Airline pilots reveal their LEAST favorite airports across the US – slamming everything


From severe weather and tricky terrain to overcrowding, a fleet of airline pilots have revealed some of their least favorite airports in the world. 

A Reddit post titled ‘pilots, what is your least favorite airport?’ quickly gained traction within the mainly US-based aviation community, with La Guardia in New York topping the list. 

Explaining why La Guardia is disliked by many aviators, one pilot wrote: ‘Just a complete pain from 18,000 feet until you’re at the gate. Unfortunately, it doesn’t stop there. The airport is packed. The food sucks and it’s insanely expensive. There’s people everywhere. It’s old.’

The Redditor added that leaving the airport was just as tedious, with queues on the runway and ‘convoluted taxi instructions.’

A Reddit post titled 'pilots, what is your least favorite airport?' quickly gained traction within the mainly US-based aviation community, with La Guardia jumping to the top of the thread

A Reddit post titled ‘pilots, what is your least favorite airport?’ quickly gained traction within the mainly US-based aviation community, with La Guardia jumping to the top of the thread

Chicago's O'Hare International Airport was blasted by one pilot for its 'ridiculously long taxi experience'

Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport was blasted by one pilot for its ‘ridiculously long taxi experience’

PILOTS SPILL ON THEIR LEAST FAVORITE AIRPORTS IN THE US – AND BEYOND

La Guardia, New York: ‘Food sucks’

O’Hare, Chicago: ‘Ridiculously long taxi experience’

Southwest Oregon Regional Airport: ‘Shortish runways’

Inyokern Airport, California: ‘In the middle of a missile range’

Newark, New Jersey: ‘Delays on the tarmac’

Toronto Pearson: ‘Cancellations and delays everywhere’

Aspen/Pitkin County Airport: ‘Complex terrain’ 

Mexico City: ‘Too crowded’

Florence Airport: ‘Built in the worst possible location’

Another airline captain agreed with the sentiments, adding that along with being ‘crazy congested,’ La Guardia had ‘short runways,’ which meant ‘you’re close to other airplanes and the ramp area is tight.’ 

His other nomination in the worst airport category was Chicago for its ‘ridiculously long taxi experience.’

Another pilot in the conversation agreed with Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport as a top contender. 

He said of the transportation hub: ‘The controllers forget to adjust spacing between aircraft when the runways and taxiways are covered in ice. 

‘By the third go-around in a day of flying you want to choke somebody.’

On the flip side, he added: ‘The ground controllers are some of the best and can be very entertaining, which is good because you will be listening to them for a while.’

However, his vote for the very worst airport went to Southwest Oregon Regional Airport.

He wrote: ‘There really shouldn’t be an airport here in my opinion. 

‘Any place where a single ship in the water can force you to kick half of the passengers of the plane was not planned well. 

‘Mass amounts of golf clubs to bulk out the cargo bin are fun. Shortish runways and terrible instrument approaches.’

He outed Inyokern Airport in California as his second least favorite airport as it has a ‘narrow runway in the middle of a missile range.’

As a result of this, he says ‘all of the airspace shuts down for most of the day. So, if you are delayed, just plan on it being six hours.’

To make matters worse, he says the area is blighted by bad turbulence. 

The pilot continued: ‘I always heard of flights turning back to LAX (Los Angeles International Airport) for severe turbulence, but never experienced it until my sixth flight in there. 

‘When we were in a 60 degree bank and the contents of my flight bag was scattered all over the cockpit I finally figured out what everyone was talking about.’

As with a spread of other commenters, he also shared his dislike of the three biggest airports — John F. Kennedy (JFK), La Guardia and Newark — that service New York. 

Along with the points made by other pilots, he says La Guardia isn’t favorable as ‘there is no train service from the airport to the city.’

For New Jersey’s Newark, he complained of delays on the tarmac, while for JFK he said queues in customs could be up to ‘four hours,’ which made flight connections difficult. 

Other pilots complained about the New York and New Jersey airports being hampered by weather delays.

Similarly, another pilot outed Canada’s Toronto Pearson International for its temperamental weather.

They explained: ‘Yes this airport is massive… but the second it gets windy or they get a millimeter of snow, the whole place goes to s***. 

One pilot outed Inyokern Airport in California as his second least favorite airport as it has a 'narrow runway in the middle of a missile range'

One pilot outed Inyokern Airport in California as his second least favorite airport as it has a ‘narrow runway in the middle of a missile range’

Other airports slammed in the thread include Florence Airport in Italy for being 'built in the worst possible location, directly in front of a high mountain'

Other airports slammed in the thread include Florence Airport in Italy for being ‘built in the worst possible location, directly in front of a high mountain’

‘Cancellations and delays everywhere. Two days ago, 200 flights cancelled for a bit of wind. 

‘Last week we landed five hours late because of some snow. When we landed, I counted at least 20 planes sitting around waiting for gates, apparently some had been waiting for two plus hours. Not to mention the landing fees are insane.’

Other airports slammed in the thread included Aspen/Pitkin County Airport for its complex terrain, Mexico City for being ‘too crowded,’ and Florence Airport in Italy for being ‘built in the worst possible location, directly in front of a high mountain.’

Interjecting with a neutral response to the conversation, one pilot mused: ‘As an airline pilot, all I can really say is that pretty much every airport has its ups and downs.

‘Airports that have challenging approaches often have breathtaking scenery to back them up, and airports buried in metropolitan areas are often the easiest to get into and out of and have great services.

‘Even the ones with weird and complex procedures require a heightened awareness (and some interesting hand-flying) to make things work out right with an acceptable margin of safety.

‘I honestly think “least favorite” airport mostly comes down to “what is the most boring airport I’ve flown into, with the fewest redeeming qualities?”… but I have trouble thinking of any airport that I’ve ever actually disliked, and I’ve been flying for nearly a quarter of a century. 

‘Most of our objections, in the airline world, typically are due to the lack of amenities available at a given airport, or bad overnight hotels, or crime, or scary van drivers.’



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