Study reveals the North American airports that travelers find the most — and least — satisfying

- Advertisement -

Editor’s Note — Sign up for Unlocking the World, CNN Travel’s weekly newsletter, Get news about destinations opening and closing, inspiration for future adventures, plus the latest in aviation, food and drink, where to stay and other travel developments.

(CNN) – Air travel volumes are increasing and passenger satisfaction is low. This should come as no surprise to anyone who passes through the airport in the summer.

- Advertisement -

The J.D. Power 2022 North America Airport Satisfaction Study, released Wednesday, shows a score of 25 on a 1,000-point scale from the 2021 score. Newark Liberty International Airport had the worst score among mega-airports.

The overall satisfaction score for North American airports in 2022 was 777.


US passenger volume is close to pre-pandemic levels. On Sunday, the US Transportation Security Administration screened 2,371,992 passengers at airport checkpoints. This figure is 94% of the corresponding working day in 2019.

But travelers find fewer flights, more crowded terminals and limited food and drink options, the new J.D. Power study says.

- Advertisement -

Michael Taylor said, “Lack of demand for air travel, labor shortages across the country and ever-increasing prices on everything from jet fuel to water bottles have created a scenario in which airports are overcrowded and Passengers become increasingly frustrated.” , Travel Intelligence Lead at J.D. Power, in a statement.

And Taylor expects this unfortunate set of circumstances to continue through 2023.

Last year’s study finds record high levels of satisfaction with North American airports a 25-point drop — 802 — on a 1,000-point scale, which included passenger surveys from the second half of 2020.

But as the survey progressed into 2021, and the third and fourth waves of the study, passenger satisfaction continued to decline as passenger numbers accelerated.

2022 was studied from August 2021 to July 2022 as air travel continued its rebound.

Passengers wait in line inside the terminal at Newark Liberty International Airport on November 24, 2021.

Eduardo Munoz/Reuters

It was based on a survey of more than 26,500 US or Canadian residents who had traveled through at least one US or Canadian airport during the past 30 days. Passengers rated the airport departing or arriving from their round-trip journey.

The study, now in its 17th year, looks at passenger satisfaction with airports in three categories: mega-airports, large airports and medium airports.

Satisfaction is determined by looking at six factors listed in order of importance: terminal facilities, airport arrival/departure, baggage claim, security screening, check-in/luggage check, and food, beverage and retail.

So which airports are most satisfying for travelers? And which way is shorter?

Least and Least Satisfying North American Mega-Airports

Among the mega-airports evaluated in the study — airports with 33 million or more passengers per year — Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport ranked highest in customer satisfaction with a score of 800 out of 1,000.

According to Taylor, the airport’s updated terminal facilities helped it earn the top spot for satisfaction. He said last year’s construction and renovation reflected in this year’s results.

Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport, seen here in August 2022, earned the best score for passenger satisfaction among North America's mega airports.

Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport, seen here in August 2022, earned the best score for passenger satisfaction among North America’s mega airports.

kirby lee/ap

Although some Improvement projects still underwayKathleen Bangs, a spokeswoman for flight tracking site FlightAware, who used to work for Minneapolis-St., said the airport had relatively smooth operations over the summer. Paul Airport Commission

Responding to questions about the airport’s performance over the summer, Bangs told CNN Travel in late August, “Even during the many ongoing construction and upgrade projects this summer, MSP has kept its size range. Have enjoyed better delay and cancellation numbers than some other airports in the U.S.” He put it down to management and probably experienced fewer storms than some of the other large airports.

San Francisco International Airport (with a score of 796) and Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (791) were also among the top airports in the satisfaction study.

Top five scorers on a 1,000 point scale for mega-airport satisfaction:

• Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (800)
• San Francisco International Airport (796)
• Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (791)
• John F. Kennedy International Airport (791)
• Harry Reid International Airport (790)

At the bottom of the mega-airport list is Newark Liberty International Airport, with a score of 719 out of 1,000.

Taylor said airports undergoing construction and major renovations generally score poorly for terminal facilities.

Passengers wait at Newark Liberty International Airport on July 1, 2022.  The airport was plagued with cancellations and delays this summer.

Passengers wait at Newark Liberty International Airport on July 1, 2022. The airport was plagued with cancellations and delays this summer.

Jinnah Moon/Getty Images

Newark’s $2.7 billion Terminal A overhaul is expected to open later this year, and the new terminal has big plans to improve its food, beverage and retail offerings.

“But those improvements will not be available to travelers for some time. Rome was not built in a day … and neither are the new airport terminals,” Taylor said via email.

The prospect of Newark earning the lowest level of satisfaction among the largest airports comes as no surprise to summer travelers. High levels of cancellations and delays plagued the airport during the busy summer season.

Also at the bottom of the list: O’Hare International Airport in Chicago (751) and Los Angeles International Airport (753).

The bottom five scorers on a 1,000-point scale for mega-airport satisfaction:

• Toronto Pearson International Airport (755)
• Boston Logan International Airport (754)
• Los Angeles International Airport (753)
•Chicago O’Hare International Airport (751)
• Newark Liberty International Airport (719)

North American Large and Medium Airports

Among the larger airports – with 10 million to 32.9 million passengers per year – Tampa International Airport ranks highest for customer satisfaction with a score of 846 out of 1,000.

John Wayne Airport, Orange County in California (826) and Dallas Love Field (825) also ranked higher.

At the bottom of the list of major airports was Philadelphia International Airport (729).

Among medium airports — with 4.5 to 9.9 million passengers per year — Indianapolis International Airport ranks highest with a score of 842 out of 1,000.

Pittsburgh International Airport (839) and Jacksonville International Airport (826) ranked second and third for satisfaction.

Hollywood Burbank Airport in California was at the bottom of the list of airports for moderate passenger satisfaction, with a score of 763.

Top image: Newark Liberty International Airport on May 30, 2022. (Photo by Yaroslav Sabitov/Shutterstock)

Credit :

- Advertisement -

Recent Articles

Related Stories