ATTENTION PASSENGERS...

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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Yuli Gurriel had a monster night at the plate Friday. Photo by Elsa/Getty Images.

Although they lost the series 2-1, the Astros ended their road trip with a nice win over the Yankees to head home on a positive note. On Friday, they welcomed in the Toronto Blue Jays and former teammate George Springer, currently on the IL, to start a three-game series and long homestand. They had an excellent night at the plate, along with a strong start from Jose Urquidy, cruising past the Blue Jays to take the opener.

Final Score: Astros 10, Blue Jays 4

Astros' Record: 17-15, third in the AL West

Winning Pitcher: Jose Urquidy (3-2)

Losing Pitcher: Ross Stripling (0-2)

Jays strike first, then Houston responds and never looks back

It first appeared that Urquidy may be in for a long night, giving up two solo home runs early in Friday's game, one to Bo Bichette in the top of the first with one out to put Toronto up 1-0, then another to Danny Jansen in the top of the third. However, Urquidy would lock-in, and his offense would back him up strongly.

Houston ended up sending nine batters to the plate in the bottom of the second, getting two runs on a homer by Carlos Correa, then later loading the bases to set up an RBI walk by Alex Bregman. In the bottom of the fifth, with a one-run lead at 3-2, Yuli Gurriel expanded the lead to three runs on a two-run shot.

Gurriel went on to have a fantastic night, going 4-for-4 at the plate with 4 RBI. His third of those came in the bottom of the seventh, extending the lead again with an RBI single to make it 6-2. Kyle Tucker made it a five-run game that same inning with an RBI double, then more insurance came in the bottom of the eighth. They reached double-digits that inning, with Alex Bregman, Yordan Alvarez, and Yuli Gurriel, his fourth of the night, all getting an RBI to make it 10-2.

Urquidy finishes seven, then Emanuel finishes it off

Those gave Urquidy plenty of support, though he would bounce back after the two early homers and have a nice night on the mound. He allowed just two other hits, working around both, en route to a seven-inning two-run performance to earn him the win. His final line: 7.0 IP, 4 H, 2 ER, 1 BB, 2 K, 2 HR, 84 P.

He likely could have gone longer, but Dusty Baker turned the ball over to Kent Emanuel to wrap things up with the significant lead. He did so, despite allowing a two-run home run to former-Astro Teoscor Hernandez in the top of the ninth to make the score 10-4. The win kept the Astros above .500 and two games back of the A's, who sit atop the AL West standings.

Up Next: The middle game of this series will be a 6:10 PM start Saturday night. The pitching matchup will be Steven Matz (4-2, 4.78 ERA) for Toronto and the electric Cristian Javier (3-0, 1.75 ERA) for Houston.

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