Business travelers know that some airports are better to travel through than others. If you have a long layover, an airport with ample lounge access and fast WiFi make it easy to work while you wait. If you are often rushed or have to make a connecting flight, a smaller, less-crowded airport may be the one you want to visit more to help make travel a breeze.
Below are some of the best US airports for business travelers and others you want to avoid, according to the latest Wall Street Journal airport rankings.
Phoenix Sky Harbor (PHX)
Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX) is the best US airport, according to the Journal. One reason why is a sharp improvement in their free WiFi speed and in-terminal charging ports. Being in a geographic area with plenty of sunshine and mild winters also minimize flight delays.
The recent Terminal 3 modernization has added new restaurants and a 7,500-square foot Delta Sky Club. An American Express Centurion Lounge will open in Terminal 4 in 2020.
Denver International Airport (DEN)
Denver International Airport (DEN) is another perennial top contender. You will find an airport lounge for American, Delta, United, and British Airways. A Centurion Lounge is opening in 2020. Their free WiFi is also one of the fastest for US airports. And, there are over 140 shops and restaurants you can visit.
Average WiFi download speed: 88.47 Mbps
Reagan National (DCA)
When business takes you to Washington, D.C., try flying into Reagan National Airport (DCA). This airport has direct access to the Metro mass transit system to reach Virginia, D.C., or Maryland. Nonstop service is available to and from most major airports across the nation.
There are also four airline lounges and over 100 shops and restaurants.
Average WiFi download speed: 81.72 Mbps
Portland International Airport (PDX)
Although the iconic Portland International Airport (PDX) carpet is completely removed, this airport is expanding. Free WiFi, plenty of shops and dining without sales tax can be found here. To see short 10-minute films, you can visit the free Hollywood Theater micro-cinema in Concourse C.
Average WiFi download speed: 81.72 Mbps
Worst US Airports
Newark is the worst of the three New York City airports due to above-average TSA security wait times. But, this might be your only option if you fly United Airlines or another international carrier. The ongoing construction projects don't make things better for the near future.
If possible, try to access one of the airline lounges to escape the crowd and get faster WiFi. Newark's free WiFi network only offers download speeds up to 50 Mbps.
Average WiFi download speed: 120.31 Mbps (United Club)
Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) is easy-to-reach with public transit with plenty of restaurants, shops, and airport lounges. You may also enjoy the various local art exhibits capturing the spirit of brotherly love.
Because Philly is geographically between New York and D.C., flight delays are more likely than other large airports. TSA security wait times can also be longer than you desire.
If your layover time is extended, take the time to find a restaurant offering local culinary delights like a cheese steak or crab fries. If you're an American Express Platinum Cardholder, a Centurion Lounge is located in Terminal A-West.
Average WiFi download speed: 79.37 Mbps
Chicago Midway Airport (MDW) can be a better option than O'Hare for domestic travel. They also have a fast and free WiFi network. However, you will not want to encounter delays at Midway.
The only airport lounge is the USO lounge for military travelers. Your dining and shopping options are relatively limited in relation to similar-sized airports.
- Average WiFi download speed: 105.51 Mbps
The best airports for business travelers tend to be in the western United States. But, more airports across the nation are upgrading terminals to include more amenities so you can keep working in comfort.
Whether you travel through the best or worst airports, frequent flyers can benefit from getting lounge membership or a private WiFi hotspot to improve your layover.
Take advantage of some of the best credit cards for travel miles such as the Chase Sapphire Reserve or the Platinum Card from American Express (if you want flexibility), or a premium airline credit card that comes with perks like lounge access or early boarding (if you are loyal to one airline). Hopefully, it can help make your experience a bit better.