Going through an airport is rarely (if ever) a good experience.

Between all of the security screenings, having to wait around for ages, and stressfully checking to see if your luggage actually made it to baggage claim, it’s clear why most travelers see flying as just something to get over in order to get to their destination of choice, not an enjoyable part of the travel experience.

With all that said, choosing the right airport to fly off of can make a world of difference.

While your run-of-the-mill terminal will have you going through everything I’ve mentioned thus far, some places are actually making an effort to make travelers’ lives a bit easier, and their strides haven’t gone unnoticed.

Airports Council International just released its newest survey on the best airports in the world for customer experience, and close to 600,000 travelers gave their opinions on their experiences throughout 2023.

Among the many great terminals that scored the highest, three are located right here in the U.S., so let’s see which airports made the cut.

Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport

With a 4.6/5 rating from thousands of happy (and pretty hard-to-please) passengers, Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport retains its title as one of the best airports in all of North America.

Background photo from inside the Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport

Travelers rave about the clean, well-designed space, friendly staff, and incredibly helpful information booth.

Another reason why so many people seem to enjoy traveling through Greenville-Spartanburg is the fact that this is one of the most high-tech terminals in the entire country, featuring the latest rounded scanners and gorgeous artistic displays – there’s even an outdoor park where you can marvel at sculptures while you wait for your next flight.

Pickup and drop-off are also easy, and chances are you’ll never have to wait in traffic for too long.

Front of terminal for Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport

Another great thing about Greenville-Spartanburg is that TSA checks here are famously short (as in, less than 3 minutes) and friendly, which are the last words you’d use to describe the process in most other U.S. airports.

And while luggage might take a while to come out sometimes (up to 30 minutes), the many additional perks, like the comfy Amex lounge and the massage chairs overlooking the runway, make the trade-off feel worth it.

Gerald R. Ford International Airport

The newly-renovated Gerald R. Ford Airport is constantly praised for its coziness and comfort, and for good reason.

Located in Grand Rapids, Michigan, this terminal has consistently scored high in airport-evaluating surveys, and this one from ACI is no exception.

View of Gerald R. Ford International Airport, the second-largest airport in Michigan.

I want to start by saying that this isn’t just a remote little airport handling a humble influx of passengers – it’s a vital hub for West Michigan and surrounding areas, so the fact that such an influential terminal manages to still prioritize customer experience is pretty remarkable.

Travelers seem to think that the renovations have truly elevated the space to a new level – the ambiance is welcoming, facilities are abundant and created using the latest technologies, and TSA lines actually go faster than pre-check lines (yes, even during rush hours).

blur people check in at airport

Between all the lounges, dining options, ample parking space, and modern yet inviting architecture, Gerald R. Ford Airport stands as the best example of what a North American Airport in the 21st century should look and feel like.

Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport

Last but certainly not least, we have a gem nestled in Hebron, Kentucky, just across the river from Cincinnati.

The Cincinnati:Northern Kentucky International Airport

Passengers can’t seem to get over how clean and well-planned-out this space is, complete with pet relief areas, short TSA lines, plenty of shuttle services, and well-marked locations.

Your experience here will be further improved by the incredibly friendly staff, always happy to lend a helping hand.

Cincinnati International Airport, Kentucky, USA

And if you’re anything like me and consider waiting around to be the worst part of the flying experience, you’ll be happy to learn that there are so many dining and shopping options here, that you’ll never get bored – there’s even a cute little library where you can take a book to read during your flight.

If anything, make sure to set up a timer so that you don’t get lost in the moment and scramble to make it to your flight!

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