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Five U.S. Airports with Bigger Issues than Flight Delays

September 1, 2010 at 10:34 AM | by | ()

Airline delays are always a bummer, and there are certain aiports that seem more prone to issues than others. We're talking about airports with problems bigger than weather delays. Cockroaches and leaky ceilings? Check.

Here are our picks for airports with problems greater than just flight delays:

· Roaches and Filth at DEN:
We’ve got a strange fascination with airline meals, and if a flight attendant tosses one onto our tray table we feel obligated to dig in; however, we might want to stay clear of the options at Denver International Airport. An FDA report told LSG Sky Chefs that they operated gross kitchens, complete with details about dead roaches, bacteria, and possible homes for rodents. Now that things have been revealed, we’ll assume the areas have been somewhat cleaned up, but Just in case we might stick to prepackaged Snickers and Doritos—so healthy.

· Smelly SJC:
It was so nice to hear about San Jose’s newly renovated terminal A, and we imagined how fresh and clean everything looked and smelled. However, we were apparently quite wrong. The place looks great, but there’s some kind of mystery odor stinking up all the new terminal features. It’s kind of like a sweaty-sock-meets-sewer smell, so it’s not too wonderful to say the least. As of now workers are still trying to figure what it is, so you might just get to experience it for yourself!

· Indoor Rain at JFK:
There’s nothing better than flying away from stormy weather to somewhere warm—of course, assuming thunderstorms don’t require a lengthy tarmac delay. The terminal is usually warm and dry, but if you’re heading from JFK’s T3 aboard Delta this isn’t necessarily the case. The ceiling of the old Pan Am WorldPort loves to drip, drop, and leak during rainy days, and lovely baggies toward the ceiling do their best to contain the weather. Things should be resolved over the next few years as the terminal is heading to a landfill, but for now you might want to have an umbrella in your carryon just in case.

· Too Many Roads at DFW:
The trouble at Dallas-Fort Worth starts before you even reach the terminal. Like everything else in Texas, the airport grounds are big, and that’s not necessarily a good thing. It seems to take forever to reach the terminals after you see the “Welcome to DFW” sign, and you may as well arrive three hours early if you have a rental car. The airport feels like it sits on a bajillion acres, and there’s even a toll you have to pay just for passing through the place—although for some that’s optional. When you finally arrive inside it is pretty nice, but we’re usually huffing and puffing from rushing to get to the gate to enjoy the amenities.

· Walking Too Much at ATL:
We’ll throw Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson Airport under the bus as our final pick. For the world’s busiest airport it does a good job, but as lazy Americans we need moving walkways. Sure there are moving floors underground as an alternative to the train, but that’s not what we’re talking about here. We want some movement in the concourses as well. There’s nothing worse than just missing a flight because your sprint down the concourse wasn’t aided by that magical moving sidewalk. We could always grab a cart, but at that point we might as well pack it in.

If you’ve got a favorite airport “feature” that you want to share, be sure to fill us in within the comments below!

[Photos of JFK and ATL: Michelle Zappa & nesnet]

Archived Comments:


What about EWR? Newark Liberty is an endless maze involving endless marching from check-in to gate.

Haha--it's true!

We agree, and we have to say that LGA isn't a favorite either; however, we were trying not to pick on all the NYC airports and spread our love equally...