Upgraded Points' latest study determined the U.S. airports that offer the best lounges, ranking 50 of the nation's largest airports across a range of factors like available amenities, dining options, lounge saturation, customer ratings, and operating hours. If you're killing time during layovers or flight delays, airport lounges can provide useful amenities and fun distractions that can make all the difference.
"Airport lounges used to be thought of as exclusive places for elite flyers," said Alex Miller, Upgraded Points founder. "But over the last several years these lounges have become a popular attraction for all types of travelers, particularly those dealing with layovers and flight cancellations."
Airline Lounge Study – Methodology
Upgraded points analyzed over 225 lounges from 50 of the largest U.S. airports using data compiled from multiple authorities on airport lounges. The numbers were then assessed and adjusted for airport size (per square mile) to normalize the data. The study used 15 different ranking factors including hours of operation, amenities offered at each lounge, and customer reviews. Only airports with at least 5 lounges listed were included in those rankings. Another analysis rated the entities that operated each lounge, only including operators with at least 5 different lounges from the 225 analyzed.
Airports With the Best Lounges
Miami International Airport (MIA) ranked first with a score of 81.09 out of 100. Although operating with fewer lounges per mile than other top contenders, the Florida airport's lounges stay open longer. On average, MIA's lounges are open for 16 hours and 54 minutes per day (more than any other airport). A majority of MIA lounges offer premium food options and all have showers to freshen up before boarding.
LaGuardia Airport (LGA) placed second with 76.40 points out of 100, scoring highest in lounge saturation with over 5 lounges per mile. According to customer reviews, the luxury lounges at LGA were the best of any airport analyzed in the study, scoring 3.84 out of 5 stars. Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) came in at third place with a score of 74.89 out of 100, featuring the fourth most lounges per mile, at 3.5.
Rounding out the top five airports with the best lounges were Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) and Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA).
Operators With the Best Lounges
American Express, Plaza Premium Group, and Airport Dimensions ranked in the top three lounge providers. Boasting premium food options, beer and wine, comfy seating, TVs and entertainment, and family rooms, along with plenty of places to charge up electronics, these top-tier locations scored the highest in the study.
Delta Air Lines ranked fourth with a score of 67.79 out of 100. It's no wonder Delta Sky Club is one of the most popular lounges across the country with an average customer rating of 3.84 out of 5 and longer operating hours. However, only about a quarter of its lounges offer showers, and the lack of premium food options influenced the fourth-place finish.
In eighth place, American Airlines scored just 57.52 out of 100. Its Admirals Club and Flagship Lounges are open the longest, but only half of its lounges feature showers and just 28% of locations have family rooms.
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