The North American airports with the highest satisfaction rankings

Peter Terlato 25 September 2017

Orlando International (MCO) tops list of mega airports.

As capacity continues to ramp up across North America’s airports, achieving record-setting passenger volumes, satisfaction levels have also reached new highs, according to the latest national consumer survey.

Global analytics company J.D. Power recently released the results of its 2017 North America Airport Satisfaction Study. The 12th annual research report examined the responses of almost 35,000 travelers.

The study measures overall traveler airport satisfaction by evaluating terminal facilities, airport accessibility, security checks, baggage claim, check-in/baggage checks and food, beverage and retail operations.

To participate in the study, travelers must have traveled through at least one domestic airport and experienced both departure and arrival procedures, including any connecting airport facilities, in the past three months.

Overall customer satisfaction at North American airports hit an all-time high of 749 out of 1,000 in 2017. This figure represents a gain of 18 points on last year’s record-setting achievement.

Research found the improved result was substantially aided by a 25-point boost in security satisfaction ratings, owing to fewer Transportation Security Administration (TSA) staffing issues this year. Additionally, self-service bag-check kiosks and bag-tagging initiatives helped to advance check-in/baggage ratings, up 19 points year-on-year. Food, beverage and retail rankings also rose significantly, up 15 points on 2016 results.

“Capacity has become a huge challenge for North American airports, with many reporting 100% of available parking spots being filled and large airports, such as Orlando International, setting passenger volume records each month for more than three years straight,” J.D. Power travel practice lead Michael Taylor said.

Airports have overcome these obstacles by employing interactive innovations and adopting new technologies.

“These range from smartphone apps that tell travelers where to find a parking spot to therapy dogs – and in one case, a therapy pig – mingling with travelers to relieve stress and improve the experience,” Taylor added.

However, city infrastructure developments continue to create problems for North American airports, driving down satisfaction levels as a result of traveler access and disruption complications.

North American Airport Satisfaction Rankings

Orlando International Airport (778) received the highest satisfaction rating among mega airports. Detroit’s Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (767) ranked second, followed by McCarran International Airport (765).

John Wayne Airport (796), located in California’s Orange County, ranked highest of large airports. Tampa International Airport (795) finished in second position, while Dallas Love Field (790) ranked third.

Sacramento International Airport (810) beat out all other medium airports. Indianapolis International Airport (807) came second and Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport (806) enjoyed the third highest rating.

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