Airports

Portland and Indianapolis top list of Best US Airports

Which U.S. airports please travelers the most?

According to J.D. Power’s 2016 North America Airport Satisfaction Study released earlier this week, Portland International Airport and Indianapolis International Airport top the lists as the favorite large and medium-sized airports, respectively.

Tampa International Airport ranks second in the large airport category, while  Las Vegas McCarran Airport ranks third.

In the medium-sized airport category, Buffalo Niagara International Airport sits in second place, followed by Fort Meyers/Southwest Florida International Airport.

“Winners have several things in common. They have modern or updated facilities that help increase the efficiency of moving passengers for one mode of transportation to the other, ” said Michael Taylor, director of the airport practice at J.D. Power, and “Winning airports care.”

Taylor admits that sounds corny, but says the airports travelers like the most “go the extra mile to make passengers happy, entertain them and/or solve their problems. The better airports have a local feel, that ‘sense of place’ we hear about so often in the airport industry.  The Indianapolis airport displays antique Indy race cars. The Portland airport has local references like fish, moose, deer in the floor itself.  Top airports aren’t cookie cutter.  They bring in local vendors and provide experiences to travelers they can’t get back home… or at the next airport.”

 

The J.D. Power study measures overall traveler satisfaction with large and medium North American airports by looking at six factors – in this order of importance: terminal facilities; airport accessibility; security check; baggage claim; check-in/baggage check; food, beverage and retail, ranking the airports on a 1,000 point scale.

Top 5 large airport rankings:

Portland International Airport: 786

Tampa International Airport: 775

Las Vegas McCarran Int’l Airport: 759

Orlando International Airport: 751

Miami International Airport: 750

Top 5 medium airport rankings

Indianapolis International Airport: 794

Buffalo Niagara International Airport: 791

Fort Myers/SW Florida Int’l Airport: 790

Jacksonville Int’l Airport: 789

Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Int’l Airport: 783

“Overall, things are getting better,” said Taylor, “Airports are making significant improvements.  Miami has something like 200 food, beverage or retail options on the airport now.  It’s like a mall with airplanes parked outside  Who wouldn’t rather spend time at a mall than an airline gate?”

 

Which airports ranked at the bottom of this year’s list?

For large airports it was New York’ LaGuardia Airport (649 points); for medium airports: Cleveland Hopkins Airport (704).

You can see rankings for other winning – and losing – airports here.

Best and worst airports? See if you agree

8_PHX_The carpet at Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport has an aviation-inspired design

There are oodles of lists published these days ranking the Best and Worst Airports (and airlines). And there are plenty of ways to parse data.

The folks at The Points Guy website have just shared their list of rankings for US airports, using factors such as percentage of delayed and cancelled flights, how accessible the airports are by car and public transit, number of restaurants, bars, lounges, cost of parking, and security wait times.

See if you agree:

Best Airports

1. Phoenix Sky Harbor International (Arizona; PHX)
2. Portland International (Oregon; PDX)
3. San Diego International (California; SAN)
4. Salt Lake City International (Utah; SLC)
5. Honolulu International (Hawaii; HNL)
6. Seattle-Tacoma International (Washington; SEA)
7. Philadelphia International (Pennsylvania; PHL)
8. Charlotte Douglas International (North Carolina; CLT)
9. Las Vegas McCarran International (Nevada; LAS)
10. Minneapolis-St. Paul International (Minnesota; MSP)

Worst Airports

1. LaGuardia (New York; LGA)
2. John F. Kennedy International (New York; JFK)
3. Newark Liberty International (New Jersey; EWR)
4. Chicago O’Hare International (Illinois; ORD)
5. Detroit Metro (Michigan; DTW)
6. Orlando International (Florida; MCO)
7. Washington Dulles International (Virginia; IAD)
8. Denver International (Colorado; DEN)
9. Los Angeles International (California; LAX)
10. Houston George Bush Intercontinental (Texas; IAH)

New name for Lambert-St. Louis International Airport

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Looks like Lambert-St. Louis International Airport is getting a new name.

The St. Louis Airport Commission has voted on it and, if approved by the St. Louis Board of Alderman, the new name of the city’s airport will be St. Louis – Lambert International Airport.

On the face of it, not a huge change, but a meaningful one for many people in the city because the current ‘Lambert’ in the front end of the airport’s name is meant to honor Albert Bond Lambert, who learned to fly with the Wright Brothers and founded the airport.

“This effort is about aligning the Airport with our city and becoming more unified with the brand and marketing power of the St. Louis region,” said Airport Director Rhonda Hamm-Niebruegge in a statement released by the airport. “We’ve received a lot feedback in the last few weeks that highlighted the support of our effort to put St. Louis first.”

An airport working group originally proposed “St. Louis International Airport at Lambert Field” for the new name, but the Commissioners amended the proposed name and approved “St. Louis-Lambert International Airport.”

“We’ve spent the last few weeks talking with relatives of the Albert Bond Lambert and heard how important it was that Lambert still have a vital position in the airport’s name,” said Hamm-Niebruegge.

The new name does that and puts STL more on par with major airports which are geographically named.

Friday photos: snaps from Oshkosh air show

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Earlier this week I was honored to join Alaska Airlines on a special charter flight from Seattle to Oshkosh, Wisconsin for a one-day fly-in at the massive EAA AirVenture air show. The flight was on the carrier’s new 737 airplane bearing a paint scheme honoring Boeing’s centennial year.

Alaska Airline's Boeing Centennial-liveried 737 on the ground at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh2016_Harriet Baskas

The flight had an all-female crew and most all the passengers were women executives and women holding key positions at Alaska Airlines, Horizon Air, Boeing and Virgin America (which will soon become part of Alaska Airlines). Young women (and some young men) from aviation-oriented groups in the Seattle area were also on board – as the plane was headed for Oshkosh to be part of Women in Aviation Day.

I’ve got a story on the day post over at USA TODAY but in the meantime, here are some of my snaps from the day:

Aerobatics during the air show were a hit with the teens who joined Alaska Airlines for a special flight to EAA AirVenuture Oshkosh on July 27, 2017. Harriet Baskas

During the weeklong EAA Airventure Oshkosh, the Wittman Regional Airport air traffic control towere is the busiest in the world.

Some of the 10,000 planes on display at EAA AirVenture Oshkosh 2016

WomenVenture events at  EAA AirVenture Oshkosh celebrate women's role in aviaton. Harriet Baskas

Showing off his ride.. This tyke attending the EAA AirVenture Oshkosh may have a bright future in the aviation industry_ Harriet Baskas

Travel Tidbits from PHL and Orlando Airports

Blackpool Suitcase

Happy Friday!  Here are some travel tidbits from StuckatTheAirport.com:

PHL MAKEOVER 1

Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) and America Airlines are embarking on a “transformative” $30 million makeover for the 15 gates in Terminal B, with hospitality group OTG coming in with eight new, chef-driven dining venues, thousands of iPads (for ordering food and browsing the web), plenty of power ports and upgraded shops.

Timeline: 18-24 months, with teaser dining venues opening along the way.

SFO Deco radio

Orlando International Airport has added a radio station to its list of amenities, offering travel updates, community news and entertainment.

The CBS-affiliated, digital radio station will broadcast around-the-clock in central Florida on HD radios at 105.1HD, stream on the airport’s website and be available through the airport’s mobile app and the radio.com app.