Logan International Airport
Boston Logan International is only a stone's throw from downtown Boston, so it's easily accessible, but that doesn't make up for its abhorrent on-time flight track record.
A study from 2022 found that almost 3.6% of flights coming out of Logan International were canceled. While this number isn't the worst in the nation—that honor goes to Newark, with 8% of flights canceled—ranking as one of the top ten worst in the nation is nothing to be proud of.
Denver International Airport
Despite the increased snow risks, Denver's planes are usually on-time, but it's almost 30 miles out of the way. The fact that it's such a hassle to get to loses it major points. Not to mention the traffic to get there is awful.
In addition to being one of the worst airports in the country for on-time departures, Denver International is also often called one of the worst-designed airports in the country, which means that navigating the place will be a nightmare as well. And don't even get us started on all those creepy art installations across the airport!
Los Angeles International Airport
Inaccessibility at its finest. LAX is hard to get to thanks to the hell that is LA traffic. Once you finally get there, you're stuck dealing with "eight terminals connected by a traffic jam," according to CNN. Only San Francisco has a worse record for on-time flights.
According to a recent study by JD Power measuring customers' satisfaction ratings of United States airports, LAX found itself in the bottom three for large-sized airports. Those results pretty much line up perfectly with the terrible reputation that LAX has built for itself over the years.
Thurgood Marshall Airport
AKA the Baltimore-Washington International Airport, it has a similar problem to Logan International. It's super close to Baltimore and easily accessible, but the late departures set it back considerably.
Thurgood Marshall Airport can be especially headache-inducing if you're planning on traveling the skies around the holidays. According to a 2022 study, the airport ranked second to last when it comes to Labor Day travel—they ended up with a ridiculous 43% of flights delayed and more than 5% canceled outright.
William P. Hobby Airport
A smaller airport in Houston that has received its time in the spotlight. There's been a number of issues: a toy grenade bomb scare in 2018, a dance company performing during a delay and going viral, and hundreds upon hundreds of flight cancellations due to mechanical problems. It doesn't get much worse than this.
Regular water shutoffs, dirty bathrooms, barely functioning power outlets, and horrible customer service gives this place a pretty bad reputation. Plus, the William P. Hobby Airport is on the smaller side, so don't expect any great amenities or lots to do while you wait for your (hopefully not canceled) flight!
Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport
This is easily one of the busiest airports in the world, but it's also one of the most hated. Critics have said this place is too big and too crazy, airport services are often overwhelmed, making connections can be rough, international flyers are stuck in long waits in Customs, and it’s honestly a bit of a mess.
If you happen to be traveling through Hartsfield-Jackson, just be prepared for crowds and lines—you're going to encounter them whether it's a holiday weekend or just a random Tuesday morning. Plus, you'll definitely want to budget some extra time because you'll almost certainly get lost at least once or twice!
Seattle-Tacoma International Airport
Seattle-Tacoma is notorious for its usually delayed flights, and the food choices aren't great. The plus side? It's super close to downtown Seattle, with bus and rail lines to take you there while you wait.
According to one 2022 study, Seattle-Tacoma International had one of the worst reputations for those on a time crunch. According to the numbers, it takes an average of 25 minutes for someone to get through security, which led to its rank as the seventh worst in the nation. You'll definitely want to arrive early when traveling through this airport!
San Francisco International Airport
There are two significant issues with this airport. The first is that it's 13 miles out of the way. Usually, that wouldn't be too bad, but SanFran is known for abhorrent traffic. The second is that you won't find an airport with fewer on-time flights. Even Atlanta has more on-time flights than SanFran International.
There are countless bad reviews online that people have left for San Francisco International, and many of the complaints are what you'd expect from a bad airport—wait times for customs and security are ridiculous, a poor layout to navigate, and plenty of overpriced goods in the shops. You won't find many people in the world who are big fans of San Francisco International!
Orlando International Airport
Orlando International is the major airport in central Florida, and every theme park tourist is probably already aware of its super spread out nature. Couple the inaccessibility with less than great amenities and timeliness, this airport is a recipe for trouble.
While this is really not Orlando International's fault, the constant influx of Disney World tourists really rubs salt in the wound of exasperated travelers visiting this airport. You should probably just go ahead and mentally prepare to be held up by multiple obnoxious families all decked out in Mickey Mouse ears.
O'Hare International Airport
O'Hare actually has more on-time flights than Orlando International, despite the notorious windy weather. Inaccessibility is the major player here. It's 17 miles from the city center, so you'd have to drive through crazy downtown Chicago traffic or take a very long train or bus ride just to even get to this place.
Pretty much any major international airport is going to be a headache to navigate, but O'Hare frequently ranks dead last in lists of the worst US airports. Average delay times can rise as high as 75 minutes, and during particularly bad times of the year, up to 25% of flights out of O'Hare can be canceled.
Newark Liberty International Airport
Deemed one of the ugliest airports in the U.S., Newark is inaccessible and not great for on-time flights. This is also the second-busiest airport in the area (with not a lot of good amenities), so we recommend avoiding this place.
In recent years, Newark Liberty International has at least made some attempts to redeem itself with the construction of a new terminal and increased efforts at customer service. However, it doesn't seem to have done much to change public perception, as the airport still ranked dead last in JD Power's 2022 airline customer satisfaction survey.
John F. Kennedy International Airport
Flights rarely leave on time, it's ugly, and it's inaccessible. Combine all three of those together, and you've got a recipe for a horrible airport. Not to mention it's super busy during the holidays. Do yourself a favor and just avoid this place.
Honestly, if you're looking for a good airport in New York City, you're simply out of luck. While JFK has no redeeming qualities about it, neither do the other two major airports in the city! They all frequently congregate in the bottom three for customer satisfaction surveys. You've just got to roll the dice and hope you don't get canceled on!
Cleveland-Hopkins International Airport
The redeeming qualities for this place are that it has some kind of cool amenities (a Rock and Roll Hall of Fame gift shop and a Superman shrine). However, even the amenities can't make up for the cramped, dark, and under-upgraded airport. Old, boring, and severely lacking in up-to-date equipment, this airport seems to be stuck in the dark ages.
Many mid-size airports struggle because they just can't offer the same amenities and options for passing time in the terminal, but Cleveland-Hopkins seems to be the worst of the worst in this category. However, while it still ranks near the bottom, Cleveland-Hopkins has actually risen in the rankings of JD Power's customer satisfaction survey from 2021 to 2022.
Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport
Named for former President George H.W. Bush, this massive complex is overwhelming. If you have 10 minutes to switch planes, you better be an Olympic sprinter because that's the only way you'll make it barely on time. Customers claim that the signs are unclear and unhelpful, many say that there aren't enough charging stations.
Nothing impressive about this place. At least, not in a good way. While the airport is currently undergoing a billion-dollar renovation, the changes don't seem to have changed public opinion. If anything, the construction has made the airport worse in terms of delays and navigating to the correct terminal.
Salt Lake City International Airport
Described by critics as a "claustrophobic nightmare," the most recent upgrades were in the 1980s. The airport has been unable to keep up with all of its customers' needs, and customers have taken Yelp to complain about the terrible WiFi, dirty facilities, and crowding.
Salt Lake City International has been attempting to modernize in the last few years, but lots of customers still aren't convinced. According to some online reviews, navigating to your correct terminal now involves a ton of walking and several bus trips. It doesn't seem like this airport will be fixing its reputation anytime soon.
Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport
The Airports Council International rated this airport among the best in the U.S. back in 2018, but many customers severely disagree. The layout of the airport is one of the major problems here: underground crossings, escalators, car traffic, trams, and terribly confusing signage to make things worse. There's also apparently too few men's bathrooms.
You'll definitely want to make sure your time management is on point because Minneapolis-St. Paul International is frequently cited as a terrible airport for travelers running late, thanks to the long wait times for security. If the airport isn't going to be competent, it falls on the travelers themselves to pick up the slack!
San Jose International Airport
Close to Silicon Valley, this airport boasts usually on-time flights. Though recent renovations have failed to fix the sprawling, awkward layout. The building is just one forever-long hallway with lots of confusing signs. Customers have stated that this airport was just a torturous experience.
While San Jose International didn't rank dead last in the most current JD Power customer satisfaction surveys, 24th place (out of 30) is nothing to be proud of. You would think that the airport just being one long hallway would at least make navigation a breeze, but customers frequently complain about confusing signage when trying to find their correct terminal.
Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport
Not the worst airport in the U.S. but most definitely not the greatest (or really outstanding in any way). Flights are usually on time but not enough to be reliable. There are barely enough restaurants for all its customers, and it's pretty far out from Detroit.
While Detroit was recently ranked as number two in the nation for "on-time performance", customers still seem to hate the place, as it frequently ranks near the bottom on surveys assessing airport quality overall. However, it might not be an airport problem specifically—maybe people just hate Detroit in general?
Daniel K. Inouye International Airport
Tourism is what makes Hawaii, but this airport makes us think otherwise. It does boast excellent scheduling and very few cancellations, but the fact that it's basically a maze means you might not make your flight. Locals recommend arriving super early so you can figure out how to get to your terminal.
A bad airport experience shouldn't be enough to scare you off of a gorgeous Hawaiian vacation, but you should go in prepared—the fun in the sun doesn't officially begin until you are safely out of this labyrinth of an airport and not a minute before!
Oakland International Airport
Dirty bathrooms, constant delays, limited dining options, and gates cluttered with trash--this airport is hellish. The best thing customers say about this place is that you can get away from it quickly, the BART subway trains leave every six minutes. Yikes.
While you thankfully have more airport options in the area besides just Oakland International, none of them have done great in the rankings and have their own problems to worry about. However, this airport is definitely the worst of the worst when deciding where to fly in and out of.
Miami International Airport
Always jam-packed with tourists, this airport falls victim to the city's insane popularity and closeness to the tropics. Flyers have complained about long walks from security to boarding, confusing signs, and horrible service in all aspects. Almost one in five flights are delayed, which wouldn't be so bad if you weren't stuck in Florida's hellish humidity in a crowded, claustrophobic airport.
If you're lucky enough to have access to some of the swanky lounges in Miami International, your experience might not actually be a terrible one (as the airport frequently ranks much better with high-priority flyers). However, for those of us in the common rabble, the airport is just going to be another headache.
Hollywood International Airport
Fort Lauderdale is considered one to the absolute worst U.S. airports, and one of the most hated. Delays are common, security lines are disgustingly long, and cancellations are way higher than normal. This place is a mess. Avoid it unless you absolutely have no choice.
Like many of the other airports on this list, the biggest complaint against Hollywood International are the almost-constant flight delays and cancellations. Strangely enough, that's not their only sin, though. Hollywood International is also frequently ranked as having the worst restaurant options of any airport in the country!
Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport
DFW services two major north Texas cities, and it's hard to access from either place. Almost 20 miles from Dallas and even farther from FW, there are few transit options to help customers get there. Delays are usually a significant problem here, too. Thankfully, there are a lot of food options and even two yoga studios to help keep you occupied while you wait.
Dallas-Fort Worth International does plenty on its own to make flying that much more unbearable for travelers, but it also has to deal with a lot of issues that are outside of its control too. As a major US airport, delays in other cities can lead to delays at DFW. But regardless of who is to blame, this is one airport no one looks forward to!
The odds of a flight leaving on time from LaGuardia is approximately one-in-a-million. You have a better chance of spotting a dragon and asking it for a ride. The building itself also needs a nice facelift and an interior designer.
There's really no airport that people absolutely love, but La Guardia specifically has managed to make travelers hate it. From trying to navigate the poorly lit and narrow hallways to lining up for a shuttle trip just to reach an area where you can call an Uber, your stay at La Guardia will be terrible from start to finish, guaranteed.
Kansas City International Airport
You'd think having a smaller airport would mean few mess-ups. Here, that's just not the case. Affordable parking is super far, and there's not near enough spots, so flyers are forced to pay for expensive taxis or valet parking. The building has tiny bathrooms, not enough space to accommodate modern security screenings, and too few seats.
Unless you're totally okay with standing or sitting on the floor while you wait for your plane, maybe just avoid this place if you can. If you happen to have a delay or a cancellation, there are several nearby hotels in the city, but good luck actually getting there with so few options for public transit!
Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport
Praised for timely flights, nursing rooms, animal relief areas, and a major commitment to environmental sustainability, Phoenix Sky Harbor almost seems like a dream compared to some of the others on this list. However, Terminals Two and Three are grim and dismal, neglected by the ongoing construction.
Customers complain about not enough air conditioning, broken seats, few functioning outlets, tiny bathrooms, and no WiFi. Plus, if you plan on flying late at night or early in the morning, don't expect many restaurants or kiosks to be open, as they frequently close up shop at 9 PM. The bad seems to outweigh the good here.
Chicago Midway International Airport
This place has been under construction since 2018, and it's only gotten worse. Several new gates were squished in, resulting in severe overcrowding, inadequate seating, and security lines spilling out into the parking lot. Popular dining places have been replaced with subpar chains with terrible service and worse food.
Online reviewers have hilariously described the food on offer at Chicago Midway International as "Chicago's worst pizza" and "scary brown lettuce." While you probably shouldn't be looking for a five-star dining experience at the airport, these comments make us worry that we wouldn't be able to find anything edible at all!
Philadelphia International Airport
Notorious for its disorganization, lack of cleanliness, and horrible customer service, Philadelphia International doesn't have a whole lot going for it. Though, airlines have agreed to put $900 million into much-needed improvements for this airport. Who knows, maybe it'll be much better in 15 years!
However, we wouldn't bet on it! Philadelphia has long had a reputation as one of the worst airports in America, and even a decade or more of great service might not be enough to salvage it. At least now you've been warned and won't be expecting to have a great time if you're unlucky enough to fly out of Philadelphia International.
Louis Armstrong New Orleans Airport
About 80% of arrivals are on time, delays and cancellations are sitting at average, but the size of the airport is what lands it in this list. A tiny airport that can't handle all the traffic coming in. Bathrooms with just a couple of stalls, few food options, and wildly long lines coupled with the general dirtiness set this place up for failure.
You would think that a major tourist hub like New Orleans would be able to run a stellar airport, but that's just not the case. New Orleans itself may have a lot of charm, but its airport feels like something out of a third-world country. Hopefully, you'll be in and out in a hurry and won't have time to think about how low-quality it is!
Charlotte Douglas International Airport
With the distinction of being the world's seventh busiest airport in terms of air traffic, you'd think they'd be prepared to handle the influx of flyers. Nope. Construction on Concourse B has customers complaining of crowding, lack of seating, dirt, and grime everywhere, and no clear barriers to separate the construction. Sounds like a recipe for disaster.
In addition to all these problems, Charlotte Douglas International has also gotten a bad reputation for cancellations in recent years. According to a 2022 study, almost 30% of flights from the airport were delayed, while almost 3.5% of flights were canceled outright. This is one stop to avoid if you can!