This Unexpected US Airport Terminal Won The Prestigious Title Of Best In The World

The winner of the Best New Airport Terminal may come as quite a surprise to those who frequently fly to and from the eastern coast of the United States. Newark Liberty International Airport, which is located in New Jersey and services New York City, has ranked among the worst and most stressful airports in America for years. If you've ever flown through the airport, you know that certain areas can be described as a little dingy at best. Even as recently as 2023, J.D Power's North American Airport Satisfaction study (via Forbes) announced Newark as the worst mega airport in the country, ranking 20th behind other major transit hubs including Detroit, Orlando, Los Angeles, and Boston. The study reviewed factors like on-time service, cleanliness, and terminal features and amenities for its decision.

This year, Newark's bad reputation may be changing. Having undergone extensive renovations over the past few years, the brand-new Terminal A offers travelers world-class amenities, and people are taking notice. Now, after receiving the 2024 title of "Best New Airport Terminal" in the world according to Skytrax, it's safe to say that Newark International Airport is back on the map. Next time you're passing through, you might find yourself pleasantly surprised by everything the new Terminal A has to offer.

Terminal A at Newark Liberty International Airport

Each year since 1999, Skytrax, an international airport ranking organization based out of London, publishes the World Airport Awards. The awards are very prestigious because they're based on the largest customer satisfaction survey annually. They're highly coveted in the airport industry, and winning one is considered a huge honor. There weren't many winners among airports in the United States in 2024, but Newark Liberty International took the title of the World's Best New Airport Terminal. The award is well deserved after Terminal A, which originally opened in 1973, received $2.7 billion worth of updates. Renovations began in 2017 and the new and improved terminal was unveiled on January 12, 2023. The terminal is 1 million square feet in size, includes 33 new gates, and in its first year, it serviced airlines like Jetblue, American Airlines, and Air Canada. The new Terminal A is state-of-the-art with tons of sustainable design features and amenities that travelers will love, so it's no longer a nightmare to fly in and out of Newark. 

Travel in comfort

The improvements begin even before you enter security. Neurodivergent travelers can relax in an amazing 1,000 sensory room featuring decor that resembles a stream and is lit with the glow from Himalayan salt lamps. Previously, Newark Liberty International Airport has often been criticized as one of the worst U.S. airports for TSA security delays, but Terminal A's security checkpoint offers technology advancements to help speed the process along. There are signs that state wait time and lines are able to be adjusted as passengers arrive to keep things moving steadily. Artificial intelligence is used to scan checked baggage, and passengers pass through brand-new body scanners and metal detectors.

Once you pass through security and arrive in the terminal you'll be greeted by giant floor-to-ceiling windows letting in plenty of light and a clean, sleek, and modern interior in various shades of white. Dining options include plenty of iconic local New Jersey spots like Jersey Mikes, Kitchen Step Neighborhood Bistro, Bang Cookies, and Smokehouse BBQ. There are plenty of world-class retail shops scattered throughout in case you forgot to pack something or need to snag a last-minute gift.

The best additions of all are the complimentary amenities like workstations and seating equipped with plenty of power outlets. There are also family-friendly additions like a children's little lending library. Beautiful public art displays featuring the work of 29 local artists are scattered throughout the terminal, making it a joy to travelerblog before you take off.