Event planners know that getting there is half of the challenge, but a new report by J.D. Power says most people are finding that, despite more people in ever-growing terminals, flying is getting easier—and some airports are easier than others.
Overall passenger satisfaction with North American airports has reached an all-time high, as airports of every size have found creative ways to address the challenges of constant construction projects and increased passenger capacity demand, according to J.D. Power 2017 North America Airport Satisfaction Study, released Sept. 21. It found that overall customer satisfaction scores have reached an all-time high of 749 (on a 1,000-point scale). This is up 18 points from last year’s all-time high.
Shorter security check lines have helped thanks to more agents managing the screening. And self-service bag-check has streamlined luggage onboarding.
The solution to the problem of how to get the right people in the right seat at the right time has been a combination of technology and old-fashioned customer service. New apps direct drivers to available parking spots in crowded lots, text messages inform travelers of gate changes, and free Wi-Fi and new charging stations make the wait bearable for many if they can stay connected. And we have all read the stories about therapy dogs, ponies—and at least one therapy pig—brought in to calm everyone down.
The top five mega-airports in North America for 2017 are (ratings are on a scale of 0–1,000):
- Orlando International Airport (MCO): 778
- Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW): 767
- McCarran International Airport (Las Vegas, LAS): 765
- Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (PHX): 765
- Denver International Airport (DEN): 763
The top five large airports in North America for 2017 are:
- John Wayne Airport (Santa Ana, California, SNA) 796
- Tampa International Airport (TPA): 795
- Dallas Love Field (DAL): 790
- Nashville International Airport (BNA): 788
- Portland International Airport (Oregon, PDX) 783
The top five Medium Airports in North America for 2017 are:
- Sacramento International Airport (SMF) 810
- Indianapolis International Airport (IND): 807
- Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport (ANC): 806
- Jacksonville International Airport (JAX): 797
- Palm Beach International Airport (PBI) 796