Time Before Takeoff

ASTA ranks the top layover-friendly airports

By: Jamie Wetherbe

Travelers seldom appreciate unexpected delays, but if you’re going to be stuck somewhere, where’s the best airport to be?

The American Society of Travel Agents (ASTA) recently ranked the top airports for passengers with a “little extra time,” and Las Vegas’ McCarran International Airport with its art gallery, aviation museum and gaming opportunities ranked fourth.

“It used to be that passengers who found themselves with a little bit of extra time at the airport could only hope the book they brought would last through their delay,” said ASTA president and CEO Cheryl Corey Hudak, CTC. “Nowadays, some airports are offering as many diversions and activities as a trip to the mall or local museum.”

The best airports to be “stuck in,” according to the member survey, are Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport and Orlando International Airport.

As the “world’s busiest passenger airport,” Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson offers travelers more than 200 shopping and dining outlets and a 24,000-square-foot executive conference center. Orlando, meanwhile, provides travelers several shopping and dining outlets and an upscale eatery for those with money to burn, as well as time to kill.

With an abundance of technological services, including numerous self-service business centers and rapid-charge stations, Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport came in third.

Tied for fifth place were Charlotte Douglas International Airport, with its free Wi-Fi and memorable white rocking chairs, and Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport, which is home to a four-story tall model of a Brachiosaurus.