IAH vs. HOU – Which Houston Airport Fits Your Travel?

HOU Airport

If you’re flying into Houston, Texas, you may have noticed that you have a choice of two airports to choose from. You will have the George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) and the William P Hobby (HOU). There are certainly some big differences between the two – and you may have already noticed this when trying to book flights. If you’re planning a business or leisure trip to Houston, here are the main pros and cons to consider when choosing between IAH vs HOU.


IAH is located further outside of Houston. If the location of a city airport is crucial to you, then you will need to consider the added time of catching a shuttle service or cab, or perhaps even the time allowed to register with your car rental company. However, all the terminals are connected by useful transport links, which include a large people-mover or an underground train service. HOU is much closer to Houston’s city center and is renowned for having a friendly, local approach.

To put it plainly, if you aren’t planning on staying in Houston, or are happy to opt for car rental Houston airport, then IAH shouldn’t be a problem at all. If you are looking to stay close to the city and search for a convenient flight that’s not too far away, then HOU might be your best bet. Both airports have a variety of transport services to and from the airport. You will find hire cars, cab services, and other bus shuttle services. What you opt for will depend on where you are planning to stay and what is most convenient for your timeframe and luggage.

Airport Size

When it comes to airports, location isn’t necessarily everything, but it can indicate certain features. Size can determine the regularity of flights, the quality of stores inside and the airline you end up flying with. IAH is the bigger airport out of Houston’s two options. You’ll find many more airlines to choose from and, therefore, far more flights daily. On top of that, it has over 50 catering and shopping outlets to choose from, which means you won’t be stuck for choice and that everyone will have something to choose from. There is also Wi-Fi and currency exchange on-site for extra convenience before traveling. If you are planning to pack lightly and get your supplies at the airport, you will have plenty to choose from here.

However, as anyone who has visited a large airport will know, this comes with its own set of drawbacks. The bigger the airport, the lengthier the process is to navigate it. A larger airport means that you’ll have a longer distance to traverse to get to gates and make your way around in general. If you want a simple and easy check-in to gate process, IAH might not be your best choice.

As one might expect, HOU’s small size makes it much easier to navigate. As a result of this, you can also expect fewer airlines to choose from. Some of which may be operating from IAH. However, this airport does still have 15 food and drink stores to grab something to eat, as well as retail opportunities. This airport also comes with Wi-Fi, which is ideal for travelers who want to check their boarding pass online or check their flight details. The smaller size means that it has less shopping and food outlets than IAH, and, therefore, less to choose from. On the other hand, if you’re willing to sacrifice the convenience of multiple food options for a swift getaway, then you may wish to opt for William P. Hobby.

If you are looking for airports in Houston to fly into or fly from, you will likely be swayed by capacity, size, or distance from the city center. IAH and HOU have plenty in common – after all, you will be treated to exceptional Texan customer service in both of them. However, significant factors such as which airline you are choosing to use may make that decision for you.

If you do get to decide for yourself, you may want to take into consideration the size and distance of the airport. If you don’t want to spend too much time traversing the airport itself, HOU is probably the one for you. If you want to have as many amenities and shopping opportunities at your disposal before you fly, however, IAH is the most comprehensive airport. One aspect you can rely on is that you will have plenty of transport options when you land!