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Improving American Airports

Airports: The Good, the Bad, and the Enviable

Who’s Got It Right: Most Promising U.S. Airport Developments

New York John F. Kennedy (JFK) Terminal 5 can accommodate 20 million passengers; although the Bay Runway will be closed for two more months, it will enable swifter departures; Terminal 2 is now home to a Travel + Leisure store.

Washington Dulles (IAD) The new $1.4 billion AeroTrain opened, cutting transit times between terminals to less than two minutes.

Atlanta (ATL) Seventy new concessions (including Brooks Brothers and Kiehl’s), rotating art exhibits, and a performing arts series.

San Francisco (SFO) Airy concourses; an aviation museum; convenient metro rail services; big brands (Gucci, Burberry) and local favorites (Boudin’s Bakery).

Who’s Got It Wrong: The Worst U.S. Airports

Miami (MIA) Under major construction since 2004; only 73 percent of flights depart on time; confusing signage; long walks between security checkpoints and gates.

Los Angeles (LAX) Chronically delayed I-405 traffic to the airport; dated terminals lack enough seating; seemingly endless security lines.

Newark (EWR) The worst on-time arrival record in the nation, with only 66 percent of flights arriving on time; overcrowded.

Houston (IAH) Long walk between customs and immigration hall for international passengers; retrieving your belongings from baggage claim can take up to an hour.

Three International Airports We Could Learn From

Singapore Changi (SIN) Outdoor spaces (rooftop terraces; a pool); unbeatable amenities (24-hour cinema; showers; playground; free Wi-Fi).

Zurich (ZRH) Self-service check-in kiosks in three languages (French, German, and English); integration with the Swiss railway system; separate arrival zones, which translate into shorter security lines.

Dubai (DXB) More than 160,000 square feet of duty-free shops; spectacular crowd control (lots of staff, straightforward layout, and ample ticketing desks).

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