Skip to Content

Top 10 Most Stressful Airports In The U.S.

Share The Article

Last Updated

Long security lines, crowded airport terminals, and delay after delay, we’ve all had stressful experiences at the airport. This summer saw unprecedented travel chaos, and the holidays look set to be equally hectic. As we cap off a record-breaking year for travel, knowing which airports are the most stressful can be helpful.

Avoiding these airports altogether may not be possible, but knowing that you should be prepared for more stress can be beneficial when planning your trip. Luckily, a recent study has determined the top 10 most stressful airports in the U.S., giving insight into which airports travelers should be more wary of.

Passengers in the airport waiting to get on plane

The study, conducted by Hawaiian Islands, analyzed Google reviews for over 500 airports from all over the world for reviews that talked about stressful situations and events. Interestingly, the study found that just because an airport is extremely busy doesn’t necessarily mean it will be more stressful than others.

For example, Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson Airport is the busiest travel hub in the world. Yet, it just barely made the list at number 10. So, what are the most stressful airports in the U.S.?

Atlanta International Airport

Top 10 Most Stressful Airports In The U.S.

10) Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) |Atlanta, GA

  • Percentage of Stressed Reviews: 60.22%

9) Chicago O’Hare International Airport (ORD) | Chicago, IL

  • Percentage of Stressed Reviews: 61.57%

Top 5 Travel Insurance Plans For 2023 Starting At $10 Per Week

Easily Earn Points For Free Travel

Chicago airport with christmas wreaths

8) Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) | Los Angeles, CA

  • Percentage of Stressed Reviews: 61.70%

7) John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) | New York City, NY

  • Percentage of Stressed Reviews: 61.90%
JFK Airport

6) Portland International Airport (PDX) | Portland, OR

  • Percentage of Stressed Reviews: 62.20%

5) Orlando International Airport (MCO) | Orlando, FL

  • Percentage of Stressed Reviews: 63.20%

4) Miami International Airport (MIA) | Miami, FL

  • Percentage of Stressed Reviews: 65.60%
Colorful windows in the Miami International Airport

3) Oakland International Airport (OAK) | Oakland, CA

  • Percentage of Stressed Reviews: 68.90%

2) Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) | Newark, NJ

  • Percentage of Stressed Reviews: 69.8%

1) Albany International Airport (ALB) | Albany, NY

  • Percentage of Stressed Reviews: 70.20%
Newark Airport

Busy Isn’t Always Bad

As the list shows above, just because an airport is busy doesn’t necessarily make it more stressful than others. ATL and ORD are two of the busiest airports in the States, yet they are at the bottom of the list. The study notes that many reviews regarding the worst airport, Albany International, warn other travelers to “fly using JFK or LaGuardia if they have the option.” One of the reasons cited included unhelpful or even rude airport employees.

Exterior Of JFK Terminal Building, John F. Kennedy International Airport, New York, United States

Tips For Navigating Stressful Airports

While it would be great to avoid stressful airports altogether by using a different one, that isn’t possible for most passengers. Lack of airport options forces many travelers to deal with stressful airports due to having no other choice. However, there are several things you can do to limit the amount of stress you feel at the airport.

  • Get Good Travel Insurance: Seriously, travel insurance can take so much stress out of the equation. Knowing that you have insurance on your side if things go wrong can bring peace of mind to the chaos of traveling through a stressful airport.
  • Allow For Disruptions With Extra Time: It may seem overkill to head to the airport 3 hours ahead of time, but it can save your trip. Better to show up 3 hours early for a 20-minute security line than to show up 1 hour early for an hour-long security line. If you get through with hours to spare, spend some time downloading movies you want to watch on your flight.
  • Opt For The Early Flight: Delays only build on each other and worsen throughout the day. Taking the first flight out greatly reduces your chances of running into delays.

↓ Elevate Your Travel↓

Sign Up Now For Travel Off Path Premium! No ads, VIP Content, Personal Travel Concierge, Huge Savings, Daily Deals, Members Forum & More!

✈️Join Our Travel Off Path Community Forum: Where travelers unite, ask questions, share experiences and even find like-minded travel buddies!


Enter your email address to subscribe to Travel Off Path's latest breaking travel news, straight to your inbox.

This article originally appeared on

Opinions expressed here are the author’s alone, not those of any bank, credit card issuer, hotel, airline, or other entity. This content has not been reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any of the entities included within the post.