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America's most stressful airports

Darren Booth

Long check-in lines and distances between gates were the top factors that make airports stressful, according to a new study.


A study released last week by KRC Research on behalf of Concur, a provider of travel and expense management solutions, ranked the 16 most stressful U.S. airports based on interviews with 1,500 business travelers. The survey also revealed that availability of electrical outlets and Wi-Fi are important factors among road warriors.

Here's the list of the most stressful U.S. airports according to business travelers:

  1.     Chicago O'Hare International Airport
  2.     Los Angeles International Airport
  3.     John F. Kennedy International Airport
  4.     Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport
  5.     New York's LaGuardia Airport
  6.     Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport
  7.     Newark Liberty International Airport
  8.     George Bush Houston Intercontinental Airport
  9.     San Francisco International Airport
  10.     Miami International Airport
  11.     Washington Dulles International Airport
  12.     Charlotte/Douglas International Airport
  13.     Philadelphia International Airport
  14.     Orlando International Airport
  15.     Boston Logan International Airport
  16.     Las Vegas McCarran International Airport

Not surprisingly the most stressful locations — including Chicago O'Hare and Los Angeles International Airport — will be among the busiest this week during the peak Thanksgiving holiday travel period.

Stress-Inducing Factors

The majority of respondents (56 percent) found the vast distance between gates and terminals to be the biggest challenge at Chicago O’Hare, while nearly half (49 percent) agreed John F. Kennedy International Airport presents some of the longest lines.

Other factors that contribute to airport stress included:

  •     Confusing airport signs (28 percent)
  •     Poor service from airport staff (28 percent)
  •     Not enough or crowded bathrooms (19 percent)
  •     Poor Wi-Fi coverage (19 percent)
  •     Insufficient amount of electrical outlets (18 percent)

On the positive side, business travelers named Dallas-Fort Worth as the most hassle-free airport thanks to clear signage (42 percent), good Wi-Fi coverage (41 percent) and a variety of quality food options (41 percent).