This post contains recommended links to products and services. While you will not accrue any additional costs to support my blog, I may receive compensation if you purchase these products and services. Source: All study content, charts and graphs related to the 2019 North America Airport Satisfaction Study were published and provided by J.D. Power. Rankings are based on numerical scores, and not necessarily on statistical significance. All images taken by kmf and available for digital download.
My home airport, Minneapolis-St. Paul (MSP), has been under construction for quite some time and lines are really, really long (inside and out). In fact, I signed up with CLEAR – a biometric screening program – while standing in line at the airport earlier this year just to bypass the regular security line.
I’m still not clear if CLEAR is a good fit for me (it never reads my fingerprints and not all airports have this program), but giving it a one-year trial run and will share my experience in a later post.
I think MSP does a pretty good job overall; and I’m not alone. It ranked second in the J.D. Power 2019 North America Airport satisfaction study (mega category).
Satisfaction study highlights
Here are some of the highlights J.D. Power uncovered in their latest study.
- Traveler satisfaction stagnates after several years of growth: The overall customer satisfaction score this year for North American airports is 762, up 1 point from 2018. The modest performance is attributable to lower-than-average facility access scores, with larger numbers of travelers citing construction-related delays getting into and out of the airport.
- Light at the end of the tunnel: The common bond among top-performing airports such as Detroit Metropolitan, Portland International and Indianapolis International is relatively new facilities that accommodate increased passenger volume, incorporate localized food and beverage offerings and offer easy access. Airports that can handle larger numbers of passengers while providing such experiences see a payoff in the form of improved satisfaction scores.
- Improved TSA processes, biometric screening improve security efficiency: The experience of getting through airport security — a perennial drag on airport satisfaction scores — has improved 5 points due to improved TSA processing and more widespread adoption of biometric screening technologies that move passengers through security faster.
According to J.D. Power’s release, Mike Taylor, Travel Intelligence Lead at J.D. Power, says large construction projects in major airports are most likely impacting the results. While necessary, they are causing delays, and this affects the entire experience – from the actual process of moving through an airport to how travelers spend their money.
Airport satisfaction study measures
The 2019 North America airport satisfaction study measures overall traveler satisfaction with mega, large and medium North American airports by examining six factors (in order of importance):
- Terminal facilities
- Airport accessibility
- Baggage claim
- Security check
- Check-in/baggage check
- Food, beverage and retail
The following outlines the airport categories.
- Mega airports: 33 million or more passengers per year
- Large airports: 10 to 32.9 million passengers per year
- Medium airports: 4.5 to 9.9 million passengers per year.
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In the mega category, Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport ranks highest with a score of 786, followed by Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport/Wold at 779 and Las Vegas McCarran International Airport and Orlando International Airport tied for third at 777.
In the large category, Portland (Ore.) International Airport ranks highest with a score of 833, followed by Dallas Love Field at 826 and Tampa International Airport at 822.
In the medium category, Indianapolis International Airport ranks highest with a score of 833, followed by Jacksonville International Airport at 831 and Buffalo Niagara International Airport at 829.
More detailed results available
Visit jdpower.com for more information about the 2019 North America Airport Satisfaction Study.