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6 Most Beautiful U.S. Airport Terminals

Updated from 12/10/10

Most beautiful airports story updated with information about Miami International and San Francisco International's new Terminal 2, for which there will be a grand opening party Saturday.

NEW YORK ( TheStreet) -- Airline travel can involve unpleasant moments, from going through security to waiting out bad weather to watching thoughtless passengers with too much baggage. One way airlines and airports can enhance the experience is by making terminals pleasant places to be.

These are multibillion dollar projects that take many years, so they involve major bets on the economy. For airlines, it can be difficult to quantify the financial benefit, but it is easy to make the case that gorgeous terminals like American's (AMR) Terminal Eight at New York's Kennedy Airport provide a competitive advantage, given that international travelers in the New York area have a broad array of choices.

Miami International is nearing the completion of a $6.4 billion overhaul. American Airlines' share is about 72%.

Similarly, because it replaced an antiquated facility, JetBlue's (JBLU - Get Report) Terminal Five at JFK vastly eased baggage handling and passenger traffic flow, making the operation far more efficient.

Hub airports also complete with other airports for passengers who must connect, so Delta (DAL - Get Report) and United (UAL - Get Report) gain advantages from upgrades at Detroit and Houston.

Read on for our choices for the nation's six most beautiful airport terminals.

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