As a record number of travelers traverse the globe this year, many airports may be ill-equipped to process the hoards in a timely fashion — especially in the U.S.
Only one domestic airline made the top 10 in an international airport ranking released Monday by AirHelp, a startup that aids passengers in applying for compensation after delayed, cancelled or overbooked flights. Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Airport (CVG) surpassed others in the analysis, which rated 76 airports across the globe over a three-month period based on quality and service, punctuality of flights and analysis of over 130,000 tweets for sentiment analysis. (Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Airport wasn’t immediately available for comment.)
6. Cincinnati Northern Kentucky International (U.S.)
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A poor showing from the U.S. in these rankings is not unexpected, said Brian Sumers, an airline industry reporter at travel website Skift. “The United States has under invested in infrastructure for far too long, and many of our airports are woefully outdated,” he said. Other U.S. airports that made the top 50 worldwide ranking are San Francisco International Airport at No. 19, Seattle-Tacoma International Airport at No. 39 and Miami International Airport at No. 44.
Top airline complaints include long lines, poor quality food facilities, and delays. Luckily it should get better soon for some travelers: La Guardia Airport in New York City, which frequently tops worst airlines ratings and was not on the list of 76 airports released by AirHelp, is currently undergoing a major overhaul, as is Los Angeles International Airport, which came in at No. 67 on the list. (These four U.S. airports weren’t immediately available for comment.)
But Sumers warns travelers not to let their hopes get too high even with such renovations. “Singapore Changi Airport recently said it soon will have a new complex with a five-story garden and the world’s largest indoor waterfall,” he said. “How can U.S. airports compete with that?”
But there are ways to avoid long security lines. Among them: Don’t travel on a Friday afternoon, Global Entry gives the perks of Transportation Security Administration pre-check and easy entry into the U.S. from abroad, subscribe to “Clear” — a program available in more than a dozen airports including San Francisco, Denver, Las Vegas, and Houston for $179 a year price (with each additional family members costing $50 each).