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Best Airports to Make a Connection

Record Delays This Holiday Season May Lead to Kissing in Coach

The thought of flying during the holidays normally conjures up images of screaming kids with colds, cancelled flights and less-than-enthused flight attendants who keep bumping into your elbow with the drink cart. But holiday travel isn't all bad news. With AXE's "Best and Worst Airports to Make a Connection" study, which was announced today, you can easily identify the airports that give you the best chance for meeting that special someone this holiday travel season.

AXE, a leader in men's grooming and known commentator on the chemistry between 18-24 year-old guys and girls, worked with Sperling's BestPlaces to commission a study targeting the country's largest metropolitan airports and unveiled some surprising results.

AXE's Best Airports For "Making a Connection"

  1. Philadelphia Int'l
  2. Newark Int'l
  3. John F. Kennedy Int'l (New York, NY)
  4. Washington-Dulles Int'l
  5. LaGuardia Int'l (New York, NY)
  6. Port Columbus Int'l (OH)
  7. Detroit Metropolitan
  8. Logan Int'l (Boston, MA)
  9. Dallas/Ft. Worth Int'l
  10. San Francisco Int'l

AXE's Worst Airports For "Making A Connection"

  1. Oakland Int'l
  2. San Jose Int'l
  3. McCarran Int'l (Las Vegas, NV)
  4. Orlando Int'l
  5. Los Angeles Int'l
  6. Sky Harbor Int'l (Phoenix, AZ)
  7. Midway Int'l (Chicago, IL)
  8. Tampa Int'l
  9. Sacramento Int'l
  10. Hobby (Houston, TX)

» See The Complete Rankings Below

More Than Just Brotherly Love

Surprisingly, the best airport for connecting with someone is Philadelphia International. Thanks to some of the nation's longest and most frequent flight delays (32 percent of all flights, averaging 60 minutes), getting stuck in "The Airport of Brotherly Love" gives you a chance to hang your hat in one of 16 bars and seven lounges or grab a cheese steak at one of 57 restaurants. If you've got an extra-long layover, impress the object of your desire with smooth moves at the airport's magic shop.

Top Scorers

Other top airports in "AXE's Best and Worst Airports to Make a Connection" study include Newark (lots of time during 70-minute delays), JFK (plant yourself at a beer garden), LaGuardia (half of connecting flights are delayed) and Washington-Dulles, where you can spark up a conversation over a glass of Shiraz at a wine bar. Tiny Port Columbus International in Ohio comes in sixth, where the college set can ease the stress of holiday traveling in the airport's meditation room.

And while not in the top ten overall, Miami International has endless bars, lounges and even a hair salon where one can be sure to find the ladies.

Better Luck Next Time

While you'd think it would be a cinch to find "a peach" at Atlanta's packed Hartsfield airport or find someone with whom to dig into a deep-dish pizza at Chicago's O'Hare, "These airports have amenities, but relatively few for the number of passengers which pass through their gates," said Bert Sperling, president of Sperling's BestPlaces. "At these busy airports, a little snow or fog can strand a huge number of travelers, and a potentially enjoyable time could turn into a frustrating wait for a table or service."

Where else will you run high and dry? Best to avoid dead-last Oakland International (too few amenities), San Jose International (few bars on-site, but a plethora of laptop stations), and Orlando International (too many kids lugging oversized mouse dolls). And even with all the beautiful people floating through security in their designer duds, the Los Angeles International airport is the fifth worst airport in the country to score a date.

Who's Getting Together?

According to StrategyOne, the research firm AXE commissioned to survey more than 860 respondents, travelers are using airports to connect with more than just flights. Nearly one in ten adults has personally gone out or knows someone who has gone out with someone they met at the airport or during a flight. The survey also showed people are taking advantage of their flight time: one-third of adults would rather sit next to someone they find attractive or interesting than have an entire row to themselves.

Airport "Connection" Tips

Johnny Jet, editor-in-chief of travel website JohnnyJet.com, spends most of his time flying in and out of airports and knows the holiday season offers even more opportunities to make a connection with fellow travelers. "There's a different set of rules for meeting people while traveling and guys and girls need to know what they can do to make sure their game isn't grounded even when their flight is," he says.

The etiquette for meeting people while traveling in airports differs from the rules people follow in typical social situations. "Since there's no mutual friend to vouch for you, it's always better to just ask for the person's email," says Johnny Jet. "But don't ask for it in the first 15 minutes of meeting someone because you can use that time waiting for your flight as an opportunity for them to get to know you."

Regardless of what airport in which you get stuck waiting for lost luggage or being herded through gate changes, focus less on the travel grind and instead take AXE's advice: make it worth your while by making a "connection" while waiting for flights during the holiday travel season.

Complete List of Airport "Connection" Rankings

  1. Philadelphia Int'l (PHL)
  2. Newark Int'l (EWR)
  3. John F Kennedy Int'l (JFK)
  4. Washington-Dulles Int'l (IAD)
  5. La Guardia Int'l (LGA)
  6. Port Columbus Int'l (CMH)
  7. Detroit Metropolitan (DTW)
  8. Logan Int'l (BOS)
  9. Dallas/Ft. Worth Int'l (DFW)
  10. San Francisco Int'l (SFO)
  11. Lambert-St. Louis Int'l (STL)
  12. Cincinnati Int'l (CVG)
  13. O'Hare Int'l (ORD)
  14. Minneapolis/St. Paul Int'l (MSP)
  15. Miami Int'l (MIA)
  16. Seattle Tacoma Int'l (SEA)
  17. Pittsburgh Int'l (PIT)
  18. Hartsfield Int'l (ATL)
  19. Washington National (DCA)
  20. Baltimore/Washington Int'l (BWI)
  21. Denver Int'l (DEN)
  22. San Antonio Int'l (SAT)
  23. Hopkins Int'l (CLE)
  24. Houston Hobby (IAH)
  25. San Diego Int'l (SAN)
  26. Portland Int'l (PDX)
  27. Kansas City Int'l (MCI)
  28. Houston Hobby (HOU)
  29. Sacramento Int'l (SMF)
  30. Tampa Int'l (TPA)
  31. Midway Int'l (MDW)
  32. Sky Harbor Int'l (PHX)
  33. Los Angeles Int'l (LAX)
  34. Orlando Int'l (MCO)
  35. McCarran Int'l (LAS)
  36. San Jose Int'l (SJC)
  37. Oakland Int'l (OAK)

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