New airport ranking puts Phoenix at the top, anything near New York at the bottom

So flying from Phoenix to New York must really be a letdown, huh?

The Wall Street Journal has released its ranking of America’s “best and worst” airports, and much like other similar rankings over the last few years, New York-area airports have been determined to be just the absolute worst.

LaGuardia Airport, which scored a 30 according to WSJ's calculations, actually came out ahead of JFK or Newark Liberty, even though all three ended up on the bottom of its lists.

LaGuardia Airport, which scored a 30 according to WSJ's calculations, actually came out ahead of JFK or Newark Liberty, even though all three ended up on the bottom of its lists. (Jeffrey Greenberg/UIG via Getty Images)

On the other hand, the Journal places Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport at the top of the list, thanks in part to the airport’s “improved average Yelp rating for restaurants and an investment in faster Wi-Fi triggered by customer complaints,” the outlet writes.

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To arrive at its findings, the Wall Street Journal asked more than 2,500 of its readers — each is said to have filled out a “detailed questionnaire” — about their recent experiences at any of the 20 largest major airports, as well as 20 “medium-size” airports. WSJ then divided its rankings into two categories, “because large hubs really have different challenges,” according to the outlet.

Airports were judged on 15 different criteria, with five questions pertaining to operations, five pertaining to value, and five pertaining to convenience. The scores were then tallied to arrive at WSJ’s rankings.

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Phoenix Sky Harbor, which emerged at the top of the “larger” airport ranking, earned a score of 72.22. In doing so, it also knocked the Denver International Airport from the No. 1 spot — where it ranked in WSJ’s 2018 poll — to No. 2, with a score of 68.47.

“It's wonderful to see the Airport being recognized for its focus on customer service, reliability, and convenience on a national platform,” Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego later said in a press release. “This is a solid testament to both our airport employees and the hundreds of volunteer Navigators who donate their time at Sky Harbor."

“This is a solid testament to both our airport employees and the hundreds of volunteer Navigators who donate their time at Sky Harbor."

— Phoenix Mayor Kate Gallego

When it comes to “medium-size” airports, WSJ ranked Tampa International Airport as first (62.36), followed in second-place by both Portland International Airport and Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (both of which scored 60.42.)

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But at the bottom of both lists, as mentioned above, were the three major air hubs that serve New York City. LaGuardia Airport scored a dismal 30 according to WSJ’s calculations, which was enough to send it to the bottom of the “medium-size” airport list. But that’s nothing compared to JFK International Airport or Newark Liberty International Airport, which ended up at the bottom of the “larger” airport rankings with scores of 28.75 and 22.78, respectively.

“We know we have a very, very long way to go,” admitted Rick Cotton, the executive director of the Port Authority, in response to WSJ’s latest rankings. “With new facilities and a renewed emphasis on customer and passenger experience, we can move from back of the pack to first class.”

WSJ also acknowledged that the New York area’s airports are currently undergoing $24 billion makeovers aimed at improving operations and customer experience.

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However, this isn’t the first time New York airports fared poorly in a ranking of America’s air hubs. In May, Newark Liberty was named the works in the nation by AirHelp. And in Sept. 2018, J.D. Power ranked LaGuardia and JFK the two worst, while JFK fared slightly better, coming in 14th out of 19 airports studied.

For a complete list of the 40 airports and their 2019 rankings, visit WSJ.com.