20 Best U.S. Airports for Tech Travelers

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Best Airports for Tech Users: How the 40 Busiest U.S. Airports Stack Up

Many airports have been pushing to increase the numbers of electrical outlets, USB ports, and desks in their gate areas, and to increase the speed of their facility's Wi-Fi. This chart ranks the 40 busiest U.S. airports on the number and quality of the tech amenities they offer. We found that, in general, the number of electrical outlets per gate remains low in U.S. airports, especially considering how many air travelers now carry mobile, connected devices that require regular charging. We also found that few airports scored well across the board in our amenities categories; those that did finished at or near the top of our overall rankings.

The 20 Most Tech-Friendly U.S. Airports

AIRPORTElectrical outlets (average per gate)1USB ports (average per gate)Charging stations2Workspaces2Wi-Fi service speed3Cellular service speed4Comments
1 Dallas-Ft. Worth 7.2 3.0 Above average Above average 5 4 Dallas earns the top spot in our rankings by scoring well above average on everything from outlets to desks to Wi-Fi.
2 New York (JFK) 8.5 1.1 Above average Best 5 2 Solid Wi-Fi and high numbers of powered work desks installed in Terminals 3 and 5 vault JFK into second place overall.
3 Atlanta 8.1 0.1 Best Best 2 1 Atlanta has a healthy number outlets and work desks, but travelers could use more USB ports and faster Wi-Fi service.
4 Detroit 7.5 3.0 Best Worst 3 2 Detroit has among the best outlet and USB counts in the country, though finding a work space can be a real challenge.
5 Sacramento 25.5 27.6 Below average Average 2 5 Sacramento's new Terminal B is packed with outlets and USB ports, elevating the smallish airport into our top five. Wi-Fi is free.
6 Oakland 7.9 2.8 Average Average 3 5 Southwest Airlines added extra outlets and USB ports to all of its Oakland gates, but the airport's free Wi-Fi can be slow.
7 New York (LaGuardia) 7.2 0.1 Average Above average 4 3 New iPad kiosks in Terminal D and speedy Wi-Fi help make LaGuardia a far more tech-friendly place than it used to be.
8 Salt Lake City 5.4 3.0 Best Average 3 2 Finding a charging station is easy at Salt Lake City's airport, but the free Wi-Fi is slow, and cellular speed is no better.
9 Baltimore- Washington 6.7 5.2 Worst Worst 5 4 BWI isn't big on work desks or charging stations, but its electrical outlet, USB port, and Wi-Fi numbers are impressive.
10 San Francisco 13.6 0.5 Average Best 2 3 The new Terminal 2 is tech nirvana, and outlet counts are high airport-wide. We only wish that the free Wi-Fi were faster.
AIRPORTElectrical outlets (average per gate)1USB ports (average per gate)Charging stations2Workspaces2Wi-Fi service speed3Cellular service speed4Comments
11 Ft. Lauderdale- Hollywood 2.7 0.8 Below average Above average 5 5 The free Wi-Fi is superfast, but you'd better charge up your gear before you leave for FLL because outlets are scarce.
12 Raleigh-Durham 3.4 2.8 Worst Below average 5 4 Raleigh-Durham's fast Wi-Fi makes up for the airport's moderate number of outlets and sparse work stations.
13 Nashville 5.0 2.4 Average Worst 4 5 BNA has a respectable 5 electrical outlets per gate, as well as solid wireless speeds, but work desks are hard to find.
14 Minneapolis-St. Paul 4.6 2.0 Best Above average 3 2 Strong outlet and USB port numbers at the gates give MSP travelers cause to cheer; wireless speeds are weak, however.
15 Chicago (Midway) 7.5 0.9 Worst Average 3 4 Midway has almost 8 outlets per gate, but USB ports are rare--so don't forget to bring your electrical adapter with you.
16 Cleveland 2.8 0.7 Below average Below average 5 5 The free Wi-Fi here is extremely fast; charge up before you arrive, though, or risk battling for one of the 2.8 outlets per gate.
17 Los Angeles 5.3 1.3 Best Below average 3 3 The vast LAX boasts a surprisingly high outlet count of 5.3 per gate, but work desks and USB ports are hard to come by.
18 Seattle-Tacoma 2.7 0.4 Above average Below average 5 4 Finding a free electrical outlet or work desk at Sea-Tac can be a challenge; still, we love the fast and free Wi-Fi.
19 Kansas City 4.2 4.9 Worst Best 3 5 If you arrive early, you can get some work done at the many workstations, but bring a hotspot: The airport's free Wi-Fi is slow.
20 Portland 5.6 0.8 Above average Above average 1 5 PDX has lots of places to work, but barely 1 USB port per gate and frustratingly slow (albeit free) Wi-Fi. Cellular is your best bet here.
CHART NOTES: Rankings are based on a combination of each airport's scores in each category relative to other airports, with outlets and Wi-Fi scores given double weight. New York JFK Terminal 2 and New York LaGuardia Terminal A were not audited. FOOTNOTES: 1A single "electrical outlet" comprises two AC plugs covered by a plate, or equivalent. 2Scores based on number per gate versus other airports. 3Wi-Fi scores based on speed of service relative to other airports. 4Cellular scores based on composite speed of AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon services per airport, relative to other airports.

The Best of the Rest

AIRPORTElectrical outlets (average per gate)1USB ports (average per gate)Charging stations2Workspaces2Wi-Fi service speed3Cellular service speed4Comments
21 Las Vegas 7.3 0.0 Average Best 2 3 Finding work desks and power outlets at McCarren's gates isn't too hard, but we'd like to see faster free Wi-Fi.
22 Newark 5.6 0.7 Best Worst 3 4 What Newark lacks in outlets it makes up for in charging stations; we found few workspaces and USB ports, however.
23 Tampa 5.4 0.0 Worst Best 3 2 The airport converted two old glass smoking rooms into convenient "business centers," but the free Wi-Fi speeds aren't great.
24 Milwaukee 2.8 0.4 Worst Best 4 2 Electrical outlets are a regrettably rare commodity at Milwaukee's airport; and MKE's Wi-Fi, though speedy, isn't free.
25 Washington (Reagan) 5.9 2.1 Above average Average 1 3 Reagan has good numbers of outlets and desks, but cellular service is a safe bet against the airport's free-but-slow Wi-Fi.
26 Charlotte 3.5 0.1 Worst Average 5 1 The Wi-Fi service at Charlotte is very fast (and free!), and the outlet count is okay; cellular service did not impress.
27 San Diego 5.1 7.7 Worst Average 2 1 Wi-Fi (which is free) and cellular speeds are poky; but with lots of USB ports, SAN seems to be preparing for a tech-friendly future.
28 Miami 3.1 0.0 Above average Worst 4 4 MIA had strong network speeds and numerous Samsung-branded charging stations. Workstations were missing in action.
29 Philadelphia 3.3 0.5 Below average Best 2 5 If Philadelphia were to add faster free Wi-Fi to its plentiful desks and fast cellular, the airport's ranking would improve greatly.
30 Honolulu 2.7 0.0 Best Above average 4 4 HNL had great Wi-Fi and cellular speeds, but a meager supply of outlets and USB ports. Still, you're in Hawaii--relax.
AIRPORTElectrical outlets (average per gate)1USB ports (average per gate)Charging stations2Workspaces2Wi-Fi service speed3Cellular service speed4Comments
31 St. Louis 6.8 0.0 Worst Worst 4 1 Good Wi-Fi speed but poor cellular service. Leave the hotspot at home and shell out $8 to connect to STL's network.
32 Phoenix 2.5 0.3 Below average Above average 3 3 The Wi-Fi's free and fast enough, but PHX should augment its 2.5 outlets per gate with charging stations and USB ports.
33 Boston (Logan) 6.4 6.1 Worst Worst 1 1 Logan has done well on electrical outlets and USB ports; now it needs to add capacity to its free Wi-Fi service.
34 Chicago (O'Hare) 2.0 0.2 Average Average 3 2 We found average Wi-Fi speeds at O'Hare. The problem for travelers is a dearth of electrical outlets and USB ports.
35 Houston (Hobby) 1.3 1.3 Average Worst 4 1 Houston's smaller airport had good Wi-Fi speeds but offers less than 2 outlets per gate. Charge your laptop in advance.
36 Houston (Bush) 4.2 0.1 Above average Worst 3 1 You may be able to find an available outlet at Bush, but work desks were scarce and the cellular service was slow.
37 Washington (Dulles) 2.9 0.7 Above average Worst 1 3 The charging stations around Dulles help compensate for the low outlet count, but the airport's free Wi-Fi is slow.
38 Memphis 2.4 0.0 Best Worst 1 3 This airport had extremely slow free Wi-Fi speeds, and just over 2 electrical outlets per gate. Consider bringing a book?
39 Orlando 2.3 1.1 Average Above average 1 1 The free Wi-Fi and cellular speeds were a bit disappointing at Orlando, but we had no problem finding work spaces.
40 Denver 3.6 0.0 Below average Average 1 1 DIA's outlet numbers weren't the worst we saw, but its slow free Wi-Fi and cellular service caused it to sink in our rankings.
CHART NOTES: Rankings are based on a combination of each airport's scores in each category relative to other airports, with outlets and Wi-Fi scores given double weight. Phoenix Terminals 2 and 3 and Newark Concourse B2, B3 were not audited. FOOTNOTES: 1A single "electrical outlet" comprises two AC plugs covered by a plate, or equivalent. 2Scores based on number per gate versus other airports. 3Wi-Fi scores based on speed of service relative to other airports. 4Cellular scores based on composite speed of AT&T, Sprint, T-Mobile, and Verizon services per airport, relative to other airports.

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