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Here’s Why These 8 U.S. Airports Are Travelers’ Favorites

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With a record number of people traveling by air this summer, it’s inevitable that many people will be spending a large amount of time in airports.

Love them or hate them, the airport experience is both the first and last point of most trips, so if possible, why not choose ones that people actually like?

The colored electric neon tunnel The Sky Is the Limit at Chicago O'Hare International Airport

While there are many lists awarding the top airports around the world, it’s not often that real-life travelers themselves pick their favorites. Travel website TravelAwaits has done just that with their annual Best Of Travel Awards, nominated and chosen by their readers.

With their 2023 Best Of Travel Awards, TravelAwaits has found the following U.S. Airports to be favorites among their readers. 

With the winner being Kansas City International Airport, the rest of the list is from airports located all over the country, each location offering various amenities and reasons to (almost) enjoy spending time waiting for your flights. 

Here Are The 8 U.S. Airports That Travelers Love: 

1. Kansas City International Airport (MCI)

Taking the number one spot is this Missouri Airport, for reasons more than just its famous Kansas City barbecue. This airport is not even close to one of America’s busiest, serving just under 10 million travelers in 2022.

What was before considered an outdated and inefficient design has now been transformed into a new terminal featuring a large public art project. Not to mention the building takes the award of being America’s largest all-glass facility. 

And PS: Don’t forget the BBQ!


Those glass jetbridges though 👌

♬ Green Green Grass (Sped-Up) – George Ezra

2. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL)

Atlanta’s airport is the world’s busiest, with nearly 100 million passengers passing through its terminals in 2022 alone. According to some estimates, Atlanta airport is reachable within a two-hour flight for around 80 percent of the country.

As home to Delta Airlines, ATL is literally always busy. In order to meet customer demand, the amount of shops, entertainment, and dining is top-notch. 

Terminal of Atlanta airport (ATL) in Georgia

3. Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD)

This Chicago airport is another huge U.S. hub, and 2022 saw nearly 70 million travelers coming and going. As Chicago’s much busier airport (as compared with Midway), it’s used to handling large numbers of traffic and therefore tends to get people in and out quickly.

The airport has good links with local transportation and loads of dining and shopping to keep you busy if you don’t have enough time to go explore the Windy City. 

View of the Hall of Flags in Terminal 3 from American Airlines (AA) at Chicago O'Hare International Airport

4. San Francisco International Airport (SFO)

As one of the west coast’s busiest hubs, San Francisco International Airport helped around 40 million travelers get to their destinations in 2022. The airport wins favor for being accessible, having a clean and modern vibe, and being compact and not overwhelming.

The dining options are varied and vast, so much in fact that the airport has been recognized as the country’s best for dining. One interesting fact is that SFO is one of the few airports in the country that doesn’t use TSA, instead using private contractors. 

San Francisco International Airport

5. Minneapolis−Saint Paul International Airport (MSP)

A little more than 30 million travelers relied on Minneapolis−Saint Paul International Airport to get them to their destinations in 2022, making it an important fixture with U.S. travelers.

MSP is often ranked quite high for customer satisfaction, thanks to the over 20 thousand “Minnesota Nice” people the airport employs. The airport has a public piano, public transportation access, and a 1.4-mile walking path in terminal one. 

@airportsanonymous Minneapolis – St. Paul International Airport (MSP) walk through #airport #travel #hotel #aviation #airportlife #aviationlovers #traveltiktok #fyp #foryou #foryoupage #aviation #aviationtiktok #traveltiktok #avgeek #minnesota #minneapolis #minnesotacheck #minnesotavikings #stpaul #twins ##twincities ♬ original sound – Airports Anonymous

6. Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX)

Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport saw around 45 million travelers in 2022 and is an important hub for American Airlines and a base for Southwest Airlines.

There are not too many international flights here daily, so immigration and customs shouldn’t cause long delays, and the airport is close to downtown. The dessert theme helps to bring the outside in, and there are many places to shop and eat. 

Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX)

7. Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport (BWI)

With around 22 million passengers in 2022, Baltimore/Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport is not nearly one of the busiest in the region, but it has been rated a favorite among travelers.

Only nine miles from Baltimore and just over 30 miles from Washington, D.C., this airport makes getting between the east coast and far-flung destinations easier than the larger airports in this area.

It offers many low-cost carriers, loads of great eating and drinking options, and even a bike path surrounding the airport if you need to get out and stretch your legs on a long layover. 

Aerial view of Baltimore Washington International Airport shows taxiway

8. Palm Springs International Airport (PSP)

Serving only around 3 million travelers in 2022, Palm Springs Airport might seem small, but it’s growing rapidly and is projected to expand each year.

This airport wins people over with its upscale shopping and the desert landscape that seamlessly blends into the local environment, not to mention its courtyard and grassy area to chill out before a flight. 

@heybrandonwakeup Which airport is better than this? #palmsprings #airportlife #airports #besttravel #traveltiktok #california ♬ California Dreamin' – The Mamas & The Papas

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