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It’s every traveller’s worst nightmare: having to make a connecting flight, missing said connection and having to scramble to re-work travel plans.

It’s every traveller’s worst nightmare: having to make a connecting flight, missing said connection and having to scramble to re-work travel plans.

But thanks to a new survey released on 29 January that ranks US airports for best and worst connections, travellers now know which airports to avoid – and which to seek out – when they need to change planes.

The survey by Travel Leaders Group, one of North America’s largest travel companies, found that the number one connecting airport that travel agents’ clients wanted to avoid was Chicago O’Hare, with more than 56% of the 1,045 respondents saying they try to bypass the Midwest hub. The other worst airports for connections were New York’s JFK, Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International, New York’s La Guardia and New Jersey’s Newark Liberty International.

Oddly, the list of best airports for connections included a few from the “worst” list as well, including Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International which came out on top with 40.5% of the vote. (Respondents could choose up to three airports for best and worst connections, hence the overlap.) Charlotte-Douglas International Airport in North Carolina, Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport in Texas, Houston International in Texas, and Detroit Metro in Michigan rounded out the top five best airports for connections.

The survey also ranked airports for business travel services, such as access to data ports, wi-fi and ability to ship packages overnight; amenities such as spas, yoga rooms, art exhibits and putting greens; and dining – with Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson claiming the top spot in each. Orlando International Airport in Florida topped the list for “Top US Airports for Families with Kids” due to its proximity to Disney World, kid-friendly dining, entertainment and lounges.

In a funny twist, men’s deodorant company AXE conducted its own survey in 2009 of the best airports “to make a connection” – as in, to meet that special someone. Philadelphia International Airport, JFK and Newark Liberty International top AXE’s list, which ironically, is based on where delays are common, giving travellers time to meet each other. AXE’s list is also based on the number of “hook-up worthy” bars, restaurants and lounges.

Best US airports for connecting flights:

1. Atlanta (40.5%)

2. Charlotte (25.2%)

3. Dallas-Fort Worth (24.3%)

4. Houston Intercontinental (18.2%)

5. Detroit (17.5%)

6. Minneapolis-St Paul (16.7%)

7. Chicago O’Hare (14.1%)

8. Phoenix (10.1%)

9. Denver (8.0%)

10. (tie) New York JFK (7.9%)

10. (tie) Salt Lake City (7.9%)

Worst US airports for connecting flights:

1. Chicago O’Hare (56.3%)

2. New York JFK (39.4%)

3. Atlanta (33.0%)

4. New York LGA (13.7%)

5. Newark (12.2%)

6. Miami (11.5%)

7. Denver (10.3%)

8. Philadelphia (10.0%)

9. Dallas-Fort Worth (9.4%)

10. Los Angeles (9.1%)

 

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