ATTENTION PASSENGERS...

Houston airport lands among the worst for waiting out holiday delays

Houston airport lands among the worst for waiting out holiday delays
Bush Intercontinental boasts a strong on-time ranking. Photo courtesy of Houston Airport System

This article originally appeared on CultureMap.

If George Bush Intercontinental Airport were an airplane seat, it’d be the one towards the back when judged among the best and worst major airports in the U.S. for waiting out holiday delays.

Examining the 15 busiest airports in the country, travel website Orbitz ranked Bush Intercontinental as the 13th best airport to be stuck at if your flight’s delayed during the holiday rush. The website used these categories for its ranking: shopping, dining, Wi-Fi, on-time departures, flight cancellations, member lounges, and public lounges. 

Despite the less-than-stellar ranking, Bush Intercontinental scored well with punctuality, with 83 percent of flights leaving on time (that puts IAH third best in the U.S. after Denver and Atlanta). However, IAH did not perform as well when it came to cancellations, with 2.96 percent of flights canceled, better only than Newark Liberty.

The Orbitz list also lauded IAH for its shopping with 112 outlets and 25 dining options offering fare like pizzas, barbecue, and Tex-Mex. Lounging at the airport is made easier with free Wi-Fi service (with a download speed of 14.53Mbps), four members-only lounges and three public lounges, costing an average of $59.

Orbitz also had high praise for Bush’s Harmony in the Air program, which features live performances from a diverse repertoire of classical, contemporary, jazz, and international artists, “creating an atmosphere that’s designed to sooth and destress passengers.”

study released earlier this year by market research company J.D. Power rated Bush Intercontinental as the seventh best major airport in North America, based on input from more than 40,000 North American travelers. Among large airports, Dallas Love Field landed at No. 2 and Houston’s Hobby Airport at No. 10 (one place behind Austin-Bergstrom International Airport).

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Houston Astros ace Justin Verlander will make his season debut Friday night at the Washington Nationals.

Houston manager Joe Espada made the announcement Wednesday.

“Getting him back is huge because it brings a level of confidence to our team, a boost of confidence that we’re going to get someone who’s been an MVP, a Cy Young (winner) on the mound,” Espada said. “It's (good) for the morale and to get stuff started and moving in the right direction.”

The three-time Cy Young Award winner opened the season on the injured list with inflammation in his right shoulder. He made two rehabilitation starts, the first for Triple-A Sugar Land on April 7 before Saturday’s start for Double-A Corpus Christi.

Espada wouldn't say how many pitches the 41-year-old would be limited to but said they'll keep an eye on his workload.

“We've got to be careful how hard we push him early,” Espada said. “I know he’s going to want to go and stay out there and give us an opportunity to win, but we've got to be cautious of how hard we push him early in the season.”

Verlander wasn’t thrilled with the results in his rehabilitation starts, but he said Monday that those games were valuable in getting him prepared to come off the IL.

He allowed seven hits and six runs — five earned — in four innings against Frisco on Saturday. He struck out three, walked one and threw 51 of 77 pitches for strikes.

Verlander allowed six earned runs and struck out six while pitching into the fourth inning for Sugar Land on April 7.

The Astros have gotten off to a tough start with Verlander and fellow starters Framber Valdez and José Urquidy on the injured list. They enter Wednesday's games last in the AL West with a 6-13 record.

Espada hopes Verlander can be the boost the team needs to get on track.

“It’s good to get him back in the rotation,” Espada said. “With what he means to this club just to get him back on track, getting some innings from him (to) build our rotation with the pieces that we need to move forward is exciting.”

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