Not all airports are created equal. At least, that’s how our readers feel about hubs like Dallas Love Field, Pittsburgh International, and Tampa International, citing easy access, a vast selection of restaurants, and design with a sense of place as just a few of the reasons they stand out from the pack. “Lots of cool landmarks inside the airport, like a T. rex skeleton and a statue of former Steelers football player Franco Harris,” said one reader of Pittsburgh International. “Welcome to Pittsburgh!”
Every year for our World’s Best Awards survey, T+L asks readers to weigh in on travel experiences around the globe — to share their opinions on the top hotels, resorts, cities, islands, cruise ships, spas, airlines, and more. Airports were rated on access, check-in and security, restaurants and bars, shopping, and design.
Staying fit while on the road is another big trend these days — which is why airports like Minneapolis – St. Paul (No. 7) and Indianapolis (No. 2) have added indoor walking paths as an amenity. “Safest, cleanest, and most beautiful airport in the country,” one reader said of Indianapolis. “Has wonderful shopping and local restaurants that cater to everyone, but provide the traveling public with a little taste of Indy!”
But for the fifth year in a row, it’s Portland International Airport that has claimed the top spot, thanks to its easy navigation, local artworks, and culinary offerings, which reflect the city’s dining scene. “It’s the best airport in America,” one reader said. “It has great retail and restaurants and they charge the same prices as their local stores and restaurants.” Some are even willing to add travel time to their trip in order to use this airport. “We live closer to Seattle but still prefer to fly to Portland,” remarked one reader. “Much friendlier airport, better parking, faster service.”
From curbside check-in to breezy security lanes and plentiful dining and shopping options, the best airports in the U.S. help to dispel the notion that traveling can be a pain. If you can’t find a nonstop to your next destination, consider these 10 airports for your next layover.
10. Dallas Love Field (DAL)
9. Palm Beach International, Florida (PBI)
7. Minneapolis – St. Paul International (MSP)
6. Pittsburgh International, Pennsylvania (PIT)
5. Austin-Bergstrom International, Texas (AUS)
4. John Wayne Airport, Orange County, California (SNA)
3. Tampa International, Florida (TPA)
2. Indianapolis International (IND)
1. Portland International, Oregon (PDX)