Airports

Airports Compete for Customer Satisfaction. The winners are:

North American airports are filling up again with travelers. And airports are working hard to make the passenger experience as pleasant as can be despite labor shortages that limit the availability of some amenities and food, beverage, and retail options.

Some airports are dealing with it better than others.

In the newest airport rankings from J.D. Power’s 2021 North America Airport Satisfaction Study, released Wednesday, Miami International Airport (MIA) and Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY) ranked highest in their respective segments of ‘mega’ airport serving 33 million or more passengers per year and ‘large’ airports serving 10 to 32,9 million passengers per year.

(Due to reduced traffic medium-sized airports, serving 4.5 to 9.9 million passengers annually, were not ranked this year.)

“Our #1 ranking by J.D. Power is an encouraging sign that recent improvements at MIA are making a positive impression on our passengers,” said Ralph Cutié, Miami International Airport Director & CEO. “Our new state-of-the-art baggage handling system, which was fully integrated last year, now doubles the speed and efficiency of baggage screening and delivery for flights in our Central and South terminals, and our dining and retail concessions continue to score high marks.”

Kevin Dolliole, Director of Aviation at MSY airport said “This honor from J.D. Power is a testament to our tireless efforts to deliver safe, efficient, and clean facilities and services to the passengers at the New Orleans Airport.”

The study ranks airports on a 1,000-point scale in six categories, in order of importance: terminal facilities;
airport arrival/departure; baggage claim; security check; check-in/baggage check; and food, beverage and
retail.

In the ‘mega’ airport category, Miami International Airport (MIA) was first with 828 (of 1000) points, John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) was second, with 817 points, and Minneapolis St. Paul International Airport (MSP) was third with 815 points.

Amongst ‘large’ airports, Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY) topped the list with 844 points. Tampa International Airport (TPA) secured the 2nd spot with just one less point – 843. And Raliegh-Durham International Airport (RDU) came in third with 841 points.

Here are the full rankings. See where your favorite airport landed.

Travel Tidbits from an airport near you

Newest Minute Suites opens at DTW Airport

Minute Suites -which rents short-stay napping and workspaces in airports around the country – has opened a new location in Detroit Metropolitan Airport in the McNamara Terminal. This new location features five suites and has an on-site bathroom with a shower. This brings the number of airports with Minute Suites locations to 8: ATLANTA (ATL), Baltimore/Washington (BWI), Charlotte Douglas (CLT), Dallas Fort Worth (DFW), New York LaGuardia (LGA), Nashville (BNA), Philadelphia (PHL), and Detroit (DTW). More are on the way.

The suites include an AppleTV, Netflix , and Wi-Fi, plus a daybed with a pull-out trundle that can sleep two. Up to four people can relax in a room. Pricing starts at $45 for the first hour (the minimum). The company has adopted the slogan “Clean and Serene” and these suites have become quite popular during the pandemic with travelers who really want to avoid the crowds during a layover.

Dallas Love Field celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month

Fresh Art at PHX Airport

And this – spotted in Seattle today

A new “World’s Best” Airport

Hamad International Airport

There are many contests, and many ways, to pick “The Best Airport in the World.”

One of the most coveted is the Skytrax World Airport Awards. And this year’s awards present a bit of an upset.

For the past eight years Singapore’s Changi Airport (SIA) has won the Skytrax award for Best Airport in the World, but this year Hamad International Airport in Doha, Qatar has claimed that prize. The airport also took home prizes for Best Airport in the Middle East, the World’s Best Airport in the 25 to 35 million Passenger category, and for the Best Airport Staff in the Middle East.

Here’s the rundown of the Skytrax 10 Top Airports for 2021

  1. Hamad International Airport
  2. Tokyo Haneda Airport
  3. Singapore Changi Airport
  4. Incheon International Airport
  5. Narita International Airport
  6. Munich Airport
  7. Zurich Airport
  8. London Heathrow Airport
  9. Kansai International Airport
  10. Hong Kong International Airport

Some other airports winners of note: Istanbul Airport got the nod for World’s Most Improved Airport. Singapore’s Changi Airport got the award for World’s Best Airport Staff. And Tokyo Haneda Airport was declared the World’s Cleanest Airport.

No U.S. airport made the Global Top Ten list, but here are the winners in the Best Airports in North America category this year:

  • Vancouver International Airport
  • George Bush Intercontinental Airport
  • Toronto Pearson Airport
  • Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport
  • Denver International Airport
  • Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport
  • Houston Hobby Airport
  • Seattle-Tacoma International Airport
  • San Fransico International Airport
  • Montreal International Airport

Another category we like to call out in the Skytrax contest is the World’s Best Airport Hotels. But because many airport hotels have and still are being used for COVID arrival quarantine purposes or were fully or partially closed during the height of the pandemic, Skytrax decided to skip that category this year. The Best Airport Leisure Amenities category, Best Airport Shopping, and some other categories were skipped this year as well.

New airport names; new airline planes

Alaska Airlines’ new Pride-inspired plane

We are totally loving Alaska Airline’s newly decorated Pride-inspired plane supporting the LGBTQ+ community. It’s the first of its kind in the United States and will be flying throughout the airline’s network for the next year.

Airport name changes

It’s official. T.F. Green Airport in Providence, Rhode Island is now Rhode Island T.F. Green International Airport (PVD).

Why did they make the change?

“Of the 376 primary mainland airports in the country as defined by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) only 32, including T. F. Green Airport, did not have the city, region or state in its name,” the airport explains in a statement. And adding the geographical identifier “will better position Rhode Island’s main airport to support the state’s economy and tourism sector.”

Las Vegas’ McCarran Int’l Airport renamed for Harry Reid

Since 1968, the airport in Las Vegas has been named for Nevada’s late U.S. senator, Pat McCarran. He helped get the airport built, but left a legacy of racism and anti-Semitism. But earlier this year, Clark County commissioners in Nevada voted to change the name of the airport to Harry Reid International Airport, to honor the man who served as a Democratic senator from Nevada from 1987 to 2017.

The name change isn’t quite official with the FAA just yet. But it looks like it is a pretty darn close because the name change is already being reflected on FAA charts.

New Art Gallery at Indianapolis International Airport

Indianapolis International Airport (IND), which opened in 2008 with $4 million in permanent art, now has an art gallery.

Called the KIND Gallery after the airport’s international airport code, the new gallery will feature rotating temporary art exhibits curated and coordinated in partnership with the Arts Council of Indianapolis.

The first gallery show is titled “Pareidolia.” The term refers to “the tendency to perceive a specific, often meaningful image in a random or ambiguous visual pattern” and each artist in the show used clouds as their prompt to set their creativity into motion.

Travel Tidbits heading into the weekend

Louisville Airport welcomes Kentucky Derby fans

The Kentucky Derby will take place on schedule this year on Saturday, May 1 and Louisville Muhammad International Airport (SDF) is decked out and ready to welcome Derby guests with lots of fresh roses.

PHX has COVID-19 shots

Airports everywhere are continuing their “keep clean things clean” campaigns. Touchless tech helps, and we see Pittsburgh International Airport (PIT) just added touchess/wave-to-call elevator buttons.

Places We’d Go… Cleveland

Cleveland is hosting the NFL Draft, with lots of bonus activities.

The Rock & Roll Hall of Fame has a new exhibit celebrating the Super Bowl Halftime Show music and performers.

The Biggest Show on Turf: 55 Years of Halftime Shows will be on exhibit through September 21 and includes performance outfits, instruments, and set pieces, including Prince’s turquoise suit worn during his unforgettable purple-rained 2007 performance, where he asked production managers “Can you make it rain harder?” and Katy Perry’s beach-ball inspired costume and “Left Shark” that ignited a pop culture phenomenon after her 2015 performance.