have 9 hubs to serve. The crew and gate agents have to move from gate to gate they can’t all be in the same place at one time.

  11. Steve

    MIA has a centurion and multiple priority pass options and is close to the cities's downtown. What else do you want in an airport? Any complaint on mia can be applied everywhere else. So sad that people actually get mad at someone else's list.

    1. Towelie196

      Rental car process takes extremely long, security is a nightmare so often you can't enjoy the lounges, cramped spaces, driving around the terminal is a nightmare, no people movers due to said cramped spaces, awful awful awful customs (even with Global Entry), trashy on-site hotels. We could keep going!

  12. John R.

    someone remind these people we are now in September, not April 1st!

  13. lbk

    But there are good mojitos at this one place in MIA though ;-)

  14. Apso Eyot

    It’s nice that you like SFO, Ben, but honestly, as someone local to that airport, they need an airside connector to be built between the A and G wings of the International Terminal (and all the other terminals for that matter) before they can really be considered in the top ten. Not to mention that the lounge situation in the international terminal is currently quite lousy (There seems to be a lot of cramped and...

    It’s nice that you like SFO, Ben, but honestly, as someone local to that airport, they need an airside connector to be built between the A and G wings of the International Terminal (and all the other terminals for that matter) before they can really be considered in the top ten. Not to mention that the lounge situation in the international terminal is currently quite lousy (There seems to be a lot of cramped and uninspiring-looking lounges in A, along with a lack of variety in G, which has just the United Polaris Lounge and a pretty outdated United Club). I think it’s annoying that you have to go down a level to get to any of the waiting/boarding areas in the International Terminal, and wait for your flight inside this “pit”. It makes the process cumbersome if you find out you’re at the wrong gate. Also, at least from the outside, the architecture of the new Terminal 1 looks pretty boring (it looks like a temporary terminal that could be anywhere) and only seems impressive because it’s new. Plus they have to deal with fog/low cloud delays pretty often due to a bad runway configuration that probably can’t ever be fixed (and the airport knows this already). It might be “top ten” in terms of sustainability, but probably not many of the categories that the average traveler would care more about.

  15. Travel Points 101

    I would like to see a post with your rankings.

  16. Steven Faigin

    Miami? No way. It would be at the bottom of my list. Flying in. Rental cars are far away. You are exhausted after the walk. It’s in a lousy area. Just not a good experience. Most people like FLL over Miami. It should really be the worst.

  17. NSL

    The list is absurd. To put ATL anywhere in the top 25 airports in the US is ridiculous. The same is true of St. Louis. Other listings are equally as bad. Ranking during the pandemic is next to impossible too. Oh, Miami isn't close to #1 even though it's better than most Florida airports.

  18. Leigh

    Needless to say, it’s all subjective.

    MIA is nice but not all that amazing, and indeed the gate structure can be inconvenient.

    Just my list:

    LAX - each terminal is separately managed (like JFK), so kinda impossible to rate the whole airport, but the Tom Bradley International Terminal is stunning on every level; best in the US.

    MSP - it’s a great terminal with great local offerings, it sorta has a feeling of being...

    Needless to say, it’s all subjective.

    MIA is nice but not all that amazing, and indeed the gate structure can be inconvenient.

    Just my list:

    LAX - each terminal is separately managed (like JFK), so kinda impossible to rate the whole airport, but the Tom Bradley International Terminal is stunning on every level; best in the US.

    MSP - it’s a great terminal with great local offerings, it sorta has a feeling of being “at home”. Mind you, the piers are stupid long. I do hate the taxi/transport set-up.

    SEA - maybe the most similar to MSP, though the piers seem a bit shorter. However the taxi/transport set-up is barely better than MSP.

    DFW - I frequently transfer between the 5 terminals with only 35 min connections, and it’s never been a problem. I sometimes schedule a longer connection to eat at Pappadeux’s (terminals A and C) Louisiana style kitchen. SOO GOOD! The dirty rice, red beans and rice, oysters, and the fried fish in brown butter and walnuts (I forget the fish type) are amazing.

    Others that rate for me are SFO T2, SFO International for the flight museum, Austin Bergstrm (live music and BBQ…does it get better?!). PDX a bit quirky.

    I also love the Vancouver and Calgary airports hosted by our friends up north. Maybe Calgary rates higher.

    1. TranceXplant

      I generally agree with you on all points. My "ratings" would be the following...

      MSP: As my home airport, I find it quite pleasant to fly in and out of. Security is generally quick and transportation relatively easy (basically down and up to catch an Uber/Lyft across the street). Granted, being an AA flyer helps a lot, since that effectively shrinks a large airport down to 4 gates and 2 baggage carousels.

      LAX: As you...

      I generally agree with you on all points. My "ratings" would be the following...

      MSP: As my home airport, I find it quite pleasant to fly in and out of. Security is generally quick and transportation relatively easy (basically down and up to catch an Uber/Lyft across the street). Granted, being an AA flyer helps a lot, since that effectively shrinks a large airport down to 4 gates and 2 baggage carousels.

      LAX: As you alluded to, it's a tale of 2 experiences. The international terminal is fantastic. However, everything else is somewhat mediocre. Like DTW, distances between flights can be downright painful.

      DFW: This is my favorite airport for transfers. While most of the terminals are merely okay, the international terminal is a pleasure to be in. And the monorail between terminals is so efficient that short layovers are never an issue.

      SEA: I haven't spent much time here. But when I have, it's been perfectly fine. My only complaint would be access to light rail, which requires a very long walk.

      JFK: It feels exactly like what it is - an airport that was built in many stages with independently managed terminals. It's very much hit-or-miss, depending on which airline and terminal you're dealing with.

      PHL: I'm not sure how anyone can complain about transferring here. Nearly every gate is within easy walking distance and the main terminal areas are pleasant to be in.

      ORD: Another tale of 2 experiences. AA's Flagship lounge here is my favorite in the country, and transferring domestically is a breeze. However, if you're catching a OneWorld partner flight, that lounge is poorly located, and switching terminals is the travel equivalent of a root canal.

  19. ChadMC

    I travel past FLL to specifically fly out of MIA. It's definitely the better airport in all of the state. MIA has decent restaurants, nice lounges, and is a 'real' airport. Only real downsides are not all terminals are connected, and there is no moving walkway. Other than that, MIA is tops.

  20. cath

    It’s official, I am living in an alternative universe.

  21. John

    How good a mega airport is depends largely on whether it’s your origin/destination or your connecting point. For example, DFW is a good O/D airport but a rotten connecting point, unless you happen to connect in the same terminal. ATL and DEN are relatively efficient connecting points because they’re designed for connections, but bad O/D airports. MIA is a terrible connecting airport, but a better O/D airport. The JD Power survey mixes this up, which...

    How good a mega airport is depends largely on whether it’s your origin/destination or your connecting point. For example, DFW is a good O/D airport but a rotten connecting point, unless you happen to connect in the same terminal. ATL and DEN are relatively efficient connecting points because they’re designed for connections, but bad O/D airports. MIA is a terrible connecting airport, but a better O/D airport. The JD Power survey mixes this up, which makes it meaningless. A connecting passenger, for example, could care less about security, check-in, and luggage claim, for example, because those services won’t be used.

  22. Bob Charlap

    They spelled “worst” wrong!

  23. John T

    This list makes perfect sense to me. I used to work for JD Power. Whoever pays the most for a speaking engagement, is guaranteed the award.

  24. Issac Jones

    Everyone knows jd power is a advertising firm not a real poll taker c'mon now

  25. Crosscourt

    Was this list supposed to be released on 1st April? What a joke!

  26. MIchael R Karpiel

    I avoid MIA like the plague. I used to live in-between MIA and FLL and I would fly out of FLL even it required a connection just to avoid MIA.

  27. BuckBrown

    Miami has one of the worst Passport/Customs control I have ever experienced.

  28. Shonuffharlem

    Obviously they didn't go into the third world parking garage elevators at MIA for this survey.

  29. CG

    ROFL Miami is rock bottom for me. Rude unhelpful staff, long lines. TPA takes the cake, they have security for each terminal making it a breeze.

  30. Noah

    DCA is the best airport in the USA. IAD on the other hand...

  31. Shaq Mystique

    The writer word by word captures my sentiment. I fly at least 4 times a month through MiA. Getting from car rental to your terminal will take minimum 15 to 20 minutes. It is porrly designed and managed...MiA and JFK shouldn't be on top 5 may be 10 at all. MSP is the only one in the top 3 that deserves any kind of mention or award.

  32. odot1

    ... unless one actually has to use YYZ. The real question is why YVR is not at the top?

  33. Christian M Binger

    I just flew through MIA this past weekend, experiencing D and E concourses. The amenities are dated and uncomfortable, it was dirty and moving walkways? We don't need no stinking moving walkways! What walkways there are, were either off, under construction or both. To think this is the best in the country,

  34. David

    O'hare certainly deserves last place, but YYZ at second last seems undeserved.

  35. SERGIO CRUZ

    I work at MIA, and honestly, Miami is very overrated. This airport generates millions in revenue but can't keep its elevators, escalators, moving walk ways in working order! And lets not talk about how at the time I write this there isn't a single restroom on the departure level of the H and J side. not to mention the leaking ceilings. The old jet bridges on F-G and H terminals. Honestly as an employee who...

    I work at MIA, and honestly, Miami is very overrated. This airport generates millions in revenue but can't keep its elevators, escalators, moving walk ways in working order! And lets not talk about how at the time I write this there isn't a single restroom on the departure level of the H and J side. not to mention the leaking ceilings. The old jet bridges on F-G and H terminals. Honestly as an employee who works there its embarrassing to see an airport to be in such poor state.

  36. Oliver

    Miami Airport - Last chance for some Cuban food.

  37. Jack

    The only US airport that I don't hate is DFW, because it's so quick and easy to get around on the train.

  38. George Dagnesses

    This is a joke right? Its a very late April Fools Prank.
    There is no possible way that any discerning traveler would agree with this.

  39. Julio cesar villalobos

    He arrivado al aeropuerto de atlanta 3 veces .ycreanme parece un edificio abandonado tiendas cerradas. MalisimA atencion al viajero.decidi no volver hacer escala en ese lugar. Elegi aeropuert houston.o dallas. Ojala todos fueran asi.gracias.

  40. Pete

    Ahhhh.
    Not happy that ATLANTA (DELTA HUB)
    NOT #1.
    ATLANTA AIRPORT IS A NIGHTMARE.
    WALKING FROM TICKET COUNTER TO GATES IS A MARATHON!

  41. Jesse

    MIA is a total dump. It screams 1970s when you arrive. Just a drab, dreary, disgusting and depressing place.

    1. elena dagnesses

      You are absolutely correct!!!

  42. Phil

    Not sure if Miami is the best airport in the country, but as a South Floridian myself I can tell you that I absolutely love the airport. I consistently choose it over FLL even though I live in Broward. I call FLL a "clown airport" as it has zero amenities and always seems to have the most amateur/ first time/ novice travelers due to it being Spirit's hub. Another beautiful thing about MIA... being able...

    Not sure if Miami is the best airport in the country, but as a South Floridian myself I can tell you that I absolutely love the airport. I consistently choose it over FLL even though I live in Broward. I call FLL a "clown airport" as it has zero amenities and always seems to have the most amateur/ first time/ novice travelers due to it being Spirit's hub. Another beautiful thing about MIA... being able to fly non-stop to many European destinations without connecting in god-awful northeastern airports or terrible ATL/CLT. My wife and I loved being able to fly direct to Madrid in July and return out of Zurich. I certainly agree that the concourse design could be better, but the restaurant and lounge situation in MIA is well above average.... what I would call a "professional airport".

    1. Towelie196

      It seems you are flying from the wrong terminal at FLL. Terminal 1 is amazing, tons of food, UA lounge, open space/seating and security/baggage is hassle free.

  43. Brad Lichtman

    I was just at MIA for first time (Aug 2021) in 10 plus years. Check in with Southwest was easy (despite signs being misleading to get there since they have such a small foot print). However the airport itself looks like it needs some major TLC - old, dirty, worn down, dirty, dated, etc. Lines for TSA were reasonable except the roping was not long so as soon as you had about 100 people in...

    I was just at MIA for first time (Aug 2021) in 10 plus years. Check in with Southwest was easy (despite signs being misleading to get there since they have such a small foot print). However the airport itself looks like it needs some major TLC - old, dirty, worn down, dirty, dated, etc. Lines for TSA were reasonable except the roping was not long so as soon as you had about 100 people in line the ropes ended and disorganized mess started. Food options were limited as expected but the coffee shop we tried to stop at was serving light snacks which came right out of costco containers on their back counter & were drastically overpriced. I was pleasantly surprised our flight left on time & had minimal taxi time which was nice for an ontime arrival back to DC.

  44. John

    I think SFO is then best airport in America with DFW being a close second. It’s empty, new, fast wifi, with plenty of (local) dining options and it’s close to downtown and dfw has great options as well.

    1. miamiorbust

      SFO, like nearly everything in the bay area, is so much less inspiring than the locals seem to believe. On its best days, SFO in fine. Lounges are undersized. United is the largest tenant. The people...Fine; objectively not great. Lounges, or at least some of them, at DFW are much better.

  45. John

    I think SFO is then best airport in America with DFW being a close second. It’s empty, new, fast wifi, with plenty of (local) dining options and it’s close to downtown and dfw has great options as well.

  46. 1987

    Biased native Miamian, but I fly MIA to JFK twice a month and I love it. I can take the $2.40 metrorail from Brickell and am there in 30 mins. Once at Check-In 2 with TSA, I have a 1- minute wait thru security. Then, the large AA 77Ws typically leave right at the large gates of 26 or 30 which is near the Admirals Club. Super easy breezy. Could not be easier.
    But,...

    Biased native Miamian, but I fly MIA to JFK twice a month and I love it. I can take the $2.40 metrorail from Brickell and am there in 30 mins. Once at Check-In 2 with TSA, I have a 1- minute wait thru security. Then, the large AA 77Ws typically leave right at the large gates of 26 or 30 which is near the Admirals Club. Super easy breezy. Could not be easier.
    But, there have been scenes where it is pure chaos. But, I always check the app to see the security check point lines while I am on the metrorail.

  47. Burktech

    Wasn't there anyone at JD Powers corporate that looked at this survey and thought - Wait a minute, this survey doesn't look right and has no relation to the real world. I assume JD Powers' reputation rides with every survey. I will be wary of all of their surveys from now on.

  48. Steven S

    Well, I agree on all of your points. Miami is also my home airport. it is extremely convenient and American does a great job there. HOWEVER, don't ever check a bag on a return trip. The baggage service there is notoriously horrible. The old terminal smack dab in the middle still needs to be torn down and if you are flying out of American's E gates, it is like going into a time warp right...

    Well, I agree on all of your points. Miami is also my home airport. it is extremely convenient and American does a great job there. HOWEVER, don't ever check a bag on a return trip. The baggage service there is notoriously horrible. The old terminal smack dab in the middle still needs to be torn down and if you are flying out of American's E gates, it is like going into a time warp right back to the 70s. Overall, MIA is great because AA is great out of Miami. That's about it!

  49. luz s Prado

    Omg where they get this people, number 1 forget it.
    Terrible place and bad way to connect to other flights.

  50. Brutus

    JD Power is also the organization that gave all those awards to Chevrolet and forced us to endure those idiotic commercials for years.

  51. Mike

    I have travelled through MIA twice and was not a fan. Even American's premier Terminal D was not great. I remember being less than impressed with the food options. I assumed before travelling that Terminal D would have great amenities since it is one of the biggest American hubs but nope! I also cannot stand airports where you cannot move between concourses airside. It just makes no sense to have to leave security and clear...

    I have travelled through MIA twice and was not a fan. Even American's premier Terminal D was not great. I remember being less than impressed with the food options. I assumed before travelling that Terminal D would have great amenities since it is one of the biggest American hubs but nope! I also cannot stand airports where you cannot move between concourses airside. It just makes no sense to have to leave security and clear security again for a connection. Drives me crazy! Because of where I live, I use SEA a lot and one of my favorite things about that airport is that once I am airside, I can access any restaurant, lounge, etc without having to worry about security.

  52. khatl

    Come on then Ben. What's your top 10 for comparison?

    (btw, completely agree with your dissection of MIA. If MIA is #1 then LGA should be #2)

    1. Jan

      Probably the best because you would normally pay $70 for fight PPV but you get that for free in MIA

  53. Santastico

    Minneapolis makes total sense. It is a fantastic airport.

  54. Santastico

    This has to be a joke.

  55. Tortuga

    Surveys like this are the equivalent of junior high student council elections. It's asking an uninformed, inexperienced group of people to vote by top of mind recall.

    P.S. And yes, I haven forgiven Megan G. for trouncing me, lo those many years ago, in my assuredly informed, experienced quest to become 8th grade stuco V.P.

  56. Ksa63

    Miami is quite functional and a great location. Believe it or not I have had good experiences at ORD recently. But it can be a hike to get to. Detroit is quite good. YUL is terrible across the board. The only other one I’ve been to in the past year is EWR and it rivals YUL for being bad.

  57. tuotuo

    Just give us your no 1 or maybe the top 10 list

  58. Jerry

    I agree that MIA "does the trick." I quite like the airport, but I'm a frequent user for both O/D and connecting visits, and I've learned how to make it work for me. There's certainly a learning curve, and it doesn't deserve any awards. I also miss using Priority Pass at Air Margaritaville and Viena.

  59. Todd

    And YVR didn't make the list? Please!

  60. JB

    Many people flew to MIA because of the pandemic, so it's likely just reflective of the population filling out the surveys. Otherwise, I think TPA is much better!

  61. Matt S.

    Perfect opportunity for Ben to provide his list of top 10 US airports, followed by top 10 airports in the world (in a separate post).

  62. Towelie196

    I go out of my way to fly into FLL. By the time you fly into MIA and are in your rental car I am already on the beach, and checked into the hotel.

  63. Gilda K

    Miami! Is it April 1-because this is a joke. I have been through. Miami, JFK and O’Hare, recently.
    I’ve also been through Boston Logan and Atlanta.
    I would put Atlanta as no. 1, considering how big the airport is they do a remarkable job there, next for me is Boston Logan (though smaller) is very good, then Dallas-Fort Worth.

  64. Franklin

    or is it to remind you that all mega-airports in the US are terrible?

  65. Rob

    At MIA, terminals H-J look really nice but lack good dining options. Terminal G is a joke, tiny walkway, what feels like 7 foot ceilings, limited seating, hardly any bathrooms, and practically the only eating option is at a Budweiser bar with a pizza hut express. American's terminal (D) is massive, too long to walk to the gates at the far end and the air train is worthless (saves you from walking, not time), you...

    At MIA, terminals H-J look really nice but lack good dining options. Terminal G is a joke, tiny walkway, what feels like 7 foot ceilings, limited seating, hardly any bathrooms, and practically the only eating option is at a Budweiser bar with a pizza hut express. American's terminal (D) is massive, too long to walk to the gates at the far end and the air train is worthless (saves you from walking, not time), you have some decent food options but nothing to write home about.

  66. Matt

    They did get one thing right in ranking PHL dead last.

  67. DenB

    They're not wrong to rank YYZ 20th. "Shining examples of excellence" are not to be found in North America.

  68. D3kingg

    DFW seams pretty seamless or maybe it’s just what I’m used to. It the largest airport in the US by size.

    DAL Love field is the best US airport I’ve ever been to. There are more retail outlets than gates.

    1. Towelie196

      DFW is half the size of DEN?

    2. D3kingg

      Yes. DEN is larger DFW is 2nd. It takes 20 minutes and $15 Uber ride to go around only half the airport .

  69. AdamH

    This listing is a complete joke. I would not have any of these in my top list. I also think they should really rank these by terminal, not overall airport. Even in SIN, if you end up in the older terminals, it is nothing to write home about.

  70. John

    There had to be some financial incentive for MIA to get #1. Literally the worst airport for international travel I've ever experienced on trips to Mexico, Caribbean, Central and South America.

  71. QRx

    I am a South FL native as well. Anybody from SFL knows that FLL is much organized airport than MIA.

  72. miamiorbust

    Simple question: then who should be number 1? I can find fault with MIA but can someone please point me to the glimmering airport of excellence in the US. Above a certain level of service and infrastructure, I'd suggest the criteria, at least in the US, becomes highly subjective with whether or not you like/can tolerate the type of people traveling through that airport weighing heavily on opinions. May be people prefer open shops to...

    Simple question: then who should be number 1? I can find fault with MIA but can someone please point me to the glimmering airport of excellence in the US. Above a certain level of service and infrastructure, I'd suggest the criteria, at least in the US, becomes highly subjective with whether or not you like/can tolerate the type of people traveling through that airport weighing heavily on opinions. May be people prefer open shops to COVID restrictions and abandoned storefronts that littered many airports.

    1. kay_elemeno

      I'd put my vote on MSP. Granted it used to be my home airport, but still, I've only very rarely had a bad experience (mostly security lines during peak leisure travel periods). Plus the customer service from their largest tenant is usually pretty stellar.

    2. Towelie196

      DEN. Though you could fault it for its location the airport itself is a pleasure to go to.

    3. Santastico

      Denver? What a zoo!! Plus the number of delays at that airport makes it one of the worst in the world.

    4. Towelie196

      Not sure what you mean. There's always seating, and they consistently rank top 10 in the world in OTP for mega airport, top five in the US.

    5. Santastico

      It is inconvenient. The airport is in the middle of nowhere. It is a trip itself to get from Denver to the airport. Thunderstorms and lightning shuts the airport down all the time (5 times in the last 6 months when I was flying through DEN). Look at statistics, it ranks 3rd in the US for flight delays after ORD and EWR. Rental car is a long trip to get there. Food options are very...

      It is inconvenient. The airport is in the middle of nowhere. It is a trip itself to get from Denver to the airport. Thunderstorms and lightning shuts the airport down all the time (5 times in the last 6 months when I was flying through DEN). Look at statistics, it ranks 3rd in the US for flight delays after ORD and EWR. Rental car is a long trip to get there. Food options are very limited. They better have lots of seats because with so many flight delays they need place for all the people waiting there to sit.

    6. Towelie196

      The statistics say they are top 5 in the US for on time performance at mega airports. Though there is no arguing about distance to the city, I will gladly drive a few minutes longer to an airport that doesn't have PAX crammed like sardines, like MIA, ORD, EWR, etc. Not sure what you mean by limited food options, there have to be a hundred restaurants to choose from.

    7. Santastico

      On time performance? Where did you get that? Read here:
      https://patch.com/colorado/denver/denver-among-worst-airports-country-flight-delays-report

    8. Towelie196

      That article was written by a bunch of intern "analysts". OAG is the official place for OTP statistics. This is for 2019 flights: https://www.oag.com/hubfs/Free_Reports/punctuality-league-2020/Punctuality-League-2020.pdf

  73. SQ51

    Dallas native here and just curious, do you say that about DFW because it should be higher or lower than 7th? Not questioning your statement, just curious to see your story behind that

    1. Andrew Carlson

      DFW isn’t a great airport. You need to pay a $4 toll just to pick someone up. The skylink connects terminals after security, but only buses connect terminals prior to security. Since parking is not universal like say Atlanta, if you park at terminal A then your return flight is in terminal C (and you have a checked bag)… You would have to take a bus back to your terminal A parking spot which can take 30 minutes of waiting. It’s a horribly designed airport.

    2. SQ51

      All valid points Andrew, I try to avoid checking a bag whenever possible, regardless of this issue. Curious to see what Lucky has to say, as I bet he hardly originates/terminates here. However at least all the terminals are connected airside unlike some airports

    3. dfw88

      DFW's certainly not perfect, but if you're getting your bag then taking the bus to your car you're doing it wrong. The trick with DFW is to ride the train to where you car is, drive back to the terminal with the baggage claim, park in the one hour parking (always available) and run in and get your bag.

    4. jak

      If you flew American, you don’t even have to run in to collect your bag, because odds are you still beat it.

    5. D3kingg

      DFW is a great stopover. Just exit baggage claim literally 30 ft through a sliding glass door from airside. Then find your hotel shuttle.
      LAX sucks with the construction. Airport hotel shuttles refuse to pick you up. Uber /Lyft good luck like they want a half mile $9 fare. Take LAXit bus then somehow cross Sepulveda to walk to your hotel on century BLVD.

    6. GBOAC

      When I was a road warrior in the 90s, I hated DFW for one reason. You never knew which rental car complex (North or south) the rental car bus would take you. So there was no way at the time to offer "gold level Service" with you car waiting for you.
      I would imagine that has been fixed by now.

  74. Sharon

    Really, JFK T4 if pretty good.

    While not the best, I could say it is a very decent terminal. Lines move fast, the airport is clean, and has plenty of light.

    I do agree, SFO or SLC should be ranked above JFK though

  75. Bob

    I had to check to see if today was April 1. If it is not, then it just has to be April 1.

    If MIA and IAH appear on the same list, then we need EWR in that list too.

  76. PDS

    Maybe they ranked it based on the number of passenger ‘incidents’ since Miami easily tops that list

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John

How good a mega airport is depends largely on whether it’s your origin/destination or your connecting point. For example, DFW is a good O/D airport but a rotten connecting point, unless you happen to connect in the same terminal. ATL and DEN are relatively efficient connecting points because they’re designed for connections, but bad O/D airports. MIA is a terrible connecting airport, but a better O/D airport. The JD Power survey mixes this up, which makes it meaningless. A connecting passenger, for example, could care less about security, check-in, and luggage claim, for example, because those services won’t be used.

Franklin

or is it to remind you that all mega-airports in the US are terrible?

Matt

They did get one thing right in ranking PHL dead last.

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