Jack Frost has once again shut down
airports across the country. Stranded travelers must either shell out for rooms or camp out in airport terminals. If overnighting with a neck pillow for a bed seems more common now than in the past, that’s because it is. Winter storms in the northern hemisphere are more frequent today than they were 70 years ago, according to the Third National Climate Assessment.
Some airports are better prepared for this extreme weather than others.
Airlines are too busy measuring how many nanometers they can shave off your legroom to do anything. Travelers must fend for themselves. Unfortunately, due to heightened security and the isolated location of most airports, leaving is not an option. Many airports close their chain stores and overpriced bars early. This means jetlagged insomniacs must survive off peanuts and vending machines. While the season of polar vortices is only beginning, here’s a list of the worst airports to get trapped in during the holidays.
Photo: izusek (Getty Images)
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Worst airports to get stuck in list
10. Seattle-Tacoma International Airport
With an average of 37.49 inches of precipitation annually, Seattle is no stranger to extreme weather. Though often shut due to powerful low-pressure systems or fog, ample coffee options keep it from a worse ranking.
9. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta Airport
One of the Southern locals on this list, Atlanta worries about both freak winter storms and hurricanes. This super busy airport often isn’t capable of housing the hosts of trapped travelers, leaving them wondering what happened to Southern hospitality while reaching for the Southern Comfort.
8. John F. Kennedy International Airport
If you think you’re flying out of JFK after even a single flake of snow falls, forget about it. NYC may never sleep, but its airports never seem to wake up.
7. Denver International Airport
Pitching a tent is fun in the forest and embarrassing in high school, but it never works for building airports. From the secret basements allegedly housing fallout shelters for our inter-dimensional reptilian overlords to the tented roof which is prone to collapse under heavy snow, this airport is not one to linger at.
6. New York LaGuardia Airport
New York’s subway helped make it America’s first city. A lack of direct subway access and vulnerability to being flooded by storm surges make LaGuardia the city’s last airport, expect for the one in Jersey.
5. Chicago O’Hare International Airport
Chicago is a city notorious for crime and political corruption, so it’s no surprise Chicago O’Hare International Airport is a mess. If its namesake — World War II flying ace Butch O’Hare — could see it now, he’d probably be doing barrel rolls in his grave.
4. Newark Liberty International Airport
According to AirHelp, an organization advocating for the rights of airlines passengers, Newark is the worst airport in America. While we didn’t list the airport as the absolute worst, the bronze medal for sucking as an airport is still something to feel ashamed of.
3. Boston Logan International Airport
The northernmost tip of the U.S. northeast megalopolis is Boston, home to millions of MassHoles and Boston Logan International Airport. Despite perpetual updates and renovations, this airport is terrible for sleeping in, lacking carpet and comfortable seats.
2. Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport
From a wonky layout to long security lines to brutal winter conditions, MSP is a bad airport in the coldest months. With temperatures in winter regularly dropping below -10, who would want to visit the Twin Cities — let alone risk getting trapped in this airport — at the most wonderful time of the year?
1. Will Rogers-Wiley Post Memorial Airport
At a latitude of 71.29 degrees north, Will Rogers-Wiley Post Memorial Airport in the Alaskan city of Utqiagvik, formerly Barrow, is the furthest north airport in the U.S. If you get stuck here during the winter holidays – where it’s night for over two months — don’t expect to be home before next year’s spring.