airport studies

Top airports? Las Vegas, Orlando, John Wayne, Buffalo, says J.D. Power

Despite record passenger volumes and lots of construction projects,  travelers are more satisfied with the North America airports than ever before. That’s according to this year’s J.D. Power Satisfaction Study, which was released today.

The study breaks down airports by “mega,”  large and medium and evaluates for five factors (in order of importance): check-in; food, beverage and retail; accessibility; terminal facilities; and baggage claim.

Using a 1,000 point scale, the overall passengers satisfaction for airports overall was 761. That’s 12 points higher than last year’s study.

There was a tie for first place for  ‘mega’ airports category: Las Vegas McCarran International Airport and Orlando International Airport, with a score of 781.

“We are so proud of our No. 1 ranking in the mega airport category,” said Rosemary Vassiliadis, McCarran International Airport’s director of aviation, “This honor validates the hard work and collaboration among our airport partners as we have embraced a commitment to improving the passenger travel experience through shared customer service values. At McCarran, we know we are the first and last impression of Las Vegas, and we take that responsibility very seriously.”

The team at Orlando International is equally proud:

“We remain dedicated to our core goal of providing travelers and guests with an outstanding
experience, ‘The Orlando Experience’, as they travel through the airport,” said Frank
Kruppenbacher, Chairman of the Greater Orlando Aviation Authority. “We are gratified that
the efforts of the Board, staff and our airport partners to provide the traveling public with the
finest airport experience continue to be recognized.”

In the mega airport category, Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (775) ranks third and Denver International Airport (771) ranks fourth.

Among large airports, John Wayne Airport, Orange County ranks first, with a score of 815. Dallas Love
Field (810) ranks second and Portland (Ore.) International Airport (804) ranks third.

“Not only did John Wayne Airport receive the highest score of any airport in the study, scoring 815 points on a 1,000-point scale, we also received the highest score in four of the six study categories, said Airport Director Barry Rondinella.  “John Wayne Airport has earned this distinction due to our team’s commitment to providing a superior guest experience. Every guest, every day, receives a superior level of care and attention.”

In the medium airport category, Buffalo Niagara International Airport ranks highest with a score of
814. Indianapolis International Airport (811) ranks second and Fort Myers/Southwest Florida
International (810) ranks third.

Of course, here at, we love all airports equally, but here are the full rankings from the report. If you can’t read them on this post, you can find them here.

              “Mega” Airports

                                              Large Airports 

                                   Medium Airports


World’s most efficient airports & why that matters

An aviation think-tank at the University of British Columbia has released its annual ranking of airports, comparing the operational and management efficiency, as well as cost competitiveness of 183 airports and 25 airport groups in North America, Europe, Asia and Oceania.

According to the 2012 ATRS Global Airport Performance Benchmarking Report, the most efficient airport – for the sixth year running (!) is Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL).

What’s their secret?

“Our report shows that the world’s most efficient airports are supplementing core income with money generated through non-aeronautical revenue streams, such as parking, office rentals, retail activity and real estate development,” said Professor Tae Oum, who heads up the UBC Sauder School of Business, which conducts the survey.

They found that ATL generated 63 per cent of its total revenue from non-aviation activities, compared to the lowest-ranked North American airport Denver International Airport (DEN), which secured only 37 per cent of its income from alternative sources.

Why should you care? Oum says more efficient airports offer lower aircraft landing fees and passenger terminal charges, leaving more money in the pockets of travelers.

See where your favorite airport ranks in the list of World’s Most Efficient International Airports:

North America – More than 15 million annual passengers

1. Hartsfield–Jackson Atlanta International Airport
2. Charlotte Douglas International Airport
3. Minneapolis – St. Paul International Airport

North America – Less than 15 million annual passengers

1. Raleigh-Durham International Airport
2. Richmond International Airports
3. Will Rogers World Airport

Canada – overall

1. Vancouver International Airport
2. Calgary International Airport
3. Edmonton International Airport

Europe – More than 15 million annual passengers

1. Copenhagen Kastrup International Airport
2. Oslo Airport Gardermoen
3. Zurich Airport

Europe – Less than 15 million annual passengers

1. Genève Aéroport
2. Nice Cote D’Azure Airport
3. Edinburgh Airport

Asia – Overall

1. Seoul-Gimpo International Airport
2. Incheon International Airport
3. Hong Kong International Airport

Oceania – Overall

1. Sydney Airport
2. Queenstown Airport
3. Dunedin International Airport