Best Airport for a Layover (2014)


After four weeks of voting, USA TODAY 10Best readers have chosen their winners in the Best Airport for a Layover Category, and Dallas/Ft. Worth International (DFW) came out on top. This major American Airlines hub won over readers with its free Wi-Fi, yoga room, walking path and numerous lounges for premium passengers.

  • Dallas/Fort Worth Intl. (DFW)

    Dallas/Fort Worth Intl. (DFW)

    Dallas/Fort Worth International is American Airlines' biggest hub and a common spot for a layover. Several airlines, including American, offer lounges in the airport, and all passengers enjoy free Wi-Fi, an airport walking path, yoga room and Minute Suites where passengers with longer layovers can catch some Zs while waiting for their next flight.
    Photo courtesy of Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport

  • Denver Intl. (DEN)

    Denver Intl. (DEN)

    As a hub for both United and Frontier and a busy city for Southwest, many a passenger spends time between flights at Denver International. Luckily, the airport has tons of art installations, free Wi-Fi, free global calling and great dining options, including Boulder Beer Tap House, for passengers between flights.
    Photo courtesy of Denver International Airport

  • Minneapolis-St Paul Intl. (MSP)

    Minneapolis-St Paul Intl. (MSP)

    Many layover passengers at Minneapolis-St. Paul International will find themselves in Delta's hub at Terminal 1, which offers a bright and airy central concourse with shopping and a food court overlooking the airfield. The airport website offers downloadable coupons for discounts on everything from food to souvenirs, and all clothes and shoes are tax-free.
    Photo courtesy of Andrea Pokrzywinski

  • Detroit Metro (DTW)

    Detroit Metro (DTW)

    As a hub for Delta, many passengers find themselves with time to kill at Detroit Metropolitan Airport. The McNamara Terminal's red tram makes it easy to navigate between gates, while the mid-concourse Water Feature is a passenger favorite, as is the underground Light Tunnel connecting Concourse A with B and C. Free Wi-Fi is available throughout.
    Photo courtesy of Wayne County Airport Authority/Vito Palmisano

  • San Francisco Intl. (SFO)

    San Francisco Intl. (SFO)

    A big hub for United and a launching point for trans-Pacific flights, San Francisco International features several carrier lounges for premium customers, as well as free Wi-Fi, a yoga room, Aviation Museum, SFO Museum exhibits and local dining from popular San Francisco institutions like Boudin Bakery and Perry's. Passengers with a layover longer than a few hours can take a BART ride into the heart of San Francisco in just 12 minutes.
    Photo courtesy of San Francisco International Airport

  • Charlotte Douglas Intl. (CLT)

    Charlotte Douglas Intl. (CLT)

    Passengers on layover at Charlotte Douglas International can wait in comfort at one of the many rocking chairs overlooking the airfield. The airy central concourse connecting the terminals features a food court and several retailers for easy shopping and dining while moving between gates. Free Wi-Fi is another perk.
    Photo courtesy of Rob McKenzie Photography

  • Chicago O'Hare Intl. (ORD)

    Chicago O'Hare Intl. (ORD)

    Chicago O'Hare International serves as a hub for both American and United, making it the nation's second-busiest airport. American, United and many international carriers have lounges at O'Hare, but economy passengers will find plenty to occupy their time as well, including a yoga room, hydroponic garden and some great local eateries for sampling a Chicago dog or deep dish pizza in transit.
    Photo courtesy of Chicago O'Hare International Airport

  • Seattle Tacoma Intl. (SEA)

    Seattle Tacoma Intl. (SEA)

    Seattle Tacoma International, a hub for both Delta and Alaska Airlines, scores major points with travelers for its central food court (think Seattle seafood!) with views over the airfield. The airport also offers free Wi-Fi, live music performances seven days a week, an excellent international art collection and excellent shopping, including a newly opened Sub Pop music store.
    Photo courtesy of Port of Seattle image by Don Wilson

  • McCarran Intl. (LAS)

    McCarran Intl. (LAS)

    Passengers connecting at McCarran International need not leave McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas to hear the hum of slot machines, as a multitude of them are scattered throughout. Passengers who prefer to leave with as much money as they came with can find entertainment in the form of the Howard W. Cannon Aviation Museum, a smattering of art, free Wi-Fi and excellent dining and shopping options, especially in the new Terminal 3.
    Photo courtesy of McCarran International Airport

  • Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta Intl. (ATL)

    Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta Intl. (ATL)

    Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International is the world's busiest airport and a major hub for Delta. Besides being easy to navigate, the airport offers free Wi-Fi, tons of plugs for charging, easy city access, an excellent collection of art installations and one of the country's top airport restaurants, One Flew South.
    Photo courtesy of Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport

Denver International, a Southwest hub known for its numerous art installations, finished a strong second. Minneapolis/St. Paul International, another reader favorite, came in at number three, thanks in part to its airy concourse with tax-free shopping.

The full list of winners in the 'Best Airport for a Layover' contest category for 10Best Readers' Choice are as follows:

  1. Dallas/Fort Worth Intl. (DFW)
  2. Denver Intl. (DEN)
  3. Minneapolis-St Paul Intl. (MSP)
  4. Detroit Metro (DTW)
  5. San Francisco Intl. (SFO)
  6. Charlotte Douglas Intl. (CLT)
  7. Chicago O'Hare Intl. (ORD)
  8. Seattle Tacoma Intl. (SEA)
  9. McCarran Intl. (LAS)
  10. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta Intl. (ATL)

Our suggestion?  Keep this list handy during travel planning to make the most of your layover time.

Congrats to all the winners! 

License the 10Best Readers' Choice Award Logo



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Ben Mutzabaugh

Ben Mutzabaugh

Ben Mutzabaugh

Harriet Baskas

Harriet Baskas writes about airports and...  Read More

Harriet Baskas writes about airports and air travel in the monthly "At the Airport" column for USA TODAY Travel and on her blog

Harriet Baskas

Harriet Baskas
Harriet Baskas writes about airports and air travel in the monthly "At the Airport" column for USA TODAY Travel and on her blog