Atlanta, Minneapolis, Seattle Rank Tops in Airport Amenities

Travelers and their travel agents can anticipate more traveler friendly amenities at airports, according to a report released by the Global Gateway Alliance (GGA). Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson, Minneapolis-St. Paul and Seattle-Tacoma are the top three airports for passenger amenities, according to a new GGA ranking.

The report surveyed the nation’s top 20 busiest airports for a range of traveler amenities, including: movie kiosks, free Wi-Fi, designated play areas, health and wellness centers, spas and one-seat rides. Charlotte Douglas and Denver both placed last, failing to offer most amenities, GGA said.

More airports than ever before are offering extras to travelers, GGA says. To enhance the passenger experience, airports are moving past traditional amenities based on comfort and convenience, towards an expanded array of offerings focused on technology, entertainment and health and wellness.

Overall, the top three airports; Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson, Minneapolis-St. Paul and Seattle Tacoma, took top honors, providing travelers with 79 percent of amenities studied. Charlotte Douglas and Denver airports, however, only offered only 35 percent, making them the worst of the airports surveyed, GGA says.

New York-area airports, while still a long way from the top, have made strides since last year’s study, with JFK and Newark offering over 50 percent of all available amenities and LaGuardia 38 percent, bumping it from its spot in last place to 18th overall, GGA says.  

Key findings:

  • Airport Spas were the most popular amenity, offered at 19 of the 20 airports, closely followed by free Wi-Fi and intra-airport transit.
  • Movie kiosks were the least common, installed at only three of the surveyed airports.
  • Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson offered interactive kiosks with cameras that allow travelers to share travel moments with friends via Facebook and Instagram while charging their phones.
  • Minneapolis-St. Paul offered key family-friendly amenities, including an aviation-themed play area complete with a mock airplane, air traffic control tower and Snoopy statue. 
  • Philadelphia offered “Just Plane Fun,” a fitness zone including stationary bikes and elliptical machines.
  • San Francisco lead the nation with 13.6 electrical outlets per gate, more than double the national average.

“As air travel has expanded, the nation’s top airports are becoming hubs for commerce, entertainment and relaxation through new and innovative amenities. That’s a trend that the cities and regions these airports serve are benefitting from,” said Joe Sitt, GGA chairman and founder. “And while free Wi-Fi is an important step for New York area airports, they need to continue to focus on amenities as a way to close the gap with leading US airports.”

No single airport offered all surveyed amenities, GGA reports. While many amenities like movie kiosks and fitness trails recently introduced in U.S. airports are limited in number, GGA expects their presence to increase exponentially in coming years.