The 80-year-old Fodor’s Travel airport guide has a definitive and destructive verdict: LAX is the very worst airport in the world. It’s so supremely bad that there’s not even a runner-up (anyone who has traveled through NYC’s airports will probably disagree).
The venerable publication says that the most important feature of an airport is how fast you can get in or out. And by that crucial standard, LAX is insanely bad:
Thanks to the improbably stupid design of its catastrophic horseshoe motor-loop, it regularly requires 30 minutes to travel the short mile from the outskirts of the airport to most of its terminals. And because Los Angeles was built as a city beholden to the automobile, there is no other way to arrive or depart from this maddening complex of suffering but through the interminable traffic.
Ouch. Harsh. But they are not mistaken. There’s no way to get to any of LAX’s nine terminals-like Dante’s nine hell circles, the guide points out-except by car, turning any visit to the airport into “a purgatorial nightmare of traffic” going both in and out.
The guide adds that “never-ending construction” at LAX adds to the nightmare with perennial lane closures that only worsen traffic.
Fodor’s calls Delta terminals repugnantly vile: “Because of the construction separating the two terminals, Delta passengers show up at terminal 3, Delta’s original terminal, only to there be told to head to terminal 2 to check their bags, then rush back to terminal 3 to go through security.” Sounds like a lot of fun to me.
In brighter news, Fodor’s says that the newly expanded Singapore Changi Airport, designed by Safdie Architects, is the best, with fluid traffic, superb international cuisine choices, relaxing walk-through gardens, and great shopping. The runner-up: Seoul’s Incheon.
You can look at Fodor’s complete guide here.