I like ranking things. For as long as I can remember I’ve been creating little lists and putting them in order. On one level, it’s a helpful skill to be able to judge something based on explicit criteria. On another, it’s just fun to say that some things suck more than others. With that said, I’m going to have a little fun and create a list of my least-favorite airports.
Newark and San Francisco have been at the top of the terrible list for quite a while, but after my layover in Chicago yesterday, I had to do some recalculating. The San Francisco airport in particular has long been a smudge on my list of frequented airports, but with the recent remodel, it has slowly started working its way out of the bottom. It’s biggest downfall is the lack of Starbucks.
Chicago O’Hare, on the other hand, is littered with Starbucks and other restaurants (Point #1 ORD). Plus, our plane drove on a bridge over car traffic (Point #2 and #3, because it was that cool). Finally, it has a walkway between terminals that brightened my day (Point #4). However, there’s one big, BIG downside that puts it in contention for the worst. Let’s tally up the scores and separate the merely meh from the truly terrible!
Newark Airport (EWR)
-1 for cleanliness (or lack thereof)
-1 for charging way too much for beer
-1 for having no redeeming qualities
San Francisco Airport (SFO)
+1 for a selection of dim sum at the food court
+1 for the Japanese restaurant we like in the international terminal
-2 for not having Starbucks (seriously, get with it)
Chicago O’Hare Airport (ORD)
+1 for plentiful restaurant selections
+1 for the fun walkway between terminals
+2 for runways that make the airplanes drive over traffic
-1 for charging too much for beer
-3 for no free wifi! What are they thinking?!
So there you have it: a tie for second-to-last! Newark is still the worst for being gross and having no potential. Chicago O’Hare is actually pretty great, unless you like using the internet during your layover. SFO is barely, barely off the bottom. As we keep traveling, I’ll add more airports to the list. Surely, we’ve just begun to scrape the bottom of the barrel when it comes to air travel.