When I was young, I lived in Burien, WA. Kind of a suburb of Seattle these days. Our house was right under the flight path of Seatac Airport. I remember when I was very young planes would fly over the house on their final approach to land and the house would just shake from the sound of the engines. 

My dad was an aerospace engineer for Boeing, and I loved airplanes, all kinds of airplanes. Sometimes on the weekends Dad would do freelance engineering work and I would go with him to take a look at a job. I remember going to Renton Field in Seattle and seeing a P51 Mustang sitting out on the tarmac, it was beautiful. 

Goodwood Revival 2010
Chris Jackson

Years passed, I got older, married, we had kids and I still loved airplanes. One of the things I used to love to do with the kids is go visit Seatac Airport. We would just go there for no other reason than to look around, ride the underground trams and watch planes take off and land. It was awesome. These days with security the way it is you really can't do it. 

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In my 20s and 30s I got to fly in and out of Seatac and other airports a lot. At the time I had some opinions about what airports were better than others, especially for layovers. 

There is a new study that's just been published by upgradedpoints.com. That rates the top 50 Busiest airports in the United States and Seatac Airport is on the list. 

according to prnewswire.com,  

“The analysis included 50 of the nation's busiest airports, each evaluated across a range of factors significant to travelers during layovers including shopping and dining options, on-time flight performance, average delay durations; in-airport amenities like restaurants, gates, terminals, charging stations; and off-airport amenities like nearby hotels or restaurants. These individual scores were ranked from 1 to 50 and listed. All scores were aggregated, and the airports ranked from 1 to 100 to generate a grand total score.” 


according to upgradepoints.com  

“Many Americans may experience planned or unplanned layovers during their travels. However, these layovers don’t have to be a source of misery. Depending on the airport you find yourself in, you can actually make the most of your time there. We’ve identified the top 5 U.S. airports for layovers based on several factors, including the number of terminals, gates, on-site hotels, restaurants, and more: 

  1. San Diego International Airport (SAN) — 76.8 out of 100 
  2. Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport (SJC) — 70.4 out of 100 
  3. Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport (DCA) — 68.8 out of 100 
  4. Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (AUS) — 67.8 out of 100 
  5. John Wayne Airport (SNA) — 66.6 out of 100” 

Seatac Airport, by the way, comes in at #6. Now, if you're looking for a short-term layovers, Seatac Airport goes up to #2.  

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Over the years I've flown in and out of. Detroit, Chicago. Honolulu. LAX. Atlanta. And more. (By the way, none of them are on the top 15 list.) 

The last time I flew out of Seatac Airport was several years ago to go to Las Vegas. We wound up spending over 9 hours getting bumped from one flight to the next. We finally flew out of Seatac at midnight. Not my favorite experience. 


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It wasn't shocking to hear that Texas has more airports than any other state. But let's look at which 6 states have the most and just how many airports they have.

Gallery Credit: Billy Jenkins

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