Study: Philadelphia Has the 7th-Best Airport in the U.S.

PHL has more restaurants per passenger than any other major U.S. airport. But it’s below average in delays and cancellations.

PHL Airport

The International terminal at PHL Airport. | Photo by Dan McQuade

For reasons I cannot possibly remember or fathom, I once decided to read the Foursquare comments for Philadelphia International Airport. No one’s going to use an app to write a nice thing about PHL Airport, and as such, the comments were pretty negative. Here’s an example: “I’m in an airport virtually every week. On my list this is in the top 5 worst airports in America.”

Eventually, I spotted the comment a buddy of mine made, calling the other commenters whiners. PHL was fine, he said. And apparently the data agrees. The Points Guy, a travel website, has ranked the best and worst airports in the country among the 30 largest ones. And Philadelphia came in seventh.

Now, seventh place isn’t amazing. But the four major sports leagues are roughly 30 teams; the last time a Philadelphia sports team was in the final eight of a season was late May 2012, when the Flyers and Sixers (1) were in the conference semifinals. Clearly, a top-7 rank isn’t something to sniff at.

“According to our calculations, Philadelphia has more restaurants per passenger than any other major airport in the U.S., which helped it achieve a No. 7 ranking,” the site’s Michael Y. Park wrote. “The downside: Philly scored below average in flight delays and cancellations.”

This is damning with faint praise: The restaurants are great, and you’ll need them because your flight will be delayed! And there’s plenty of common-sense pushback against PHL’s ranking: Some parts of the airport feel very dated, and sometimes you might have to walk long distances to your gate — which is cool with me, but problematic for those with mobility issues.

So maybe it’s not great, but it’s at least better. Deal with it, PHL haters.

Follow @dhm on Twitter.