And The 2013 Worst Airport In America Is…

I’m curious which US airport you think is the worst – I hear lots about LaGuardia, and it certainly used to be the pits. But the new Delta terminal is actually really nice – pretty good selection of food options, the lounge is perfectly fine, nothing is too far away.

People will whine about JFK – I kinda get that a little bit, but again – Terminal 4 is quite nice (that’s not true of all the terminals), and the monorail between terminals is easy enough. It’s not great, but it’s certainly not the worst.

But you know which airport wins the 2013 OTR Worst Airport in America Award ™? That’s right, Miami. Mazel Tov.

Let’s see, what do we have in Miami:

- Huge multi-terminal airport making connections miserable? Check!

- Loooong walks that include escalators, which are always a joy when schlepping bags? Check!

- Signage that suggests the monorail to the car rental is just up ahead but it is, in fact, about a mile walk? Check!

- A waiting area for the monorail that is not air conditioned, so that after you’ve dragged all of your worldly possessions while still in your winter clothing from when you left New York you get to sweat your ass off in the 83 degree humidity waiting for the monorail? Check!

- A very long walk to find your baggage carousel? Check!

- Brazilians pushing you onto the monorail because apparently in Brazil there are no cultural norms around queueing? Check!

- The smell of Managua wafting through the monorail? Check!

I was about to describe Miami as a Latin third-world airport, except that I would be offending San Salvador, San Jose, Panama City and Managua Airports (the last of which has the added benefit of a pharmacy that will sell you whatever drugs you want without a prescription).

I would contend that no airport comes close in awfulness to Miami. Congratulations.


  1. I’ll disagree. At least Miami has computerized immigration kiosks to speed up the process.

    My vote goes to JFK, but my opinion may be skewed by being a mainly Delta flyer. The terminal doesn’t have great food options, is always overcrowded, and my regional flights home are always delayed, usually by 1+ hours. I avoid as much as possible.

  2. Another benefit Managua has over Miami:

    Bypassing customs is easy when the guy you’re paying $10 to assist you with your bags knows the guy operating the bags scanner. There’s no US equivalent of that feature!

  3. Don’t forgot, for non-US passengers, that Miami also boasts the rudest, slowest and most arbitrary immigration staff in the country.

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