NEW YORK – As an ethnic group, Greek-Americans know international airports as well as anyone, many of them having often flown to Greece from childhood if not infancy. It should come as no surprise to Community members from Northern California, therefore, that San Francisco International Airport is at the top of The Wall Street Journal’s 2022 Airport Rankings. Conversely, Hellenes in the New York Metropolitan area will not be shocked to find that on the Journal’s list of the top 20, JFK and Newark are…19th and 20th respectively.
Accentuating the positive and delighting our many readers in California’s Bay Area, we will quote the praises sung by the Journal: “San Francisco International Airport (SFO) sure tries hard to make travelers forget they’re in an airport. The place is oddly quiet, even during rush hour, due to strict limitations on overhead announcements about lost items, gate changes and boarding groups. Signs urge travelers to use headphones as they traverse the terminal and wait for flights. Passengers can retreat to yoga rooms, a museum, art exhibits and outposts of local restaurants like Bun Mee and Boudin Bakery, or catch occasional live music. New touchless water-filling stations have hot, cold and room temperature settings and might soon dispense free seltzer.”
More important to travelers than the creature comforts, SFO “has been running on-time rates of more than 80%, a solid 10 points higher than pre-pandemic levels despite major travel troubles in other cities.”
To be fair to the New York areas airports, the Journal actually ranked the 50 largest U.S. airports, so 19th and 20th place are respectable slots. The paper which is the bible of business travelers rated the airports “on 19 factors from on-time performance and security waits to J.D. Power customer-satisfaction score and ticket prices.” Boston, by the way, another major Hellenic Hub, was ranked number 11.
The survey counts domestic airports too, and again, New York Area Greek-Americans from nearby Astoria to the western edges of the metropolitan area are very familiar with a sad fact the New Jersey airport shares with its New York City counterpart: “The worst performers in the large and midsize classes, respectively, were Newark and LaGuardia Airport. Both are plagued by flight delays and other issues…”
But there is good news. Both airports are in the midst of getting upgrades: “LaGuardia’s physical makeover is already well under way and you won’t recognize the place if it’s been a while. And Newark’s new Terminal A makes its debut in early December.”
(Material from the Wall Street Journal was used in this article).