Ouch. That one stings a little. A brand-new index study reveals Punta Gorda Airport is the worst Florida-based airport. 

The experts at FloridaRentals.com have revealed the best and worst airports across Florida. They indexed all 19 Florida-based airports, ranking each destination against 14 factors to receive a score out of 100. Here’s how they got the score.

Rankings are based on several factors such as: number of scheduled outbound direct flight destinations, average minutes delay per flight, average minutes delay due to weather, average minutes delay due to security, average minutes delay due to aircraft arriving late, average cost of hotels within 5 miles (for 1 night), and percentage of all operations cancelled. 

I think this study may show more about Allegiant Air than Punta Gorda. Allegiant makes up the bulk of commercial flights in PG.  Skytrax, an online airline review site gives Allegiant a score of 3 out of 10. But, Allegiant is known as an ultra-low cost carrier, so the old adage of “you get what you pay for” comes to mind.

The Punta Gorda Airport has been making some definite improvements. There’s now a 40-seat bar with runway views between Gates 2 and 3. There’s also a food and beverage counter near gate 1. They also have food trucks in the short term parking lot. Sure, there’s always the chance your flight gets delayed, but food trucks and drinking always makes the extra time go by easier. Our guy Pete is flying out of Punta Gorda next month, so we may revisit this.

Also, many of these airports are discussing or are in the middle of big improvements. So they know how busy they are, and they are expanding. A LOT of people are coming to Florida, so airport expansions are happening.

Southwest Florida International in Fort Myers fared much better in the study, ranking in the middle of the pack of Florida airports. So let’s see how they stack up.

  • 1. Melbourne Orlando International

    Melbourne Orlando International Airport tops the ranking, achieving a score of 73.97 out of 100, the airport only has an average 7 minutes and 45 seconds delay per flight.  Only 2.03% of MLB airport’s operations are canceled, 0.11% are diverted and 13.75% are delayed. There are 102 hotels within a 5-mile radius, with an average star rating of 3.33 costing and average $234.93 for one night. It’s a small airport, but they do it right.

    MLB recently announced a $72m terminal renovation and expansion project with nearly 86,000ft² of new facilities to be added including an expanded departure area with new gates, a new security checkpoint, and extended international baggage claim area.


  • 2. Miami International

    Ranking in second place is Miami International Airport, scoring 71.52 out of 100. There are 183 scheduled outbound flights from MIA, and 460 hotels within a five-mile radius. A night’s stay near MIA costs an average of $180.69 for one night. Miami International Airport also has plans to improve, after recently announcing plans to open a private luxury terminal service for commercial flights in 2025. 

    It’s only polite to greet the Federal Aviation Administration tower with a kiss when passing it. Or maybe it’s just a Miami thing! 😘🌸 #InternationalKissingDay

    Posted by Miami International Airport - MIA on Thursday, July 6, 2023
  • 3. Tampa International

    In third place is Tampa International Airport, scoring 69.97 out of 100. With 93 scheduled outbound flights and an average 4 minute and 3 second air carrier delay. There are 274 hotels within a 5-mile radius of TPA, with Booking.com locations averaging 5.89 stars. 

    Notice something…different?! 👀 Upgraded digital bag claim signs are being installed! All four signs on the third floor of the Main Terminal will be replaced with larger digital displays by the end of June 🥳

    Posted by Tampa International Airport on Thursday, June 8, 2023
  • 4. Daytona Beach International

    DAB scored a 68.34. Avelo Airlines now flies to Daytona Beach. 

    Another day, another CHEERful welcome for passengers arriving on the inaugural @Avelo Airlines flight to DAB, this time...

    Posted by Daytona Beach International Airport on Friday, June 23, 2023
  • 5. Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International

    FLL scores a 66.21. The delays back in April were not their fault. You can’t fly planes when the runway was flooded. 

    Whether you’re looking for some retail therapy or need to grab a quick snack, check out these new Paradies Lagardère and #HudsonGroup additions now open at #FLL! #DistinctivelyFlorida #inkbyHudson #TropicalNews #Hudson

    Posted by Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport on Thursday, June 29, 2023
  • 6. Orlando International

    MCO scores a 64.24 on this list. They have 3 new parking lots under construction to help alleviate some of the parking issues. 

    Life's a Breeze when you're doing the things you LUV.

    Posted by Orlando International Airport (MCO) on Tuesday, July 18, 2023
  • 7. Sarasota/Bradenton International

    SRQ scores 63.40 with this list. They had record growth in June and are expanding. They just broke ground on a new terminal back in March. 

    Cue applause.👏 Thank you to our hard working airport community and our passengers for a record breaking June. 💚 We love to serve you and appreciate you taking flight to and from SRQ. ✈ #FlySRQ.

    Posted by Sarasota Bradenton International Airport (SRQ) on Thursday, July 13, 2023
  • 8. Southwest Florida International

    Our very own RSW scores 62.28. Also growing. The expanded terminal is expected to be operational in 2025.

    Southwest Florida International

    (Sheila Book)

  • 9. Jacksonville International

    JAX scores a 62.16. A new concourse and expanded parking coming in 2025.

    #ICYMI Check out some new and exciting things happening at JAX!

    Posted by Jacksonville International Airport on Friday, July 7, 2023
  • 10. Gainesville Regional

    GNV scored a 61.70. Silver Airways is the latest addition to this airport. 

  • 11. Key West International

    This island airport scored a 61.62. The new concourse A should be ready in 2025. 

    A busy Friday for the Concourse A construction crew. Learn all about the project at eyw.com/concourse-a and follow us social media. Have a great weekend.

    Posted by Key West International Airport on Friday, July 14, 2023
  • 12. Pensacola International

    PNS scored a 59.62. TSA equipment upgrades have been causing delays. That should be done soo, if not already.

    If you're traveling through PNS this weekend, please be sure to arrive early, pack your patience, and remember your...

    Posted by Pensacola International Airport on Friday, June 30, 2023
  • 13. Tallahassee International

    TLH scored a 58.26. Tallahassee International Airport  set a record for gun interceptions in 2022, with 15 firearms — 13 of them loaded – being discovered by the TSA. That will slow the line down at security.

    TLH passenger traffic in June 2023 saw a 3.7% increase compared to June 2022. For calendar year 2023, passenger traffic...

    Posted by Tallahassee International Airport on Monday, July 17, 2023
  • 14. Palm Beach International

    PBH scored a 57.75 and we head down towards the bottom of the list. Good news if you’re delayed, there’s lots to do. An eight-hole putting green and a full spa. 

    More and more are discovering the ease, convenience and affordability of flying PBI. The airport recently experienced a record number of travelers in a one year period of 7.22 million. #FlyPBI

    Posted by Palm Beach International Airport (PBI) on Friday, July 14, 2023
  • 15. Eglin AFB Destin Fort Walton Beach

    A 54.89 for this airport. But you get free entertainment.

    Delta passengers got a special treat this morning, Voices of Northwest Florida from Northwest Florida State College performed prior to boarding for their flight to Europe.

    Posted by Destin - Fort Walton Beach Airport on Wednesday, May 10, 2023
  • 16. Northwest Florida Beaches International

    A 51.27 score. It’s a great way to get to the Panama City Beaches. Traffic there is booming and they’re planning an expansion to parking, the terminal, and a new holding room for bags. 

    Our Wheel's Up Summer Music Series is back! Every Saturday in July from 12-3pm there will be live music as a surprise...

    Posted by Northwest Florida Beaches International Airport on Wednesday, June 28, 2023
  • 17. St Pete Clearwater International

    This is where the scores really dip. The PIE has a 39.23. Remember that story last week of the extreme turbulence? They were flying to this airport. 

    Today, PIE kicked off Travel and Tourism Week with our Travel Rally, where we hosted travel partners from the Chamber of...

    Posted by St. Pete-Clearwater International Airport on Monday, May 8, 2023


  • 18. Orlando Sanford International

    SFB scored a 35.37. This is the one that I thought would be at the bottom. It frequently shows up on the ‘worst airports’ list. There’s a plan to build a connector from State Highway 417 to the Orlando Sanford International Airport. I guess so you can get there quicker for the experience.

    Beautiful day at SFB! Every flight is ON TIME! | Orlando Sanford International Airport (SFB) | Orlando Sanford International Airport (SFB) · Original audio

    Beautiful day at SFB! Every flight is ON TIME!. Orlando Sanford International Airport (SFB) · Original audio

  • 19. Punta Gorda Airport

    Placing bottom of the list is Punta Gorda Airport, scoring 33.84 out of 100PGD has an average 21 minute 13 second flight delay, and an average 46 minute 24 second delay due to the aircraft arriving late. 28.49% of PGD’s operations are delayed. 

    Thanks for sharing the great news! #flyPGD

    Posted by Punta Gorda Airport on Tuesday, July 11, 2023

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