I like EWR: An (unscientific) defense of Newark airport

These days, everyone has a survey, ranking or poll of some sort. How accurate are they? I tend to start with the source.

So, when I see a study on airports has been released by Price 4 Limo — a nationwide marketplace where independently owned transportation companies compete for business — forgive me if I’m a bit skeptical.

The tagline of the pitch is that Newark Liberty International Airport has had/will have the second-highest number of delayed departures on Labor Day weekend. It’s yet another complaint against EWR.

But I’m here to defend it.

I’m not a professional business traveler, but I’ve recently flown out of Newark (Terminals A and C), Atlanta, Chicago, Denver, Las Vegas and Nashville.

Newark (both terminals) clearly was the best.

  • Chicago was more crowded than Newark — and not nearly as up to date. And, yes, my flight got canceled there … as I was boarding;
  • Denver looked like Newark — 10 years ago. The seating (and the food options) were tired, worn out and far from inviting;
  • Las Vegas was great — if you wanted slot machines or Raiders gear;
  • Nashville still had hundreds of people sitting on dirty carpet, fighting for the few outlets available in small, dark corridors that hadn’t changed since I traveled there regularly in 2009. And as for Southern hospitality, they refused to give me a cup for water — they would only sell me bottled water;
  • Atlanta was more crowded than Chicago.

We get it, flights get delayed in Newark. A lot. That’s partly because of overscheduling (for which United has called out the Federal Aviation Administration repeatedly), partly because the Newark footprint is one of the smallest in the country and partly because of supply and demand.

And, once the schedule gets delayed — it’s nearly impossible to get it back on track.

It’s time to recognize what Newark Liberty does have:

  • As many nonstop flights as anywhere (especially on international routes);
  • Comfortable concourses and a variety of seating options;
  • Plentiful dining/shopping choices;
  • Good lighting;
  • And, perhaps the most important thing when your flight is delayed: a high number of charging outlets.

As I said at the top, this is an unscientific survey. If you want to stand with metrics from a limo company, all good. Got your own take? All good, too.

But, if I had to fly over Labor Day weekend, I’d choose to fly out of Newark.