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The 10 Most Stressful Airports in the US

If you're traveling on Thanksgiving or the day before, you'll probably feel like those comforting mashed potatoes and silky pumpkin pie are well-deserved rewards for tolerating long security lines and over-stuffed overhead bins. According to Forbes' list of the 32 most stressful airports in the US, some of us might get out of this busy travel weekend having endured less stress than others. If you'll be traveling through one of the listed airports, try a healthier way to de-stress before digging in to the most comforting foods in your Thanksgiving feast. To see the 10 airports that are most likely to challenge your patience due to their poor records for on-time departures and arrivals,


  1. San Francisco International Airport (San Francisco, CA)
  2. General Edward Lawrence Logan International Airport (Boston, MA)
  3. George W. Bush International Airport (Houston, TX)
  4. Dulles International Airport (Dulles, VA)
  5. Miami International Airport (Miami, FL)

To see the top five,


  1. LaGuardia Airport (Flushing, NY)
  2. Newark International Airport (Newark, NJ)
  3. Chicago O'Hare International Airport (Chicago, IL)
  4. John F. Kennedy International Airport (Jamaica, NY)
  5. Philadelphia International Airport (Philadelphia, PA)

I am sad to see dear, old SFO made it into the top ten. Are you traveling through any of these airports this holiday season? Tell me which one in the comments section below.


cahill cahill 8 years
Ha, I'll be flying between number 2 and 6 this weekend...
AMP AMP 8 years
I definitely try to always fly in and out of Midway in Chicago instead of O'Hare. Much easier.
melizzle melizzle 8 years
Ah, Newark... how I loathe thee...
mydiadem mydiadem 8 years
Fly out of Philadelphia constantly for work and to visit my boyfriend in Chicago (ORD). It has to be one of the worst airports for delays and I'm not surprised it tops the list. Its the one runway, the ground crew, and the inability for anyone in this city to know how to deal with weather related issues, the crowds, and long security lines. I can't think of a more stressful place. ORD isn't much better, though I usually fly out of there first thing in the morning and have had good success with early morning flights getting out on time. I was in Providence TF Green earlier this week and was amazed at how nice that airport was! Had the option to go to Logan and Green was not only cheaper but you walk right out of the terminal to the rental car. Maybe the answer is more small regional airports like this, if they built one outside Philly I'd be all over it.
bluesarahlou bluesarahlou 8 years
I've had many, many horrendous experiences at SFO. So it doesn't surprise me at all that it's on the list. Thankfully I have other options (Oakland Airport or the little airport in Santa Rosa) to fly out of California!
evanescent evanescent 8 years
i'm taking the train this's a 13 hr trip to my parent's house, but i'm fed up with the airports! i live in NYC and all 3 airports that are accessible to me are in the top 5.
miriverite miriverite 8 years
I'll be flying out of Logan Intl back to Austin-Bergstrom Intl. Good thing that didn't make it on the stress list!
tweet-hotpants tweet-hotpants 8 years
up until high school i lived in ny- laguardia, jfk and newark were my airports. then i went to college in pa and the philadelphia airport was mine. then i lived in boston, and flew out of logan all the time. glad to know not ALL airports are that bad...i just happened to live near 5 of the worst. :)
Jabbadoo Jabbadoo 8 years
Domestically I vote for JFK - New York and IAD - Washington as the most stressfull. Chicago probably is too, but i fly through there so often it's like home to me and in some weird fashion I find the moving walkway underground between terminal B & C, with the flashing lights and the chingchingy music, somehow relaxing, lol. In the past, I'd have agreed with the above poster regarding Heathrow... it's loud and crazy (although I don't know about the new Terminal 4 yet) but the international crazy award goes to the Mumbai India International airport. I travel A LOT and have been in some really crummy sitations, but Mumbai was the first airport that has EVER made me cry! LOL I've never been so happy to get on a damn plane in my life, and the funny thing was, that every other person finally getting on the plane had the exact same look upon their face of "Get me the hell out of here!" Just by the way, as a helpful hint should you find yourself flying out of Mumbai International.... the key is, the moment you walk into the airport... those helpful guys in the blue shirts.... just start shelling out the cash and they will take you through the front of the (VERY LONG AND CRAZY, so don't feel bad,) lines. :)
Lexy403 Lexy403 8 years
Living in SF and frequently flying using SFO i can absolutely believe that it is on this list. There has not been a single flight i haven't been delayed sometimes as much as 8 hrs with each person saying a reason completely different than the next person not to mention the customer service is really not great
bchicgrl bchicgrl 8 years
I think JFK should be the worst to travel at anytime, I could only imagine the holidays -no thanks! I have traveled through SFO and it's not all that bad.
DeviousMuse DeviousMuse 8 years
I'm surprised that Atlanta (Hartsfield-Jackson) is only ranked 12th on that list. So many of the TSA employees are rude and unhelpful, the wait time is always underestimated, and there never seems to be enough people to help check-in. And don't get me started on the people that work for the various food places - downright horrible.
Spectra Spectra 8 years
I like O'Hare, mostly because it's laid out really nicely and it makes it really easy for you to find your connection. My husband always has to fly out East for business and he's been to Logan a few times...and every time he has to fly back, his flight's delayed. It's definitely kind of annoying. I'm really surprised Minneapolis/St. Paul isn't on that list. We had a horrific experience with them when we flew out to San Diego two years ago. They cancelled our flight and the next flight out was delayed. And the hotel accomodations they got for us really sucked.
booglass booglass 8 years
julibeth - I use DFW about 95% of the time I fly to the US. I really like it. But I avoid Miami International like the plague.
krae85 krae85 8 years
George Bush! Holla!! lol, I've been through there tons of times, it's not usually stressful, but I guess holidays would be worse.
Chaoticfury Chaoticfury 8 years
I just got back from holiday and departed from PHL with no problems. Also had a layover at MIA where my flight arrived and left on time. When I lived abroad and passed through Heathrow and Stansted I had a lot to stress about.
zcoral zcoral 8 years
Flying through O'Hare tomorrow... yikes!
glamgoddess glamgoddess 8 years
well, i use JFK and Laguardia now that i live in NY. but use PHL when i fly home to see my parents. how fabulous that all of my airports ranked the worst. i could have told you that.
4blankwalls 4blankwalls 8 years
I always fly out of Boston, and it sucks, but I actually thought LAX was way worse! Maybe I'm just used to the insanity of Logan.
heartbreakerx62x heartbreakerx62x 8 years
I'll be in La Guardia! But, I have to say, I have done MIA TONS of times and it is, by far, the worst airport EVER! It is so old and no one speaks English. I always opt for Fort Lauderdale, which is super close to MIA and about 100 times better and less crowded.
Advah Advah 8 years
Oh great. I'm flying from Dulles to Houston right after Xmas. It's not gonna be pretty.
Smilesp Smilesp 8 years
Wow, both the airports I'm flying out of and into the day after Christmas are on this list, yuck.
ilanac13 ilanac13 8 years
this just makes my trip that much better. i'm flying out of LaGuardia tomorrow and going through Dallas - which isn't the norm since i usually fly through houston, but that's working for my benefit right? my usual airport to depart from is usually Newark too. i guess that's the downside to living in the NYC area - all of our airports are insanely busy!
livetolove livetolove 8 years
How is LAX not on this list??? I thought SFO wasn't too bad and neither was JFK but LAX?? I'll go out of my way to avoid that hell hole!
julibeth julibeth 8 years
Wow. I'm really surprise DFW didn't make the list. I've always found that airport to be extremely stressful...
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