TRIP COACH

The Five Busiest Airports in the U.S.

If your travel plans have you passing through one of these airports you'll want to keep this guide handy so that you know exactly where to eat, read, surf, sleep, charge and play while you're there.

Los Angeles (LAX)

FREE WI-FI
Spotty, but signals sometimes leak from airlines' VIP lounges. Try Air France in terminal 2 and Continental in terminal 6.

A REALLY GOOD MEAL
The New York Steak, ($28) at space-age-looking Encounter Restaurant, inspired by The Jetsons

NEWSSTAND OPEN LATE
Crews of California (until 1:30 a.m.), international terminal

LOCAL SNACK
Chili dog ($3.45) at Pink's Hot Dogs, in the international terminal.

GYM (AND SHOWER)
24 Hour Fitness, a five-minute walk (or free shuttle) from the Hilton, day pass $10.

LATE EATS
Roast beef sandwich ($9.75), at Bistro at the Hilton Hotel (24 hours).

GREAT PLANE-WATCHING SITE
Long-term parking lot C.

SOME TLC
In the international terminal, reLAX lounge has snacks and Wi-Fi for $15 an hour.

 

Atlanta (ATL)

A REALLY GOOD MEAL
The BBQ pork platter ($9) at Paschal's, in concourse A.

SOMEWHERE TO NAP
Padded loveseats in the Atrium, between the north and south terminals.

LOCAL SNACK
The Waldorf salad sandwich ($7) at Atlanta Bread Company, in the Atrium, gate C24.

SOME TLC
The Minute Suites, near gate B15, have private daybeds, TV, and Wi-Fi, for $30 an hour.

GREAT PLANE-WATCHING SPOT
The roof of the Terminal South Parking lot.

LUGGAGE STORAGE
Wrap-a-Bag, in the north and south terminals, large bag $8 for 24 hours.

NOTABLE ART
African sculptures, by the T gates.

DECENT BOOKSTORE
Buckhead Books, terminals B, C (open until 10 p.m.), and D (until 11 p.m.).

FREE WI-FI
Food Court in concourse E, especially near the Caribou Coffee Shop.

 

Chicago (ORD)

SOMEWHERE TO NAP
Cots and blankets provided by the airport's Passenger Assistance Program; check with your carrier.

SOME TLC
BackRub Hub, in terminal 3, massages $13.50 for 10 minutes.

NEWSSTAND OPEN LATE
Hudson News (until 10:30 p.m.), near gates B18, E4, K12.

LATE EATS
Sports Edition, at the Hilton Hotel (until 1 a.m.), cheeseburger $15.

GYM (AND SHOWER)
O'Hare Hilton, day pass $20

LOCAL SNACK
Corned-beef sandwich ($8) at Berghoff Cafe, in terminal 1, concourse C.

OUTLETS ALMOST NEVER BEING USED
On either side of the jetway doors, a foot or so off the ground.

A REALLY GOOD MEAL
Tortas Frontera, a casual Latino restaurant from Chef Rick Bayless, in terminal 1, gate B11, open-face bacon-and-cheese sandwich $6.

STUFF TO DO WITH THE KIDS
Chicago Children's Museum play area, in terminal 2, free.

 

Dallas (DFW)

STUFF TO DO WITH THE KIDS
Free Pepsi Junior Flyer's Club play areas, gates B12 and C14.

A STIFF DRINK
Mojito ($8) at Blue Mesa Taco and Tequila Bar, near gate D31.

SOMEWHERE TO NAP
Couches in the Samsung Mobile Travel Lounges, gates A29, B8, B28, C8, C27, E8, E31.

LOCAL SNACK
Pulled-pork sandwich ($6.50) at Cousins' Bar-B-Q, near gate D27, in terminal D

GREAT PLANE-WATCHING SPOT
Founders' Plaza Observation Area, at the intersection of Texan Trail and North Airfield Drive.

NEWSSTAND OPEN LATE
Hudson News (until 10 p.m.), near gate B23.

KILL LOTS OF TIME
Bear Creek Golf Club, on the airport grounds, $7 cab ride, from $25 for a round.

LATE EATS
Cappuccino ($4.75), at Moka Cafe, inside the Grand Hyatt, off terminal D (open 24 hours).

NOTABLE ART
Sol Lewitt installations, in the international terminal.

 

Denver (DEN)

CATCH UP ON WORK
Business Center Services, on the mezzanine level of the B gates, offers Internet, a landline phone, and fax machines.

GREAT PLANE-WATCHING SPOT
Pedestrian bridge connecting Jeppesen and terminal A.

A REALLY GOOD MEAL
Timberline Steaks & Grille, concourse C, 10-ounce rib eye $24.

NEWSSTAND OPEN LATE
Hudson News, Jeppesen terminal, level 5 (open 24 hours).

SOME TLC
A Massage, gate A49 and mezzanine near concourse B, 15-minute neck-and-shoulder rub $25.

LATE EATS
Barbecue-chicken pizza ($9.50) at Chef Jimmy's Bistro (open until 11:30 p.m.), in terminal A.

NOTABLE ART
Luis Jimenez's 32-foot-tall Mustang (which actually fell on Jimenez and killed him before it was completed).

LUGGAGE STORAGE
Airport Baggage Center, Jeppesen terminal, level 5, large bag $15 for 24 hours.

PLUS: 4 Common Airport Security Questions—Answered!

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Note:This story was accurate when it was published. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.
 

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