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.