Whether you’re arriving, departing or waiting out a layover, your time at the airport can sometimes make or break a trip. As frequent travelers know, a bad airport experience can be a real headache… and a great one can leave you soaring high for the rest of your journey.
So how do you know which U.S. airports are truly first-class? To find out, we surveyed 114,000 savvy TripAdvisor travelers from the United States. The first-ever Travelers’ Choice Favorites awards for U.S. Airports honor travelers’ 5 favorite large domestic airports and 5 favorite medium domestic airports (based on their size classification by the FAA).
The Top 5 Large U.S. Airports
- Portland International Airport (PDX), Portland, Oregon
TripAdvisor traveler tip: The iconic, quirky carpeting in PDX has recently been replaced by a well-received, updated design. If you need any assistance while you’re there, the Volunteer Information Program is there to help. They currently assist nearly 13,000 customers each month.
- Tampa International Airport (TPA), Tampa, Florida
TripAdvisor traveler tip: Travelers enjoy the fast and free Wi-Fi service throughout the airport. Using a hub and spoke layout and automated people movers, TPA has minimized walking distances, making this one of the easiest airports to get around.
- Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP), Minneapolis, Minnesota
TripAdvisor traveler tip: MSP features a monorail for easy access to the Mall of America and downtown Minneapolis.
- Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC), Salt Lake City, Utah
TripAdvisor traveler tip: Travelers rave about the beautiful mountain views, easy navigation and friendly airport staff.
- Detroit Metropolitan Wayne Country Airport (DTW), Romulus, Michigan
TripAdvisor traveler tip: Recent improvements have made DTW much easier to get to, with comfortable seating and many amenities once you’re there.
The Top 5 Medium U.S. Airports
- Indianapolis International Airport (IND), Indianapolis, Indiana
TripAdvisor traveler tip: This easy-to-navigate airport makes finding your gate a stress-free process.
- John Wayne Airport Orange County Airport (SNA), Santa Ana, California
TripAdvisor traveler tip: SNA was recommended for its short, fast-moving security and check-in lines, as well as friendly staff.
- Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW), Fort Myers, Florida
TripAdvisor traveler tip: Clean and bright RSW has seen many improvements since moving to a brand new terminal 10 years ago, including additional infrastructure improvements such as a new entrance, improved entry road, and free Wi-Fi throughout.
- Palm Beach International Airport (PBI), West Palm Beach, Florida
TripAdvisor traveler tip: Want to practice your swing while you wait for a flight? There’s an 8-hole putting green on the second floor of the main terminal.
- Albuquerque International Sunport (ABQ), Albuquerque, New Mexico
TripAdvisor traveler tip: The décor here goes above and beyond. The airport was designed to reflect pueblo style architecture and features more than 113 different pieces of art.