We are only one day away from enjoying the highly anticipated home-cooked meal that officially kicks off the start of the holiday season. But before we get to gobble down enough turkey to put us in a food coma, we first must pack our bags and head to the airport.
This Thanksgiving weekend will be the busiest travel weekend , as approximately 3.55 million people head to the airports. And while airports will be the most crowded they have been since 2007, there is still time to mentally prepare yourself for the crowds, lines and delays.
While many airports will be packed with people, some lucky Thanksgiving travelers will have one less headache this holiday weekend if they are flying from one of the top-rated airports. According to Condé Nast Traveler's Readers' Choice Awards 2014, travelers flying into Indianapolis International will have smooth sailing thanks to the security checkpoints that help passengers fly through TSA procedures.
Here are the top ten best airports according to readers' ratings:
1. Indianapolis International Airport
2. Tampa International Airport
3. Portland International Airport
4. Long Beach Airport
5. John Wayne Airport, Orange County
6. Palm Beach International Airport
7. T. F. Green Airport
8. Austin-Bergstrom International Airport
9. Raleigh-Durham International Airport
10. Savannah/Hilton Head International Airport
But more goes into ranking the list of the worst airports in America than just traveler's ratings.
A new Bloomberg Airport Frustration Index identified the most annoying airports by ranking them based on how long it takes travelers to reach the airport during busy rush hours, on-time arrival and departure data, and ratings from an online survey of over 3,000 travelers.
The most frustrating aspect of LaGuardia airport is the security, followed by unclean restrooms and poor shopping options.Those flying from LaGuardia will experience crowded gates and stinky restrooms. But the headache will begin before even getting to the airport. With no subway access nearby, travelers are forced to pay for expensive private car services or wait on long taxi lines.
Here is the list of most frustrating airports according to the Bloomberg Airport Frustration Index:
1. New York LaGuardia
2. Newark Liberty International
3. Washington Dulles
4. Chicago O'Hare
5. New York John F. Kennedy (JFK)
6. Los Angeles International
7. Toronto Pearson
8. Dallas-FT. Worth International
10. Philadelphia International
Bloomberg partnered with Google Maps to calculate rush-hour driving times to and from airports in America. The longest commute award goes to JFK (111 drive time in minutes), followed by Chicago O'Hare (78 minutes) and Toronto Pearson (75 minutes).
If you plan on arriving on time for a warm turkey dinner, we hope you aren't flying from Chicago Midway. The airport was found to have only 68 percent of their flights arrive on time, followed by Chicago O'Hare (69%) and Newark Liberty International (71%).
Even though Chicago O'Hare made the list of most frustrating airports, mostly because of flight delays, travelers can kill time by using their Wi-Fi. And if you need some breathing room? Check out the two-story "sermonic" garden between Terminal 2 and 3.
LAX airport ranked higher on the worst list of airports because of the high volume of plane arrivals and departures.
While some factors may be out of your control when traveling, the best way to make it out of the airport with your sanity is to make sure you leave early enough to beat traffic and long TSA lines. Make sure your smartphones are fully charged so you can waste time while waiting and tune out the sounds of the crowds.
Bon voyage, brave holiday travelers!
[Photo Credit: Mark Hodson Photos/Flickr]