Ageing infrastructure coupled with booming demand for air travel have put a sometimes unbearable strain on North America’s airports.
While it’s no secret that our domestic facilities often lack the amenities and architectural flair of their international counterparts, there are a few that can more than hold their own.
Leading aviation reviewer Skytrax just released the results of its annual World Airport Awards, which includes a list of the best airports in North America.
The Skytrax annual rankings are based on the impressions of over 13 million flyers from 112 countries. More than 550 airports were included in the survey, which covers 39 service and performance parameters, including facility comfort, location of bathrooms, and the language skills of the airport staff.
Yearly passengers: 4 million
2014 rank: 7
Why it's great: Stanfield is the smallest airport on this list, but it's not without its charms. Skytrax named Stanfield the fourth-best regional airport in the North America in 2015. Customer reviewers raved about the regional cuisine served at the airport, which includes fresh lobster.
Yearly passengers: 35 million
2014 rank: 8
Why it's great: SeaTac is the busiest airport in the Pacific Northwest. It serves as the main hub for Alaska Airlines, and is one of Delta's gateways to the far east. Skytrax customers noted the airport for its cleanliness, wide variety of dining options, and efficient baggage system.
Yearly passengers: 36 million
2014 rank: 5
Why it's great: Toronto is the busiest airport in Canada and serves as Air Canada's main hub. Located just outside of Toronto in Mississauga, Ontario, Pearson Airport boasts state-of-the art de-icing facilities and revamped check-in areas. Skytrax customers gave the airport high marks for its clear signage and easily navigable layout.
Yearly passengers: 45 million
2014 rank: 4
Why it's great: Featuring one of the most beautiful approach paths in commercial aviation, SFO serves as United Airlines' gateway to the Pacific Rim. Situated on the San Francisco Bay, SFO features a modern Craig Hartman-designed International Terminal. Though customers have complained of its cramped dimensions, they have also noted the airport's efficient use of the space it does have, as well as ease of movement between terminals.
Yearly passengers: 6 million
2014 rank: 2
Why it's great: Even though Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Airport is one of the smallest on this list, reviewers have consistently rated it as one of the best in North America. In fact, Skytrax named CVG as the best regional airport in North America in 2015. Reviewers have cited short lines, an open design, and an extensive collection of industrial murals as some of the airport's positives.
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