JD Power: North America’s Most and Least Satisfied Airports for 2022

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(CNN) – Air travel volume is up and passenger satisfaction is down. This is no surprise to anyone passing through an airport in the summer.

The JD Power 2022 North American Airport Satisfaction Survey released Wednesday shows overall satisfaction up 25 points from the 2021 score on a 1,000-point scale. 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 approaching pre-pandemic levels. On Sunday, the US Transportation Security Administration screened 2,371,992 passengers at airport checkpoints. This number is 94% of the same weekday in 2019.

But travelers face fewer flights, busier terminals and limited food and drink options, new JD Power research says.

“The combination of low demand for air travel, a nationwide labor shortage and the continued rise in prices for everything from jet fuel to bottled water has created a scenario where airports are overcrowded and travelers are increasingly frustrated,” said Michael Taylor. , head of travel intelligence at JD Power, in a statement.

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

The 25-point drop follows a record level of satisfaction with North American airports — 802 on a 1,000-point scale — in last year’s study, which includes passenger surveys for the second half of 2020.

But as that survey progressed into 2021, and in the third and fourth waves of the study, passenger satisfaction steadily declined as passenger volume increased.

The 2022 exam ran from August 2021 to July 2022, while air travel continued to rebound.

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

Eduardo Munoz/Reuters

It is based on a survey of more than 26,500 US or Canadian residents who traveled through at least one US or Canadian airport in the past 30 days. Travelers evaluated a round trip airport from their round trip.

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

Satisfaction is determined based on six factors, listed in order of importance: terminal facilities, airport check-in/check-out, baggage claim, security screening, check-in/baggage control, and food, beverage and retail.

So which airports are the most satisfying for travelers? And which without falling?

North American mega-airports most and least satisfied

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

The airport’s updated terminal facilities helped it earn the top spot for satisfaction, according to Taylor. Last year’s construction and renovations showed up in this year’s results, he said.

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

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

Kirby Lee/AP

While some improvement projects are still underway, the airport had relatively smooth summer operations, said Kathleen Bangs, a spokeswoman for flight-tracking site FlightAware, a Minneapolis-St. Paul Airports Commission.

“Despite a number of ongoing construction and renovation projects this summer, MSP has had better numbers of delays and cancellations than other airports of its size,” Bangs told CNN Travel in late August when asked about airport performance this summer. in response He put that down to management and perhaps fewer storms than other major airports.

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

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

Airports that are under construction and renovation usually have bad points in their terminal facilities, Taylor said.

Passengers wait at Newark Liberty International Airport on July 1, 2022.  The airport has been full of cancellations and delays this summer.

Passengers wait at Newark Liberty International Airport on July 1, 2022. The airport has been full of cancellations and delays this summer.

Jeenah Moon/Getty Images

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

“But those improvements won’t be available to travelers for a while. Rome wasn’t built in a day … and neither were new airport terminals,” Taylor said via email.

Newark getting the lowest satisfaction rating among the larger airports is probably not surprising for summer travelers. The high level of cancellations and delays affected the airport during the busy summer season.

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

Large and medium-sized airports in North America are most and least satisfied

Among major airports — with 10 million to 32.9 million passengers annually — Tampa International Airport had the highest customer satisfaction rating, with a score of 846 out of 1,000.

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

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

Among medium-sized airports — those with 4.5 to 9.9 million passengers annually — Indianapolis International Airport ranked 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.

California’s Hollywood Burbank Airport was last on the list of medium-sized airports for passenger satisfaction, with a score of 763.

Image above: Newark Liberty International Airport on May 30, 2022. (Photo: Yaroslav Sabitov/Shutterstock)