The Best Airports for a Leisurely Layover, Ranked

A new analysis could help you determine where your next connecting flight will be.

Here at Thrillist, we've got plenty of guides on the best way to spend time in some of the nation's most well-trafficked airports. Traveling through Atlanta? Here's the best way to spend time at Hartsfield-Jackson. Going through Denver's conspiracy-theory filled international airport? Here are the best spots to eat and grab a drink.

But not all airports are made equal, especially when you have to kill time during an airport. Upgraded Points analyzed the nation's 50 busiest airports, and ranked them based on factors including "shopping and dining options, on-time flight performance, average delay durations; in-airport amenities like restaurants, gates, terminals, charging stations; and off-airport amenities like nearby hotels or restaurants."

With this methodology, Upgraded Points was able to determine the best airports for layovers, plus other important data like the airports with the most delays, and the longest and shortest departure times.

"Although layovers are often unavoidable, planning and picking the best locations to wait them out can be the difference between comfort and frustration," said Alex Miller, Upgraded Points founder, in a statement shared with Thrillist. "Our goal with this research was to help travelers identify the exact airports where layover time is not just bearable, but actually enjoyable."

These are the top five airports for layovers, based on the methodology:
1. San Diego International Airport
2. Logan International Airport
3. Philadelphia International Airport
4. Austin-Bergstrom International Airport
5. Miami International Airport

Check out the top 15 airports for layovers in the chart below:

best airports for layovers ranking chart
Courtesy of Upgraded Points

San Diego International Airport came out as the top airport, with 36 restaurants, 41 shopping options, and 13 charging stations per mile. California is also represented by the second spot, with Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport. The airport has fast Wi-Fi, easy navigation, and a stress-free layover, according to the study.

Meanwhile, some of the worst airports to spend time at based on the study include Orlando International Airport, Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, and Charlotte Douglas International Airport.

You can check out the complete study over at Upgrade Points, and learn more about its findings below.
 

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Opheli Garcia Lawler is a Staff Writer on the News team at Thrillist. She holds a bachelor's and master's degree in Journalism from NYU's Arthur L. Carter Journalism Institute. She's worked in digital media for eight years, and before working at Thrillist, she wrote for Mic, The Cut, The Fader, Vice, and other publications. Follow her on Twitter @opheligarcia and Instagram @opheligarcia.