- America’s airports are improving in quality according to the J.D. Power’s 2017 North American Airport Satisfaction Study.
- Orlando International Airport scored the highest among the major airports.
- Airports in New York, Los Angeles, Boston, and Chicago all languished at the bottom of the rankings.
Good news! America’s airports are getting better. That is according to the 2017 North America Airport Satisfaction Study by J.D. Power.
In fact, customer satisfaction is at an all-time high with airports finding innovative solutions to combat the strains of constant construction and surging passenger numbers. According to the study, traveller satisfaction increased an incredible 18 points over 2016 to 749 out of a possible 1,000.
“Despite these difficulties, airports are responding with new technology and old-fashioned personal skills to win over harried travellers,” J.D. Power travel practice lead Michael Taylor said in a statement. “These range from smartphone apps that tell travellers where to find a parking spot to therapy dogs-and in one case, a therapy pig-mingling with travellers to relieve stress and improve the overall airport experience.”
The improved score is driven mostly by increased satisfaction with shorter lines and fewer staffing issues at security checkpoints. In addition, improved customer interactions with check-in/baggage check and food/retail also attributed to the higher scores.
The J.D. Power study, now in its 12th year, measures overall traveller satisfaction with mega, large, and medium-sized airports in the US. The study takes into consideration six factors – in order of importance – 1) terminal facilities, 2) airport accessibility, 3) security check, 4) baggage claim, 5) check-in/baggage check, and 6) food, beverage, and retail. The rankings are compiled from responses gathered from 34,395 travellers between January 2017 and August 2017. All respondents must have flown into or out of the featured airports during the previous three months.
With a score of 778 points, Orlando ranked the highest among the mega airports. Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County (767 points) and Las Vegas’ McCarron International (765 points) followed in second and third place.
John Wayne Airport in Orange County, California took top honours in the large airport category with a score of 796 points. While Sacramento International took the top spot for medium-sized airports with a score of 810.
Unfortunately, not all fared so well.
Major airports serving large metropolitan areas such as New York, Los Angeles, Boston, and Chicago still languish at the bottom of the rankings.
“Despite the most creative efforts to address traveller frustration, major city airports that are in the thick of massive construction efforts-notably Newark Liberty, LaGuardia, Los Angeles International and Chicago O’Hare-are still fighting the headwinds of traveller disruption and access challenges that are handicapping their overall satisfaction scores,” J.D. Power said in the study.
The good news is that the construction that’s causing these headaches will eventually lead to improved passenger experience at these airports. For instance, Delta is building a brand new $US4 billion terminal facility at New York’s LaGuardia Airport, the lowest ranked facility in the study.
Here’s a closer look at the 10 lowest scoring airports in J.D. Power’s 2017 North American Airport Satisfaction Study: