Terminal 2 at San Diego International
Sunset Cove at Terminal 2. Photo courtesy of San Diego County Regional Airport Authority

San Francisco International was ranked the best large U.S. airport and San Diego International the second-best midsize airport an analysis published Thursday by the Wall Street Journal.

“San Francisco International Airport sure tries hard to make travelers forget they’re in an airport,” said the Journal, complementing SFO for being “oddly quiet, even during rush hour, due to strict limitations on overhead announcements” and offering yoga rooms and art exhibits.

But the airport by the bay came in first primarily because of “on-time rates of more than 80%, a solid 10 points higher than pre-pandemic levels despite major travel troubles in other cities.”

Los Angeles ranked sixth among large airports, while Sacramento came in first in the midsize category and San Jose third. Oakland had the worst showing among the Golden State’s airports at 10th in the midsize category.

“Sacramento International Airport, just 100 miles northeast of SFO and a competitor for some Northern California fliers, nabbed the top spot among midsize airports and the highest score overall,” the Journal said. “The San Diego and San Jose airports were Nos. 2 and 3 among midsize airports, creating a California trifecta.”

At the bottom among large airports was Newark and while LaGuardia was the worst in the midsize category.

The report ranked U.S. airports on 19 factors ranging from on-time performance and security waits to customer-satisfaction score and ticket prices. Reliability carried the most weight in the rankings. 



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Ellen Bullock