These Are The 2 Best Airports For Food, According To New Survey

It may not come as surprising news to learn that airports have not enjoyed the pandemic age. After all, international travel via tightly constrained spaces was not something that really worked under the realities or guidelines of COVID-19. Still, some managed to shine better than others.

In their 2021 North America Airport Satisfaction Study, J. D. Power noted that the ongoing labor crisis has caused most medium-sized airports to close their prominent food areas. The mega-airports that survived this period, however, also managed to give their travelers the most satisfying dining options. Two called out in particular in the survey are Miami International Airport and Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport.

When you look at the food offered at these two hubs, you realize that these aren't the sources of existential despair Anthony Bourdain once described to NPR. Rather, at the Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport, you can find an outpost of Emeril's Table (per Eater). At Miami International Airport, according to Eat This, Not That!, you can find a wide selection of Cuban offerings that provide a regional taste from the surrounding area. And there is also the usual fare of Pizza Huts and Subways that dot these locations, offering something for every hunger and every budget.

The future of airport food courts

The main point of the survey, however, was the impact that the lack of workers has had on smaller airports. In August, for example, The Atlanta Journal-Constitution reported on how a quarter of the stores in Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport remained closed. Between workers wanting better employment and fewer travelers buying from these businesses, conditions have become ripe for experimentation to find ways to make it better for the future.

One of these experiments occurred at the Los Angeles International Airport. CBS Local reported that Labor Day weekend saw the debut of delivery robots that ferry foods and drinks throughout the airport. This is part of a larger trend in the concessionary industry, Food Management writes. Although they lagged behind street-side restaurants when it came to delivery, the need to give food to aircrews without contact spurred even more ideas about how to move food throughout the airport in general. While the businesses in the airport will still require workers to cook or assemble the food, it's not hard to imagine that business owners will turn to automation for a solution in the future.