JFK may be home to a new Shake Shack, but even that isn't enough to elevate it from the ashes as one of the Nation's Worst Airports, joining its regional brethren LaGuardia and Newark as the scourge of the air travel world, a report from the New York-based Global Gateway Alliance shows.
Despite the high numbers of passengers reliant on the area's three airports—in 2012, an estimated 47.7 million passengers flew into JFK, 33.7 million flew into Newark and 24.1 million flew into LaGuardia—travelers will find themselves without any of the creature comforts we have come to demand when flying. Spas! Museums! Outdoor areas! Dry cleaners...? The only service you can get at LaGuardia is a lousy shoeshine.
Not only are our airports boring, they're also plagued by inefficiencies, the study says. LaGuardia and JFK both suffer from poorly run check-in processes and irregular Wi-fi signals. JFK is weirdly located! LaGuardia smells funny! Newark is "miserable."
Fifteen airports around the country were ranked, the victors forming a three-way tie between Dallas-Fort Worth, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta and Chicago O’Hare, since each airport offered at least 11 of the 15 vital amenities that spoiled travelers require to distract them from the pain of their own bovine existence. What happened to picking up a Danielle Steele novel at the newsstand or passing a four-hour layover in a tightly curled terror-ball, envisioning all the ways your winged steel tube could combust? You would be surprised by how quickly time passes this way.
To be fair, several of the 15 amenities listed are patently absurd. Shower facilities would be great, but do we really need "Theater & Live Music"? Didn't we just spend the entire A train ride over here listening to a man in a drug rug play an acoustic version of Swimming Pool (Drank) on his mandolin? Isn't dinging an airport for its lack of a museum like dinging it for not being able to sit on Carmelo Anthony's lap while petting the Hope Diamond? For not having a bocce ball court paved with narwal teeth? "Listen," you say to your travel companion, "this airport is fine but I simply despise that they don't offer tequila happy hour with Ray Charles' reanimated corpse." Dallas, here we come!