Last updated October 24, 2022
Travel is back and so is the airport chaos. Fortunately, airports are making great strides to help passengers to feel good—both physically and mentally. Here is our top list of America’s healthiest airports.
When we think of the busiest airports in the United States for domestic travel, anything but well-being may come to mind. However, times are changing, and this change is a feel-good one! Many U.S. airports now host a variety of healthier options ranging from fitness facilities and meditation rooms to green spaces and spa services.
With over 5,200 public airports in the United States alone — read, the ones we, as typical travel passengers, would go to — narrowing down that list is quite a process. So, what are the qualifying factors considered when making this list?
Combining a recent poll from Netflights tallying the top airports for wellness with my own personal experience as a frequent flyer and travel wellness expert, I share with you a personalized line-up to bookmark for your next trip.
And as Netflights’ Managing Director, Andrew Shelton, aptly notes, “Wellness, whether in mind or body, is really of the moment. It’s natural that more airports should also reflect the general impetus toward people maintaining their wellness regime even while waiting to catch a flight.”
I couldn’t agree more. Here are America’s healthiest airports to squeeze in wellness next time you have some extra time before or between flights.
5 U.S. Airports Where Wellness Has Landed
1. John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK)
Shocker, JFK is actually one of America’s healthiest airports! This airport has gone under some major renovations and continues to overhaul different terminals with time. As the busiest airport serving New York City for international flights, there can be plenty of downtime that can be well (pun intended) filled with yoga, a workout and healthier options for foods.
I recommend grabbing yourself a pass for the TWA Hotel off of Terminal 4 for use of the largest hotel gym in the U.S., which also hosts an outdoor pool and lunch menu.
Or, check out the Treat Wellness Center in the newly refurbished Delta Terminal, featuring yoga, meditation and fitness options, along with health services and immune support boosters.
2. San Francisco International Airport (SFO)
The seventh busiest airport and a major hub in North America as a gateway route to Europe and Asia, SFO is a very wellness-minded airport.
SFO boasts two yoga rooms— open 24/7—as well as multiple fitness centers, meditation quiet zones and a variety of healthy food options. If you’re lucky, keep your eye out for the Wag Brigade, a patrol of therapy animals certified by the San Francisco SPCA to help anxious passengers to relax.
While there, check into some natural elements in the airport garden, known to boost your immune system, increasing your mental and physical health.
3. Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
As the second busiest airport in the U.S., delays and missed flights are bound to happen. In those times to calm, this one comes more from my own personal experience and recommendation than studies or statistics.
Aside from lounges, when I have a delay or time to chill, walking over to the international terminal — Tom Bradley International — is a refreshing movement for your legs. You can also indulge in spa therapy to melt away the stress of travel.
In addition to the extensive open air space in the main terminal area with colorful LED screens, there is artwork and healthy food options.
4. Miami International Airport (MIA)
This airport per se may not be the best for layovers, but there is a fair share of eclectic artwork, a yoga room and walkable territory.
And rather than being stuck inside, you can easily make a day trip over to the beach for some serious sun and earthing between flights. Allow at least a minimum of seven hours to do so, considering bag storage and TSA times.
5. Chicago O’Hare Airport (ORD)
The third busiest airport in the U.S. is also a hub for direct flights to Europe and connector internationally. O’Hare has a surprisingly number of wellness options to choose from and is thus one of America’s healthiest airports.
The Urban Garden, located up on the mezzanine, is an art installation of fresh produce and herbs where the yields from the aeroponic crops go to various in-airport restaurants. Around the corner from this green oasis is a sanctuary of calm—a yoga room with exercise mats.
Within walking distance of the airport is the Hilton Hotel with paid access to all facilities including a full-feature gym, pool, showers, spa and fitness rooms… perfect for reducing jet lag, improving circulation, getting your blood moving and improving your overall immunity. Health is wealth!
Travel certainly has changed over the past few years, and will continue to evolve with more wellness options being offered and incorporated into airports. What wellness offering would you like to see in your frequent airport?
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