Even with an increased number of travelers moving through airports—many of which are not designed for the volume of people and flights they now support—satisfaction with the overall airport experience is improving, according to results from the “J.D. Power 2016 North America Airport Satisfaction Study.”
Overall traveler satisfaction with the airport experience averaged 731 (on a 1,000-point scale) in 2016
, an improvement from 725 in 2015. Overall satisfaction with large airports is 724, a five-point increase from 2015, and satisfaction with medium airports is 760, an eight-point rise. The increase in satisfaction comes at a time when airports are posting a 5-6% annual increase in traveler volumes.
“Many airports, especially the nation’s largest airports, were never built to handle the current volume of traveler traffic, often exceeding their design limits by many millions of travelers,” said Michael Taylor, director of the airport practice at J.D. Power. “Yet airports are overcoming infrastructure limits by affecting the things they can influence. Airports are successfully applying technology to improve check-in, security screening and the food, beverage and retail shopping experiences [based on the results of the survey showing a rise in satisfaction].”
Large and medium airports have experienced year-over-year improvements in satisfaction overall, and for all factors. Satisfaction with security check improves the least (+1 and +8 points respectively), due in part to increased traveler volume contributing to an 8% increase in wait times in security lines.
Here are the top five large airports as ranked by J.D. Power’s 2016 Airport Satisfaction Study:
- Portland (Ore.) International Airport (786 points).
- Tampa International Airport (775 points).
- Las Vegas McCarran Airport (759 points).
- Orlando International Airport (751 points).
- Miami International Airport (750 points).
And here the lowest ranked large airports referenced in the study (lowest at bottom):
- Boston Logan Airport (689 points).
- Chicago O’Hare Airport (689 points).
- Philadelphia International Airport (688 points).
- Newark Liberty International Airport (669 points).
- New York LaGuardia Airport (649 points).
Note that the above numbers are not accounting for medium-sized airports, which were ranked separately in the study, but earned a higher overall rate of satisfaction when compared to their larger counterparts.
Now in its 11th year, the J.D. Power airport study measures overall traveler satisfaction with large and medium North American airports by examining six factors (in order of importance): terminal facilities; airport accessibility; security check; baggage claim; check-in/baggage check; food, beverage and retail.
To view the full report and related charts visit the official J.D. Power website.