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Terminal Bliss: The three best airports to have a travel delay


 Photo by: Counselman Collection/Flickr

There's nothing worse than being stuck at a bad airport terminal. Okay, that was a hyperbole - there are truly worse things...but for the frequent traveller who feels at home surrounded by thousands of their closest friends, there's nothing worse than being stuck in a lame airport terminal when you don't have to be. Especially when you're stuck under a travel delay.

In my regular rounds of internet reading, I came across Frommer's guide to the ten worst airport terminals in the world. I've been to one of them - and have trips planned that might take me through the rest. And if this list holds any truth...I'm not sure how excited I should be.

But with the bad comes the good. Reading their list made me start to think back on my favorite trips - good, bad, and otherwise. And after some consideration, I wanted to add my two cents to that list. After all, I've flown enough to know which terminals are my favorite - and, if given the inevitable truth of a trip delay, where I wouldn't mind being. So, with no further ado, here's my top three airports to get stuck in.  

#1 Top Airport Terminal: Minneapolis/St. Paul

Why is this one my number one? Simple: if I'm stuck behind a travel delay, I want to be at an airport where it will be relatively easy to kill time. Minneapolis/St. Paul - with their solid Airport Mall and decent food court - makes for a great place to eat, window shop, and even catch up on my reading list. Oh, and this isn't to mention their double secret observation deck that is perfect for those quiet moments you need while travelling. Absolutely an airport that I look forward to visiting!

#2 Top Airport Terminal: San Francisco International

What do I love about this airport? First of all, there's plenty to see both pre- and post-security - have a bite to eat, drink, or visit one of the many shops. There's always plenty of seating space, and all of the terminals are clearly marked - just hop on the Air Train and get off at your departing airline. Did I mention the free WiFi throughout all terminals?

#3 Top Airport Terminal: Chicago O'Hare

A lot of people are going to be perplexed as to why this is one of my personal favorites - especially consdiering all of the trip delays I've suffered as a result. I have an affinity for this airport (no pun or endorsement intended) because the City of Chicago has really made an effort into making O'Hare an experience. There are plenty of shops, excellent views of the runways (and sunrise/sunsets if you're there at those times), and free WiFi is coming soon! Not that you'll need it. And the eight straight "Best Airport in North America" ratings by Global Traveller certainly don't hurt it, either.

So what do you think? Am I right on about the best airports to be stuck under a trip delay at, or am I off the mark here? Let me know where you wouldn't mind being stuck at in the comments below!



As much as I love the shops and food available in O'Hare, the lack of free Wi-Fi and readily available power outlets would put this one at the bottom of my list.

My personal favorite is definitely Las Vegas McCarran. Delays don't seem nearly as bad when there are slot machines in the terminal!


Dana, totally agree on McCarran! Going there this week. I LOVE how zippy their security line is too.


I also loved the Mccarran airport! The slot machines are a great time passer.

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