San Diego airport
The San Diego County International Airport. Photo courtesy KPBS News.

San Diego International Airport is the best U.S. airport, according to a new study conducted by The Points Guy, a respected website for travel news.

The study examined the 50 busiest U.S. airports by number of passengers, focusing on amenities, commute time and on-time flight records. Overall, calculations were based on 34 different factors, including flight delays, cancellations, ride-hailing prices, restaurants, lounges, security wait times and more.

“Frequent travelers aren’t likely to move to be near the best airports,” said Scott Mayerowitz, executive news director of The Points Guy. “However, knowing the pros and cons of each airport is a helpful guide when planning your trip.”

“If you know the airport you’re traveling through lacks amenities, pack a meal,” he added. “Leave early if commute times are unpredictable, and try to schedule connecting flights through more-reliable airports.”

San Diego International Airport was awarded the top spot because of its high grades for ample amenities (No. 11), a great record of timeliness (No. 16) and the best score for commute time (No. 1), likely for its convenient proximity to the downtown area.

Phoenix Sky Harbor, a known travelers’ favorite, came in second place this year. Phoenix had the second-best commute time but fell short in terms of getting flights in and out on time (No. 39).

Best U.S. Airports

1. San Diego International Airport

2. Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport

3. Portland (Oregon) International Airport

4. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport

5. Sacramento International Airport

With only one lounge and few restaurants, Chicago’s Midway International Airport ranked in the Bottom 5 for amenities (No. 46). That, paired with long wait times (No. 46) and a less-than-desirable commute (No. 33), earned the Chicago airport the last spot on the list. Orlando earned its second-to-last position for poor amenities (No. 42) and long commute times (No. 46).

Worst U.S. Airports

46. Southwest Florida International Airport

47. Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport

48. Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport

49. Orlando International Airport

50. Chicago Midway International Airport

Individual category winners include John F. Kennedy Airport in New York City (amenities), San Diego International Airport (commute) and Portland International Airport in Oregon (on-time flights).

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