San Francisco International Airport (SFO) was named the best major airport in the United States by the United States Wall Street Journal. In the newspaper’s “Best and Worst Airports of 2022” report, SFO ranked first in the major airport rankings with a total score of 61, closely followed by Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) in second place with a score of 59 .
A total of twenty major airports were included in the report, along with a separate ranking of the thirty Best Midsize US Airports. Californian airports were also able to assert themselves there, with Sacramento (SMF), San Diego (SAN) and San Jose (SJC) each occupying the top three places.
But while California airports did well across the board — LAX was ranked the sixth-best large airport, while Santa Ana (SNA) and Oakland (OAK) both ranked in the top 10 mid-size airports — not of U.S. airports be claimed east coast.
Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) was ranked the worst major airport in the US with an overall score of just 19, while New York-JFK was ranked second worst with a marginally better score of 24. New York residents can also claim to have the worst mid-size airport in the country, with New York LaGuardia (LGA) at the top of this ranking.
According to that Wall Street Journalairports were rated on 19 factors divided into three categories: reliability, value and convenience. The factors considered for reliability were percentage of on-time arrivals, average arrival delays, percentage of on-time departures, average departure delays, percentage of canceled flights, average roll-out time, average roll-in time, and rapid security clearance.
San Francisco International Airport had the highest on-time departure rate at 84%, while also having the fastest taxi-in time at just 6 minutes. Unsurprisingly, however, the airport fares less well in terms of value based on average domestic fares, airline market share, on-site parking costs, rental car costs, UberX costs downtown, and the cost of a bottle of water cuts off The only factor that SFO ranked in the top 10 for was the cost of an UberX to the city center, which at $36 is the ninth cheapest among the 20 largest airports.
In the last category – convenience – SFO did better again. It had the best average Yelp restaurant rating at 2.82, the second best customer satisfaction rate, and the fourth shortest maximum walking distance at 2,030 feet. However, he was slightly disappointed by the number of non-stop destinations, which at 114 was the lowest among the top 20 airports.
SFO is a major West Coast airport and serves as a hub for both United Airlines and Alaska Airlines. At the same time, it is also the main US destination for international airlines such as Singapore Airlines and Cathay Pacific. However, the fact that it flies to fewer destinations than LAX and Seattle-Tacoma means it’s less busy and easier to navigate, which likely helped it earn the title of “Best Large Airport in the US.”
“Our entire team has worked hard to provide our guests with a superior airport experience, and this achievement is the ultimate validation of our efforts,” said Ivar C. Satero, airport director at SFO. “During a turbulent year of air travel, we are proud to know that SFO has provided our valued travelers with the most consistent and reliable experience.”
The full ranking of the 20 largest US airports is as follows, according to the Wall Street Journal:
- San Francisco (SFO)
- Atlanta (ATL)
- Minneapolis (MSP)
- Detroit (DTW)
- Phoenix (PHX)
- Los Angeles (LAX)
- Houston (IAH)
- Las Vegas (Las)
- Charlotte (CLT)
- Seattle (SEA)
- Philly (PHL)
- Chicago (ORD)
- Orlando (MCO)
- Miami (MIA)
- Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW)
- Fort Lauderdale (FLL)
- New York (JFK)
- Newark (EEA)