15 Airports You Might Walk a Marathon To Reach Your Gate

Think you've walked a lot in airports? Wait until you see these staggering distances.
Updated May 8, 2024
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woman at airport window with suitcase

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Landing at an airport and having to catch a connecting flight can be stressful, and even more so when the gate for that connecting flight is far away.

The longest distance between two gates at an airport averages about 21 minutes, according to research by FinanceBuzz. But at some airports, the gates are much farther apart. To step up your travel game, it may pay to know how long you can expect to walk.

So, just how long is the walk between gates at major airports? If you’re going to one of these airports, put on your walking shoes.

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15. San Jose (SJC)

Sundry Photography/Adobe San Jose International airport sign

Longest walking distance between two gates: 25 minutes

San Francisco International Airport (SFO) may be more than a half-hour drive from San Jose’s airport, but it may be worth it if you hate walking.

The San Francisco airport on San Francisco Bay didn’t rank in the FinanceBuzz survey of 50 airports with the longest walks, and it’s often called the best airport in the U.S. for its amenities.

14. Newark Liberty (EWR)

Roman Tiraspolsky/Adobe United Express airlines at Newark airport

Longest walking distance between two gates: 26 minutes

Newark is one of three airports in the New York City metro area that made the list of longest walks between gates.

Five airports in the metro area fall under the guidance of the Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, and Newark attracts fliers from New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, and Pennsylvania.

13. Phoenix Sky Harbor (PHX)

brent coulter/Adobe busy airport with golden lights

Longest walking distance between two gates: 26 minutes

It may be a bit confusing walking the 26 minutes from gate F11 to gate B25 at Phoenix’s Sky Harbor airport.

The airport's gates are spread between Terminals 3 and 4, but Terminals 1 and 2 no longer exist. Those terminals were shut down, and the airport decided not to renumber them.

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12 George Bush Intercontinental (IAH)

ungvar/Adobe Houston TX Busch International Airport

Longest walking distance between two gates: 26 minutes

You may still call it the Houston Airport, but its official name is the George Bush Intercontinental Airport.

The airport was renamed in 1997 to honor President George H.W. Bush, who was a resident of Houston.

11. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta (ATL)

Markus Mainka/Adobe Atlanta Airport ATL Terminal

Longest walking distance between two gates: 27 minutes

Atlanta was the busiest airport in the world in 2023, with more than 104 million passengers moving through its terminals.

So it’s probably no surprise that the airport has one of the longest walks from gate to gate in order to accommodate the high number of travelers.

10. Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP)

Skórzewiak/Adobe Airplane landing at Minneapolis Minnesota

Longest walking distance between two gates: 28 minutes

It may be a trek to get from gate H2 to gate C25 in Minneapolis, but the weather could help you out.

The airport saw 9.9% of its flights delayed in 2022 due to weather, making the top 10 for most weather-delayed flights at major airports in the U.S., according to the Bureau of Transportation.

9. Washington-Dulles (IAD)

Nate Hovee/Adobe ATC Control Tower Dulles International Airport

Longest walking distance between two gates: 30 minutes

While you walk from B79 to gate C2, take a glance at the unique architecture of Dulles Airport near Washington, D.C.

The airport’s main terminal was designed by architect Eero Saarinen, who may be better known for designing the Gateway Arch in St. Louis.

8. Boston Logan (BOS)

SNEHIT PHOTO/Adobe bridge at Boston Logan International Airport

Longest walking distance between two gates: 30 minutes

You may recognize the name Logan Airport when you fly into Boston.

The airport, which originally opened more than 100 years ago, was named for General Edward Lawrence Logan. He was a soldier, politician, and native Bostonian.

7. Philadelphia (PHL)

Skórzewiak/Adobe Plane landing in Philadelphia Pennsylvania

Longest walking distance between two gates: 31 minutes

Take some time during your long trek from gate E17 to A26 to admire a nod to Philadelphia’s history.

Terminal A is the home of a life-size replica of the Liberty Bell made out of LEGO pieces. You may see it on your walk that may last more than a half hour from gate to gate.

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6. Denver (DEN)

donyanedomam/Adobe Airplane operated by United taxis

Longest walking distance between two gates: 34 minutes

Denver saw the sixth-highest number of passengers in the world go through its airport in 2023, with almost 78 million fliers.

The good news is that you don’t have to walk that entire distance. Travelers using Gates B and C can only get there using the “people mover” train. If you prefer to walk, flights at Gate A can be reached by foot.

5. Miami (MIA)

xbrchx/Adobe Miami international airport gate waiting area

Longest walking distance between two gates: 35 minutes

Miami may have one of the longest walks between two gates, but that’s not the only thing the airport is known for.

Miami’s airport also makes the top 10 for metric tons of cargo going through its doors. The airport handled more than 2.5 metric tons of cargo, making it the seventh-busiest airport in the world for cargo.

4. New York JFK (JFK)

Markus Mainka/Adobe New York JFK Airport Terminal 1

Longest walking distance between two gates: 38 minutes

You’ll have to make the long trek between gates if you’re trying to fly out of the country.

New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport tops the list of U.S. airports with the most international connections based on the number of international passengers that pass through the airport.

3. New York LaGuardia (LGA)

James/Adobe Restaurants at LaGuardia Airport Terminal B

Longest walking distance between two gates: 39 minutes

Both JFK and LaGuardia airports are in the New York City borough of Queens, but LaGuardia airport mostly welcomes domestic flights.

The airport, named for legendary New York City Mayor Fiorello LaGuardia, serves as a hub for American Airlines and Delta Air Lines.

2. Chicago O’Hare (ORD)

oldmn/Adobe Passenger Tunnel Chicago O'Hare Airport

Longest walking distance between two gates: 49 minutes

Chicago was the ninth-busiest airport in the world in 2023, with almost 74 million passengers wandering the terminals of O’Hare.

The walk from C31 to M40 will take some time, or you can check out the airport’s shuttle bus to save your feet from walking.

1. Los Angeles (LAX)

Markus Mainka/Adobe Los Angeles International Airport LAX sign

Longest walking distance between two gates: 53 minutes

A song released in the 1980s declared that “nobody walks in L.A.,” but that’s not the case if you’re at the airport.

The Los Angeles Airport, which is also known as LAX, tops the list with a 53-minute trek from gate 86B to gate 210B.

You may be surprised to find that both gates are not actually in Terminal B, which serves international flights in and out of Los Angeles. Instead, you’ll find 86B down in Terminal 8 at the other end of the airport.

Bottom line

Petryshak/Adobe business woman using smartphone at airport

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Author Details

Jenny Cohen Jenny Cohen is a freelance writer who has covered a bit of everything, from finance to sports to her favorite TV shows. Her work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, and FoxSports.com.

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