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U.S. airports are 'awful.' Here's the problem

By Chuck Thompson, CNN
updated 10:02 AM EDT, Thu April 3, 2014
Travel+Leisure's 2013 list of <a href='http://www.travelandleisure.com/articles/americas-best-airports-2013' target='_blank'>best</a> and <a href='http://www.travelandleisure.com/articles/americas-worst-airports-2013' target='_blank'>worst</a> airports in the United States rated Portland International Airport (pictured) in Oregon as the nation's best. Click through the gallery for a sampling of the beautiful and the damned. Travel+Leisure's 2013 list of best and worst airports in the United States rated Portland International Airport (pictured) in Oregon as the nation's best. Click through the gallery for a sampling of the beautiful and the damned.
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U.S. airports: Best and worst
Best: Cincinnati/No. Kentucky International
Best: Tampa International
Best: Austin-Bergstrom International
Best: Nashville International
Worst: LaGuardia Airport
Worst: Newark Liberty
Worst: John F. Kennedy International
Worst: Los Angeles International
Worst: Philadelphia International
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STORY HIGHLIGHTS
  • The Economist says U.S. airports are beset by "soggy pizza, surly security staff"
  • Highest placement of U.S. airport in recent "top 100" list is No. 27
  • Airports Council International North America chief reacts to spate of negative press
  • Public management of airports at root of many problems experienced by travelers

(CNN) -- Pity the poor U.S. airport; its self-esteem has taken a beating in recent months.

In February, as reported by the New York Daily News, Vice President Joe Biden said New York's frequently lambasted LaGuardia Airport "fe