(AXcess News) – Based on a nationwide survey of Travel Leaders Group agents,Atlanta ranks as the top preferred domestic airport if clients have a connecting flight,while Chicago O’Hare ranks as the top domestic airport to avoid if making a connection. Hartsfield-Jackson also was identified as the top airport for amenities,dining and providing the best services for business travelers; Minneapolis/St. Paul ranked second in amenities,dining,and for helping to keep kids entertained and occupied. Conducted November 19 – December 16,2012,these findings are based on responses from 930 Travel Leaders Group owners,managers and frontline travel experts throughout the United States who indicated that they book air travel for their clients.

“Major airports have transformed considerably in the last decade to accommodate the shift in the amount of time travelers spend there. More amenities have been added to appeal to travelers – and in many cases,to occupy their time – while they wait for their flights,” stated Travel Leaders Group CEO Barry Liben. “At some of the busiest airports around the United States,there has been an explosion in service such as mini spas and salons,along with a retooling of the retail space toward higher-end goods and electronics. The most significant change has been in the dining options. While food courts still exist,there are more and more health-conscious options and a real trend toward upscale cafes,restaurants and bars. In our survey,we wanted to see which airports seem to resonate most positively with our clients in number of categories.”

Best U.S. Airports for Connecting Flights:

Travel Leaders Group owners,managers and agents were asked,”If your clients are flying and need to connect through a hub airport,which hub do they prefer?” Respondents were allowed to choose up to three airports. The following list displays the Top 10 domestic airports.

1 Atlanta 40.5%

2 Charlotte 25.2%

3 Dallas/Ft. Worth 24.3%

4 Houston Intercontinental 18.2%

5 Detroit 17.5%

6 Minneapolis/St. Paul 16.7%

7 Chicago O’Hare 14.1%

8 Phoenix 10.1%

9 Denver 8.0%

10 (tie) New York (JFK) 7.9%

10 (tie) Salt Lake City 7.9%

Worst U.S. Airports for Connecting Flights:

When asked,”If your clients are flying and need to connect through a hub airport,which hub do they try to avoid?” the top responses were as follows. (Again,those polled were able to choose up to three different airports.)

1 Chicago O’Hare 56.3%

2 New York (JFK) 39.4%

3 Atlanta 33.0%

4 New York (LGA) 13.7%

5 Newark 12.2%

6 Miami 11.5%

7 Denver 10.3%

8 Philadelphia 10.0%

9 Dallas/Ft. Worth 9.4%

10 Los Angeles 9.1%

Top U.S. Airports for Business Travel Services:

When asked,”Which airport(s) would you and your clients say offers the best services for business travelers?” nearly 700 agents responded with the following list of Top 10 airports:

1 Atlanta 42.2%

2 Chicago O’Hare 29.8%

3 Dallas/Ft. Worth 20.5%

4 Minneapolis/St. Paul 18.3%

5 New York (JFK) 15.2%

6 Detroit 12.7%

7 Houston Intercontinental 10.3%

8 Los Angeles 9.0%

9 New York (LGA) 7.5%

10 (tie) Newark 6.3%

10 (tie) San Francisco 6.3%

10 (tie) Washington D.C. (Dulles) 6.3%

Top U.S. Airports for Amenities

Today,airport amenities can range from spas and yoga rooms to art exhibits and putting greens. When asked,”What do you and your clients consider the top airport for amenities?” Travel Leaders Group agents named (1) Atlanta,(2) Minneapolis/St. Paul,(3) Chicago O’Hare,(4) Dallas/Ft. Worth,and (5) Las Vegas as their Top 5 U.S. airports for amenities. This particular question is based on responses from 489 agents.

Top U.S. Airports for Dining

Some of the most significant upgrades at airport have been to the dining options available to air travelers. When asked,”What do you and your clients consider the top airports for dining?” Travel Leaders Group agents identified (1) Atlanta,(2) Minneapolis/St. Paul,(3) Chicago O’Hare,(4) Dallas/Ft. Worth,and (5) San Francisco as their Top 5. This particular question is based on responses from 526 agents.

Top U.S. Airports for Families with Kids

Traveling with kids poses additional challenges,particularly when trying to keep kids entertained while spending time in airports. When asked,”Which airport(s) would you and your clients say are the best for helping to keep kids entertained and occupied?” Travel Leaders Group agents listed their Top 5 U.S. airports as: (1) Orlando,(2) Minneapolis/St. Paul,(3) Atlanta,(4) Chicago O’Hare and (5) Dallas/Ft. Worth. This particular question is based on responses from 314 agents.

Source: Travel Leaders Group