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San Antonio airport lands among worst in U.S. in new study

San Antonio airport lands among worst in U.S. in new study

San Antonio International Airport
San Antonio International Airport is among the worst airports in America, according to this study. San Antonio International Airport/Facebook

Air travel is hard no matter where you live, but for folks flying in and out of San Antonio International Airport, the experience can be that much more difficult. According to a new study released August 1, SAT is the nation's sixth worst airport, getting especially low marks in overall satisfaction, lounge access, and airport public transportation.

To find the best flying experience, travel credit card site Upgraded Points analyzed the biggest 60 airports by volume across the U.S., and scored each using the following categories:

  • Overall satisfaction scores
  • Timeliness of flights (flight delays and cancellations)
  • Ease of access to the city center (public transportation options, transportation costs, and time)
  • Airport amenities (lounge access and Wi-Fi)

In order to determine the individual ranks of each airport, the study used info from the 2017 JD Power and Associates airport customer satisfaction survey and stats from the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Bureau of Transportation Statistics, among other data sets.

Each airport was then weighted on a scale from 1 to 5, with 5 representing the best possible score. SAT scored well on WiFi (5) and a reasonable 3.5 for average delay/cancel times, but fell to bottom in lounge access (2), and airport public transit (1). All together, the airport scored a 2 for overall satisfaction.

Frequent fliers to SAT are likely unsurprised by the airport's low public transit score. With only a bus system in place, it can be tricky to navigate timing, leading to undue stress before fliers even get in the door.

"Some of the least-efficient options are cities that only have buses that connect to the airport" the study elaborates. "For example, while it only costs a little over a dollar to ride, San Antonio International Airport’s public transit option is 150 percent slower than driving."

Other airports ranking low on the list include John Glenn Columbus International Airport, which took the top spot. It is followed by New York's LaGuardia Airport (No. 2), Omaha's Eppley Airfield (No. 3), Newark Liberty International Airport (No. 4), Buffalo Niagara International Airport (No. 5), Connecticut's Bradley International Airport (No. 7), Hollywood Burbank International Airport (No. 8), Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (No. 9), and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport (No. 10).

So where are travelers most satisfied? That honor goes to Portland International Airport, which came in No. 1 for the country's best airports. Rounding out the top three is Denver International Airport and Tampa International Airport.