The Worst Airports in the US for 2007

The headline on the cover of January’s Wired Magazine caught my eye. Maybe it’s because I write an airport parking blog, and so I dove into the issue to find the details. “America’s Worst Airports,” it claimed, and there on a double-page spread was a chart showing simulated baggage claims with rankings for all the worst airports in the US. I looked carefully and saw that one of the worst airports is one that I’ve traveled through quite a number of times–Chicago’s O’Hare.

The numbers are stark: O’Hare had a dubious record in 2007, with 30.4% of all arrivals delayed, and an average delay of 70 minutes. Minutes in which the only food options are expensive chains, and there is no free WiFi to help you pass time time at the gate. The average departure delay at this the second worst of the 32 airports listed, was 62.8 minutes.

Looking down I found an airport with even worse delays–Newark, this topped them all, the worst of the worst, even longer delays that LaGuardia which is often perceived as the very worst. At EWR, a whopping 38 percent of arrivals are delayed, for an average of about 72 minutes.

At the top of the list of worst USA Airports is Oakland. There a mere 18 percent of arrivals are delayed, but cut some slack to old Newark: Oakland handled 87,984 departures in 2007, while the New Jersey airport had 151,102 departures.