Travel Tidbits from JFK and LAX

For the next four months, 14 hand-drawn, large-scale illustrations of iconic New York city locations, such as the Empire State Building and the Statue of Liberty, can be seen in the corridors of Terminal 4 at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport.

The work is hand-drawn by British-based artist Chris Dent and also includes 18 smaller illustrations of NYC staples such as subway trains, taxis, slices of pizza and coffee cups.

National Employee Appreciation Month is being marked at Los Angeles International Airport with a Gold Star recognition program that celebrates employees who provide great service.

To make it easy for travelers to nominate a badged LAX employee, the airport has created a web form.  Nominations can also be made by texting STAR to 52948. Anyone who works for the airport, airlines, concessions, service providers, TSA and Customs are eligible.

To encourage travelers to particpate,  LAX Guest Services staff will be in the terminals next week sharing information – and handing out goodies.

Are your favorite airports and airlines on these lists?

Airport Council International (ACI), the trade association of world airports,has issued its list of winners of the 2017 Airport Service Quality Awards (ASQ).

The awards cover  airports around the world and are based on more than 600,000 passenger surveys evaluating 34 performance indicators, including airport access, check-in, security screening, restrooms, stores, restaurants, and passenger comments about their best and worst experience at each airport.

In North America, Indianapolis International and Jacksonville International Airport tied in the Best Airport title among airports serving more than 2 million passengers a year.

There was also a tie for 2nd place in this category between El Paso (ELP), Ottowa (YOW) and Toronto Billy Bishop (YTZ) airports. Ditto for 3rd place in this category, between Austin (AUS), Columbus (CMH), Dallas Love Field (DAL), Halifax YHZ), Pittsburgh (PIT), San Antonio (SAT), San Jose (SJC) and Tampa (TPA).

Maine’s Portland International Jetport (PWM) was named Best Airport in North America among those serving less than 2 million passengers a year.

And Cleveland-Hopkins International Airport (CLE) was named the Most Improved Airport in North America.

When ranked by size (passengers served) and region, here are this year’s North America winners

2–5 million passengers per year: Ottawa (YOW)
5–15 million passengers per year: Indianapolis (IND)
15–25 million passengers per year: Tampa (TPA)
25–40 million passengers per year: Minneapolis (MSP)
Over 40 million passengers per year: Toronto Pearson (YYZ)

Be sure check out the full list of ACI’s 2017 rankings for airports in other parts of the world.

The Points Guy site also released its 2018 Best Airlines Annual Report, with rankings of U.S. airlines based on  evaluation of data and factors such as on-time arrival rates, passenger complaints, cabin comfort, baggage issues, frequent flyer programs and more.

Alaska Airlines topped this list for the second year in a row.

“The ongoing merger between Alaska Airlines and Virgin America hasn’t slowed down this customer favorite,” said TPG, noting that the Seattle-based Alaska Airlines ranked in its top three for airfare, on-time arrivals, customer satisfaction, baggage and a best-in-the-industry frequent flyer program.

Here’s how the rankings of the U.S. airlines shook out:











Alaska Airlines, JetBlue Airways top passenger satisfaction survey

Alaska Airlines and JetBlue have come out on top of this year’s J.D. Power and Associates 2012 North America Airline Satisfaction Study, which was released today.

The highly regarded study found that after two years of consecutive industry improvements, overall passenger satisfaction has declined slightly (to 681 index points on a 1,000-point scale—down from 683 in 2011) and that “attributes pertaining to a carrier’s process and people, rather than price, are more highly correlated with passengers’ intentions to fly with an airline again in the future.”

Travelers reported increased satisfaction with so-called low-cost carriers for the third consecutive year (up 3 index points from 2011 to a 754 average), but satisfaction with traditional carriers was down (the decline was 4 points, to 647).

“Passengers want it all,” Stuart Greif, J.D. Power’s vice president and general manager of the global travel and hospitality practice, said in a statement. “The airline industry is caught between trying to satisfy customers who demand low prices, high-quality service and comfort, and contending with the economic challenges of profitably operating an airline.”

In the traditional network carrier rankings, Alaska Airlines ranks highest overall for the fifth consecutive year, performing well in four of the seven factors: boarding/deplaning/baggage; flight crew; check-in; and reservation. Air Canada was just just 1 index point behind Alaska Airlines in this segment, with high rankings in the cost and fees, in-flight services and aircraft factors.

Delta Air Lines moved up two rank positions to third and was the only traditional carrier to improve from 2011, by 9 index points.

In the low-cost carrier rankings, JetBlue Airways ranked highest for a seventh consecutive year, performing well in the in-flight services and aircraft categories. JetBlue was followed closely by Southwest, which performed well in four factors: cost and fees; boarding/deplaning/baggage; check-in; and reservation. Neither airline charges a fee (yet) for a passenger’s first checked bag.

The study measures overall customer satisfaction based on performance in seven factors (in order of importance): cost and fees; in-flight services; boarding/deplaning/baggage; flight crew; aircraft; check-in; and reservation.

You can read more details here.