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Worst Airport in America? I Nominate JFK

Posted By Barry Ritholtz On July 26, 2010 @ 9:05 pm In Travel | Comments Disabled

This past year or so, I have been in several dozen airports:

Austin TX
Bangor, ME
Boston, MA
Chicago Midway, IL
Chicago O’Hare, IL
Detroit MI
Ft. Lauderdale, FL
Cleveland, OH
Denver, CO
Dallas, TX
JFK New York
Houston,TX
Indianapolis, IN
LaGuardia, New York
Los Angeles, CA
Miami, FL
Orlando, FL
Philadelphia, PA
San Francisco, CA
San Jose, CA
Washington, DC

Aruba
Berlin, Germany
Grand Cayman
Montreal CA
Toronto CA
Vancouver, BC Canada

Amongst others.

I can honestly that I have been in no shittier airport, in or out of America, than JFK. Getting to the drop off or pick up points, the delays to get checked luggage, the distance to the gates, pretty much aspect of any interaction travelers have with the site — are examples of horrific engineering designs.

I understand that most of JFK was built before the Wright Brothers actually flew at Kitty Hawk, and that means there are some legacy issues. It is probably unfair to assume the design team consisted of several retarded howler monkeys and a pile of old bricks. It just seems that way.

Some of you might say Newark is the worst in America, but Newark Airport, not surprisingly, is located in Newark. It does not disappoint: It is precisely the sort of shithole you would imagine you would find there.

On the other hand, you would imagine — or at least hope — that America’s premiere city’s premiere airport should be a sparkling entry into the country. Instead, it is increasingly emblematic of America’s despondent decline into disheveled disrepair.

You might expect that in a place like Detroit — except they have a really nice airport.


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