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Burbank Airport Tops US List

June 30, 2019

A woman walking with her suitcase in an airport

Be honest, would you have guessed one of the top-ranked airports in the country was located not too far away from the stunning studio apartments in Glendale, CA? In fact, we might be underselling that point a bit, because the Hollywood Burbank Airport (just a short, 10-mile drive from the heart of Glendale) was recently ranked by Fodor’s Travel as the best airport in the USA, edging out other contenders like the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, among others.

How can this be, you might wonder? There are a few factors at play, but more than anything else, it boils down to convenience and a great experience. That’s the short answer, anyway, but if you’re looking for a more detailed explanation, we encourage you to read on, because today, we’re delving into just how Burbank Airport managed to net such an unexpected distinction.

Burbank’s Number One?

Longtime Southern California residents might quickly note that Hollywood-Burbank is neither the most aesthetically pleasing or technologically revolutionary airport in existence, something they’ll freely admit. What it lacks in grace, though, it makes up for with charm and convenience, as noted by Fodor’s Travel:

“Hear us out: it’s not flashy or even state-of-the-art. In fact, we love Hollywood Burbank Airport (BUR) for everything it's not. Burbank is an airport free of most of the hassles that take the fun out of travel plans. It’s an agreeable airport in a perfect location, which is why it’s at the top of our list of airports to love.”

Let’s break that down, shall we? When it comes to traveling by air in the Los Angeles area, you could theoretically take your chances at LAX, but think about how congested and busy it usually is. On average, a total of 1,578 landings and takeoffs every 24 hours, with a plane taking off about once every 55 seconds. For even more context, LAX is the 4th busiest airport on the entire globe, going by passenger traffic, so, as you can imagine, trying to get through smoothly on any given day is a Herculean effort at best. According to the statistics, that traffic is continuing to rise:

“In 2016, the airport handled 80.9 million passengers. That number jumped to 84.6 million in 2017, and jumped again to 87.5 million passengers last year. That move represented a 3.5% increase and breaks down to 61.5 million domestic and 26 million international passengers.”

Now, let’s contrast Hollywood-Burbank. The airport saw 5,263,972 passengers in 2018, a far cry from LAX’s 87,534,384 passengers for the same year. The result? A relatively straightforward and hassle-free time getting into the airport, onto your flight, and out of town toward your destination.

That’s part of Fodor’s reasoning behind naming Hollywood-Burbank as their top choice for airports in the states, but far from the only one. The publication also notes that parking at the airport is cheap and easy to find, navigating the airport is a breeze (far from the twisted nightmare that most find LAX to be), and the food, for an airport at least, is far better than what you’d expect. Top choices include spots like Lunchbox, which is known for killer sandwiches and salads, and, in a convenient move, is located before airport security, so you can get your grub on easily.

Rounding out the list of reasons Hollywood-Burbank beats out other American airports is its location. Now, we’re not saying LAX is in a bad spot by any means, but Hollywood-Burbank is in a much more ideal position, especially if you’re coming from out of town and want to see the city:

“Burbank also has an added bonus. If you’re visiting the L.A. region, you’re probably in closer proximity to the stuff you actually want to see. Downtown L.A., Hollywood, Santa Monica, Beverly Hills, Universal Studios, and more of the city's best attractions are all easier to reach from Burbank than its neighbor LAX.”

Even if you live in the LA area and you’re heading out for or returning from a trip, Hollywood-Burbank is still easy to get to if you’re in the northern part of the metropolitan area, and it’s focus on a no-nonsense experience prove that a great airport doesn’t need to have a whole lot of bells and whistles to be beloved. The icing on the cake here? Fodor’s also happened to rank LAX as its worst airport pick, stating, among other reasons, the unbearable waiting times and congestion as a source of nearly endless frustration.

As for Hollywood-Burbank’s take on being honored so graciously, executive director Frank Miller spoke with the Burbank Leader about the ranking recently, humbly accepting the generous praise and emphasizing that the convenience passengers experience at Hollywood-Burbank is all by design, and that the airport has no plans of making any moves that might disrupt that well-regarded convenience. What Hollywood-Burbank will be doing in the coming months, however, is making some updates to the aging facility (the airport turns 89 this year, in case you were curious):

“The project to build a replacement 14-gate, 355,000-square-foot facility is currently in its public-input stage, and, at the past several public workshops residents, frequent-users and those in the aviation industry have let local airport officials know the key features that should be retained to keep the airport convenient.”

With a level of convenience that outclasses every other airport in the country and a new facility? Don’t be surprised if Hollywood-Burbank is a shoe-in for best airport in the US the next time you see a major rankings list published!

These Studio Apartments in Glendale CA Put You Right Where You Need to Be

If you’re looking to get close (but not too close) to the airport, fabulous residences like Altana should be at the top of your shortlist. It’s not just the airport you’ll be close to, though. Here, among the splendors of downtown Glendale, you’ll get the very best of what the city has to offer, from dining to shopping (and beyond), not to mention a taste of nearby hotspots like Burbank and Riverside. Ready for a brand new take on Southern California living? Check out everything Altana has to offer, then make one of these luxurious apartment residences your new home.