2022 Best and Worst US Cities for Layovers

2022 best and worst US cities for layovers
2022 best and worst US cities for layovers

Surprising findings:

Timely touchdowns: A few northern cities landed at the top of our ranking, thanks to consistently punctual flights out of their airports. 

Portland, Oregon, flew in at No. 1 overall, with stellar performance in four out of six categories. While Portland may have a high cost of living (No. 44 in Affordability), there’s no tax on food or goods, so travelers won’t have to worry about their wallets when dining out or picking out souvenirs for their loved ones.

With even fewer delays and cancellations, Boise, Idaho (No. 2), and Anchorage, Alaska (No. 3), also passed with flying colors. These cities aren’t as easy to navigate as Portland and offer fewer attractions, but you won’t have to worry about filling your idle time when you’re less likely to encounter a delay or cancellation in the first place. 

Call it a detour: Its biggest airports might not have the best reputation for timely departures, but there’s a reason New York (No. 4) is known as “The City That Never Sleeps” — you won’t run out of things to do. The Big Apple also has plenty of places to eat and stay in case you’re in for a longer wait. Plus, it’s easy to get around — safely.

Similarly, Los Angeles (No. 7) is no stranger to delays, but the city is full of entertainment, hotels, and restaurants. Placing No. 49 out of 56 in Delays, LA travelers might even have enough time to spend the afternoon at a theme park or scouting the city for celebrity sightings. 

Travelers who prefer to wait in the airport can do so comfortably in NYC and LA, which placed first and third for airport lounges, respectively.

Prepare to lounge: Tell Grandma to save you a plate if you’re flying out of cities like Fort Worth, Texas (No. 56), Detroit, Michigan (No. 55), or Newark, New Jersey (No. 54). These cities performed poorly in most categories, landing at the bottom of our ranking as the Worst Cities for Layovers. 

Most of the bottom cities are much more affordable compared with our top cities. The tradeoff for budget-friendliness? Boredom. This might be a time worth splurging for a better flight experience, unless you don’t mind hanging out at the airport. These cities fared well in lounge access, good for travelers who might be stuck there for a while.

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