Airports You’ll Enjoy Being Stranded at During Winter Storm Jonas

Greg Keraghosian
·Associate Travel Editor

If you’re stuck in the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport, don’t panic: Just take the train 12 minutes to the Mall of America. (Photo: Jerry Huddleston/Flickr)

The Weather Channel told you there would be days like this. A massive storm is hitting the East Coast this weekend, and even if you’re far away and looking to fly somewhere, you’re likely to be affected. Hundreds of flights have been cancelled for Friday, and if you’re caught waiting for hours at an airport, you’d better hope to have some great reading material or have a coveted seat near a charging outlet.

On the other hand, some airports are better to be stuck in than others. To that end, we’ve rounded up some that will keep you entertained if you have to wait through Winter Storm Jonas, thanks to great food and entertainment, and comfortable surroundings. You (almost) won’t want to leave.

Minneapolis-St. Paul International


This spa at Mall of America is just a 12-minute train ride away from the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport. (Courtesy: Solimar Spa)

Lots of airports have shopping, but absolutely no one can compete with the Mall of America. If you’re snowed in, you need only take the light rail 12 minutes south and gorge yourself upon enough shopping and entertainment to occupy yourself through several storms. If you’ve been freezing all day, just warm yourself up at the Mall’s Solimar Spa.

At the airport itself, you could also pass the time by purchasing a day pass at the Delta and United lounges.

New York-JFK


A burger (or two) from Shake Shack will make any layover more bearable. (Photo: Shake Shack JFK/Facebook)

The newly renovated Delta Terminal 4 makes for some plush layover surroundings, and you could spend a couple of days here just sampling the very legit eating options in JFK’s different terminals. Of course you’re going to head to one of two Shake Shacks in Terminal 4, but don’t forget to try the ribs at Blue Smoke on the Road, right across from one of them.

Or why not gorge on paella and ceviche in Terminal 5 at Piquillo, thought to be the first Spanish tapas restaurant in an airport?

Newark Liberty International


Terminal C at Newark’s airport is worth hanging out in anytime. (Photo: redjar/Flickr)

No, we’re not kidding. This airport has been rightly maligned for years, but the new, ultra-modern Terminal C will change your mind about EWR. Have a Korean fried chicken sandwich and a craft beer at Caps Beer Garden, or go fancy with escargot and steak at Alain Ducasse’s Saison.

San Francisco International


Pull up a seat and relax in SFO’s Terminal 2, or go for yoga. (Photo: Sollina Images/Blend Images/Corbis)

Terminal 2, which includes Virgin America, rightly gets most of the attention at San Francisco’s airport for its ample dining options, comfortable furnishings, and its yoga room — the latter is perfect for destressing on a layover.

If you’re in Terminal 1, you can make your own picnic at PIQ with gourmet bread, cheese, and snacks. At Terminal 3, you can pass the time at the swanky Centurion Lounge if you own an American Express Platinum or Centurion card. Other American Express card-holders can pay $50 for a day pass.

Austin-Bergstrom International


Austin’s musical spirit extends to its airport, from the art to the live music. (Photo: Peter Tsai Photography/Alamy Stock Photo)

Austin is arguably Music City (sorry, Nashville), and you don’t need to be in the city to enjoy some sweet tunes — Saxon Pub in the East Concourse has live music and pub grub. Meanwhile, Salt Lick Barbecue in the West Terminal will serve you a Texas-sized plate of smoked meats.

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Miami International


Did someone say Cuban food? You’ll be glad your flight was delayed after eating at La Carreta. (Photo: La Carreta/Facebook)

Little Havana may technically be a neighborhood in Miami, but you can pretend you went there just by exploring this Cuban-inspired airport. La Carreta in Terminal D is a favorite for fast-casual eating — try its Cuban sandwiches, Cuban flank steak, or friend plantains.

Alternatively, you can enjoy a mojito at the modern-themed Ku-Va in Terminal D, or have a wine-and-cheese day at Beaudevin, also in Terminal D.

Detroit Metropolitan


Take a time-killing ride on the ExpressTram at Detroit’s airport. (Photo: Ilene MacDonald/Alamy Stock Photo)

Just getting around this airport is fun, thanks to the ExpressTram monorail, which connects the ends of McNamara Terminal, Concourse A – the world’s second-longest airport concourse at almost a mile long. In that same terminal, you can find some Zen by admiring the dancing fountain, which is meant to mimic a flight map as it shoots streams of water.

Also, if you need to stay overnight, it’s a breeze at Detroit’s airport: Just book a room at the Westin inside the McNamara Terminal.

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