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Phoenix Sky Harbor is named the best U.S. airport for the second time  4 Months ago

Source:   USA Today  

Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport offers the best experience in the United States for air travelers, according to a study by the popular frequent-fluer website The Points Guy.

This is the second time the website has ranked the 30 best and worst airports in the U.S. and the second time Phoenix Sky Harbor has gotten the top spot. 

The ranking, conducted every other year due to the slow rate of changes at airports, highlighted Sky Harbor’s on-time performance, proximity to downtown Phoenix and amenities such as nursing rooms, animal-relief areas, local restaurants and even spas. Reviewers also loved Sky Harbor’s LEED certification and its commitment to environmental sustainability.

“All of this together helped Phoenix retain its first place status,” said Julian Mark Kheel, editorial director at The Points Guy.

Kheel said The Points Guy survey relies on objective verifiable data rather than reader polls or expert opinions alone.

That data includes Department of Transportation statistics about on-time performance, the price of an Uber to the airport, the number of restaurants available, reviews of airport management and outsourced services as well as talking to experts on the airports themselves.

The results, according to Kheel, fall into three broad categories representing The Points Guy’s philosophy that travel is “about comfort and pleasure as much as mere transportation.” Those three categories are timeliness, accessibility and amenities.

In 2017, Sky Harbor added a fun amenity: therapy dogs that roam about the airport to help calm frazzled travelers. Kheel chuckled when asked if the dogs perhaps gave the airport an unfair advantage.

“We did not include the therapy dogs (when making the rankings) but Sky Harbor certainly does have some unique amenities and those were all taken into account in our report,” Kheel said.

The worst U.S. airports tend to be in the New York City metropolitan area.

“Newark, Kennedy and LaGuardia all managed to make it in the bottom five. This is a combination of late departures, dated facilities — especially in the case of LaGuardia — and other criteria such as those,” Kheel said.

The mild climate in Phoenix affords airlines at Sky Harbor a better opportunity to run on time. However, Kheel said on-time performance is not the only criterion the organization considers and thus is not the only thing that hurt New York.

“If you’re looking for the best airports the U.S. has to offer, avoid New York,” Kheel said.

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