Editors' pick: Originally published Dec. 5.
Harried holiday travel can be made better or worse depending on the airport hub you use.
A survey of the country's 30 busiest airports produced a list that examined flight delays, cancellations, average security wait times, distance from the city center, public transit options, bars/restaurants, lounges, WiFi costs and parking rates, according to travel and lifestyle media platform ThePointsGuy. The company sourced information from the Federal Aviation Administration, the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, J.D. Power, Google Maps, iFly.com and the airports' official websites to arrive at results.
"This is the first year doing the report and we looked solely at data rather than asking people what they liked or didn't like," explains James Cury, editorial director for ThePointsGuy.
Evaluations included aspects like parking proximity and prices. "Parking rates ranged from $7 to $30 for a 24 hour time period, taking into consideration on-site parking," Cury says. "We also wanted to see how long it took travelers to get to the airport and how accessible it was by public transportation."
Examining data on several aspects for the survey was important because not all travel aspects hold the same value to everyone. "For instance amenities like WiFi may be highly significant to some travelers but not others," Cury says. "WiFi prices and usage may vary. Most airports offer free WiFi that covers you for that half of an hour layover but will impose a charge to use the service if you are stuck at the airport for lengthier amount of time."
The top five airports did all have free WiFi, but what makes these unique are their timeliness scores; these airports have the fewest flight delays and cancellations, and the fastest average security wait times, Cury adds.