Dallas Love Field Airport

Airports in Phoenix, Dallas & Indianapolis at top of J.D. Power list

Airline passenger numbers are way down. Many airports still feeling sort of empty, with many shops and restaurants closed or operating on reduced schedules. And buying a plane ticket right now comes with a lot of “what ifs” and few perks.

So, it is an interesting time to a look at the findings of J.D. Power’s 2020 North American Airport Satisfaction Study.

First, the “winners”

The survey put airports up against each other in three categories: “mega” airports with 33 million or more passengers per year; large airports with 10 to 32.9 million passengers per year; and medium airports with 4.5 to 9.9 million passengers per year.

The airports are scored on a 1,000 point scale that takes into account passenger satisfaction with factors that include terminal facilities; airport arrival/departure; baggage claim; security check; check-in/baggage check; and food, beverage and retail, in order of importance.

Mega airports: Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport ranks highest with a score of 805. Miami International Airport (801) ranks second and McCarran International Airport (797) ranks third.

Large airports: Dallas Love Field ranks highest with a score of 844. John Wayne Airport, Orange County (837) and Tampa International Airport (837) rank second, in a tie.

Medium airports: Indianapolis International Airport ranks highest with a score of 866. Palm Beach International Airport (833) ranks second and Southwest Florida International Airport (829) ranks third.

What influences this year’s rankings?

As with everything else right now, the coronavirus pandemic has put a twist into this year’s airport satisfaction rankings.  

The overall customer satisfaction score for North American airports is up this year, to a record-high 784, which is 22 points up from 2019.

Good news, right? Sort of.

“Compared to the pre-COVID-19 environment when most airports were running significantly over capacity, the lack of crowds and long lines is actually creating a convenient experience for travelers right now,” says Michael Taylor, travel intelligence lead at J.D. Power, in the study notes.

 “Obviously, this lower passenger volume is not sustainable for most airports. Airport managers are doing all they can to provide a safe and clean environment to facilitate a rebound in travel,” he adds.

Here are top five airports in each category. You can see the full rankings here.

Mega Airports

  1. Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (805)
  2. Miami International Airport (801)
  3. McCarran International Airport (797)
  4. Denver International Airport (793)
  5. John F. Kennedy International Airport (793)

Large Airports

  1. Dallas Love Field (844)
  2. John Wayne Airport, Orange County (837)
  3. Tampa International Airport (837)
  4. William P. Hobby Airport (823)
  5. Portland International Airport (814)

Medium Airports

  1. Indianapolis International Airport (866)
  2. Palm Beach International Airport (833)
  3. Southwest Florida International Airport (829)
  4. Albuquerque International Sunport (826)
  5. Pittsburgh International Airport (826)

What about the airports at the bottom of each list?

In the mega category, Newark Liberty International Airport was at the bottom of the list, with a score of 733, just below Chicago O’Hare International Airport, which had a score of 758.

Among large airports, New York’s LaGuardia Airport (in the middle of a much-heralded make-over) ranked lowest, with a score of 712.

And for medium airports, Hawaii’s Kahului Airport was at the bottom of the list, with a 745 score.

Free recipes, a flower class & audio-visual art from DEN, DAL and SAN Airports

We may not be flying much, or at all, right now but airports are still doing their thing with music, art, and tasty food and drink.

We appreciate that. And we’re paying attention.

Denver International Airport (DEN) has launched the Taste of DEN series offering recipes from the chefs at popular restaurants at the airport.

In the first episode, Tom’s Urban Kitchen & Brewery Chef Robert Garton cookes up a Prime Rib Dip Sandwich. A video from DEN’s Root Down Kitchen is promised next.

To celebrate Hispanic Heritage Month, Hortencia and Rachel from the art and programming team at Dallas Love Field (DAL) Airport were kind enough to put together a video showing us how to make traditional paper flowers.

And the San Diego International Airport (SAN) Arts Program has a new artist in residence for Fall 2020.

Throughout her Performing Arts Residency at SAN Margaret Noble is offering a series of downloadable audio-visual works as part of her [Sky][Muse] collection.

The first set is called ‘Compass’ and includes two ‘experiences:’

One has interactive visual music; the other a ‘silent graphical score.’

DAL: 5 Things We Love About Dallas Love Field Airport

The “5 Things We Love About…” series marches on. Even though we are forced to stay on the ground and close to home.

So today we are celebrating some of the features and amenities we love at Dallas Love Field Airport (DAL).

Keep in mind that some of the things we love at DAL airport may be temporarily closed due to health concerns. But we are confident they will be back.

If we miss one of the features you love about Dallas Love Field Airport, please drop a note in the comments section below.

And be sure to take a look at some of the other airports on the “5 Things We Love About…” list. The series will continue as long as there are airports to visit. There are a lot of airports, so we will just keep this occasional feature going here on StuckatTheAirport.com

5 Things We Love About Dallas Love Field Airport

1. Live at Love Stage

The Live at Love Stage at DAL airport presents daily, lunchtime musical performances by local artists. The music is piped throughout the terminal, so you can still enjoy the music at your gate, in a restaurant or a shop.

2. The Love Field Art Program

Love Field has a robust art program, with both permanent artwork and changing exhibitions to enjoy both before and after security. You can even join an airport art tour.

3. The LBJ Plaque

Following the assassination of President John F. Kennedy in Dallas on November 22, 1963, Lyndon B. Johnson took the oath of office as President aboard Air Force One as it sat parked on the ramp at Dallas Love Field.

Johnson is the only President sworn-in west of the Mississippi River and an exhibit at the Love Field Observation Deck recognizes the event with a plaque and a presidential seal on loan from Amy & Farris Rookstool, III

At night, a light illuminates another plaque out on the aircraft apron that shows the exact location of Air Force One at the swearing-in.

Here’s a note from Mr. Rookstool:

 “I spent 11 years working on honoring this Presidential History at Dallas Love Field. As a child I was at DAL on November 22, 1963. Never in a million years would I have ever imagined that I would be the historian responsible for marking this historic site at the airport. The LBJ inauguration was the first and only time a President has ever been sworn in aboard and aircraft (Air Force One) at an airport.

4. Lil’ Love Lounge at Love Field

The children’s play area at Dallas Love Field Airport was a popular spot before it had to temporarily close due to COVID-19 health concerns. DAL officials promise it is coming back with a fresh new theme.

5. The Souvenirs at DAL Airport

Here at StuckatTheAirport.com, we’re a big fan of quirky, locally-themed souvenirs. The shops at Dallas Love Field Airport offer plenty of options.

Did we miss one of your favorite amenities at Dallas Love Field Airport? Let us know in the comments section below.

What airport should we feature next?

Texas Ranger statue removed from Dallas Love Field

Courtesy Dallas Love Field

Statues are toppling and being taken down around the country because the historical figures they portray had a role in the oppression of others.

Included in this movement is the removal of the iconic Texas Ranger statue from the main lobby at Dallas Love Field Airport.

The 12-foot-tall bronze statue has been on display at the airport on and off since 1963 but was taken down in early June.

City officials decided to remove the statue. Their decision was prompted by published excerpts from a new book documenting the history of the Texas Rangers law enforcement agency and its connections to brutality and racism, the Dallas News reported.

In his book “Cult of Glory: The Bold and Brutal History of the Texas Rangers“, and in an article published in D Magazine, Doug J. Swanson explains how during almost 200 years of patrolling Texas, many Texas Rangers “performed countless acts of bravery and heroism.”

But, Swanson says, some Texas Rangers were also responsible for “terrifying atrocities, including massacres on the Texas-Mexico border.”

The Texas Ranger statue that was at Dallas Love Field turned out to be especially problematic.

Sgt. E.J. “Jay” Banks, the Texas Ranger who served as the model for the statue at Dallas Love Field, was the commanding Ranger on the scene in 1956 when attempts were made to integrate the high school in Mansfield, near Dallas.

“But unlike state police in other Southern racial hotspots, the Rangers in Mansfield did not escort black students past howling mobs of white supremacists. They had been sent instead to keep the black children out of a white school,” Swanson writes, “A wire service photo showed [Banks] casually leaning against a tree outside Mansfield High. To his left, above the school’s entrance, was a dummy in blackface, hanging from a noose.”

What will happen to the statue – the spot it once filled at Dallas Love Field Airport?

According to an airport spokesman, “It has been placed into storage and the City of Dallas Office of Arts and Culture will lead the conversations and decisions as to what will happen to it next. There is no plan at this time to place anything else in that space.”

Nintendo’s pop-up airport lounges

Nintendo pop-up lounge at Dallas Love Field

Calling all Nintendo fans. Or anyone wanting some entertainment while they’re stuck at the airport.

Nintendo has rolled out a cluster of pop-up game lounges at four airports just in time for the spring break travel season,

The Nintendo Switch On The Go pop-up airport lounges are at Washington Dulles (IAD), Seattle-Tacoma International (SEA), O’Hare International (ORD) and Dallas Love Field (DAL) airports.

Each lounge gives travelers hands-on time with game demos using Nintendo Switch and Nintendo Switch Lite.

According to Nintendo, anyone who visits one of these Switch On The Go lounges can order Nintendo Switch and Nintendo Switch Lite systems and receive a free carrying case with their order.

Another promised bonus for anyone who stops by is a free Nintendo Switch branded luggage handle wrap and a $10 coupon from Target to use on any Nintendo purchase of $75 or more – “available while supplies last.”

Nintendo pop-up lounge at SEA airport

But: We stopped by the SEA pop-up lounge on Monday, the first day Nintendo’s pop-up lounge was opened. Although the attendants were friendly and chatty and offered to take our photo, no luggage handle wraps or coupons were offered. So, if you’re interested in that, be sure to speak up.  

Look for the pop-up lounges through March 29, 2020 at these airports: