Study finds rise in overall airport satisfaction

There may still be a pilot shortage and plenty of issues causing airport terminals to be crowded and confusing.

However according to J.D. Power’s latest Airport study of North American airports, out today, travelers are feeling more satisfied with airports now than they were a year ago.

J.D. Power’s 2023 North America Airport Satisfaction Study, shows an uptick of 3 points (on a 1,000-point scale) this year, driven by improvements in three factors: terminal facilities; food and beverage and retail service; and baggage claim.

“While airports are doing a good job coping with the current issues, there is still more they could do to improve [the] passenger experience while also improving their own bottom lines,” said Michael Taylor, managing director of travel, hospitality and retail at J.D. Power. “Happy passengers spend a lot more money at the airport, so ongoing efforts to spread passenger volumes throughout the day and deliver superior service at all customer touchpoints will be critical.”

Did your favorite airport shine?

The Airport Satisfaction Study measures overall traveler satisfaction with mega, large, and medium North American airports and looks at six factors (in order of importance):

terminal facilities;

airport arrival/departure; baggage claim;

security check;

check-in/baggage check;

and food, beverage & retail.

This year’s study was conducted from August 2022 through July 2023.

Here are the top rankings:

Mega Airports

Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport ranked highest with 800 points (out of 1000),

Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport (796), ranked second

And Harry Reid International Airport in Las Vegas ranked thrid (787).

Large Airports

Tampa International Airport ranks highest with a score of 832.

John Wayne Airport, Orange County (829) ranks second

And Salt Lake City International Airport (825) ranks third.

Of note among large airports is the ranking this year for New York’s LaGuardia Airport, one of the airports where recently completed construction and redevelopment projects have greatly improved the passenger experience.

LaGuardia Airport, which ranked last in passenger satisfaction in 2019, now ranks at the large airport segment average, tied with Kansas City International Airport, which just opened its shiny new terminal, and just below Portland International Airport, which is about to.

Medium Airports

For a second consecutive year, Indianapolis International Airport ranks highest among medium airports, with a score of 843.

Southwest Florida International Airport (839) ranks second and Ontario International Airport (834) ranks third.

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