The 10 Best Domestic Airports in 2017

John Wayne Airport, Orange County, California
Photo: Courtesy of John Wayne Airport

Not all airports are created equal. At least, that’s how our readers feel about hubs like Dallas Love Field, Pittsburgh International, and Tampa International, citing easy access, a vast selection of restaurants, and design with a sense of place as just a few of the reasons they stand out from the pack. “Lots of cool landmarks inside the airport, like a T. rex skeleton and a statue of former Steelers football player Franco Harris,” said one reader of Pittsburgh International. “Welcome to Pittsburgh!” Every year for our World’s Best Awards survey, T+L asks readers to weigh in on travel experiences around the globe — to share their opinions on the top hotels, resorts, cities, islands, cruise ships, spas, airlines, and more. Airports were rated on access, check-in and security, restaurants and bars, shopping, and design. Staying fit while on the road is another big trend these days — which is why airports like Minneapolis – St. Paul (No. 7) and Indianapolis (No. 2) have added indoor walking paths as an amenity. “Safest, cleanest, and most beautiful airport in the country,” one reader said of Indianapolis. “Has wonderful shopping and local restaurants that cater to everyone, but provide the traveling public with a little taste of Indy!” But for the fifth year in a row, it’s Portland International Airport that has claimed the top spot, thanks to its easy navigation, local artworks, and culinary offerings, which reflect the city’s dining scene. “It’s the best airport in America,” one reader said. “It has great retail and restaurants and they charge the same prices as their local stores and restaurants.” Some are even willing to add travel time to their trip in order to use this airport. “We live closer to Seattle but still prefer to fly to Portland,” remarked one reader. “Much friendlier airport, better parking, faster service.” From curbside check-in to breezy security lanes and plentiful dining and shopping options, the best airports in the U.S. help to dispel the notion that traveling can be a pain. If you can’t find a nonstop to your next destination, consider these 10 airports for your next layover.

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10. Dallas Love Field (DAL)

Dallas Love Field, Airport, Texas
Courtesy of Dallas Department of Aviation

Score: 74.75

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9. Palm Beach International, Florida (PBI)

Palm Beach International Airport, Florida
ZUMA Press/Alamy

Score: 75.12

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8. Savannah-Hilton Head International, Georgia (SAV)

Savannah Hilton Head International Airport
Courtesy of Savannah-Hilton Head International Airport

Score: 75.67

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7. Minneapolis – St. Paul International (MSP)

Minneapolis St. Paul International Airport
Courtesy of Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport

Score: 75.77

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6. Pittsburgh International, Pennsylvania (PIT)

Pittsburgh International Airport
Courtesy of Pittsburgh International Airport

Score: 75.79

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5. Austin-Bergstrom International, Texas (AUS)

Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, Texas
Courtesy of Austin-Bergstrom International Airport

Score: 75.96

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4. John Wayne Airport, Orange County, California (SNA)

John Wayne Airport, Orange County, California
Courtesy of John Wayne Airport

Score: 76.05

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3. Tampa International, Florida (TPA)

Tampa International Airport, Florida
Steve Heap/Getty Images

Score: 78.26

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2. Indianapolis International (IND)

Indianapolis International Airport, Indiana
Courtesy of Indianapolis International Airport

Score: 81.36

10 of 10

1. Portland International, Oregon (PDX)

Portland International Airport, Oregon
Courtesy of Portland International Airport

Score: 81.46

Take a Tour of Portland International Airport

Travelers rave about the java at Stumptown Coffee Roasters and the vegan and vegetarian options at Café Yumm, as well as the polite, helpful service. But Portland International Airport isn’t loved just for its friendly staff and local dining options. Travelers are so obsessed with the airport’s carpet that it has its own hashtag. (Check out #pdxcarpet on Instagram.) “It is always a delight to fly in and out of PDX,” said one reader. “The shops, food, and layout are exceptional, and it’s easy to maneuver security.” Added another, “Bar none, this airport has the best design and speedy check-in, and it is accommodating to both families and business travelers.”

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