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Detroit Takes Top Spot in J.D. Power’s 2023 North America Airport Satisfaction Study

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2023 North America Airport Satisfaction Study

Air travel has been challenging post-pandemic. This year we saw record high passenger volumes, while airlines still have an ongoing pilot shortage that forced them to cut the number of available flights. We have also seen some notable outages and weather delays and cancellations.

Despite all that, overall passenger satisfaction has improved. According to the J.D. Power 2023 North America Airport Satisfaction Study, released today, overall satisfaction improved 3 points (on a 1,000-point scale). There are three factors for this improvement: terminal facilities; food and beverage and retail service; and baggage claim.

“It has not been an easy year for North American airports, but major capital improvements they’ve made over the last several years and new investments in getting food, beverage and retail operations back up and running at full capacity have helped them manage the crush of passengers,” said Michael Taylor, managing director of travel, hospitality and retail at J.D. Power. “While airports are doing a good job coping with the current issues, there is still more they could do to improve passenger experience while also improving their own bottom lines. Happy passengers spend a lot more money at the airport, so ongoing efforts to spread passenger volumes throughout the day and deliver superior service at all customer touchpoints will be critical.”

Many of the top-performing airports in the study have one thing in common. They recently completed construction and redevelopment projects that have improved passenger flow, parking and terminal facilities. New York’s LaGuardia Airport is a prime example, climbing from dead last in passenger satisfaction in 2019 to reach the large airport segment average in 2023.

Overall satisfaction is still down from the highs seen in 2020 when passenger volumes were dramatically lower due to the pandemic.

The survey also looked at how much passengers spend at airports, and found a direct correlation between overall satisfaction and spending. Passengers that rated their airport experience as 10 out of 10, spend an average of $44 in the terminal, while those classified as disappointed (1-5 out of 10) spend just $29. This year, airport passengers spent an average of $3.47 more than last year in the terminal.

Top Airports

Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport ranks highest in passenger satisfaction among mega airports with a score of 800. Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport (796) ranks second and Harry Reid International Airport (787) ranks third.

Tampa International Airport ranks highest among large airports for a second consecutive year, with a score of 832. John Wayne Airport, Orange County (829) ranks second and Salt Lake City International Airport (825) ranks third.

Indianapolis International Airport ranks highest among medium airports for a second consecutive year, with a score of 843. Southwest Florida International Airport (839) ranks second and Ontario International Airport (834) ranks third.

Check out the full details of the survey.

Disclosure: Miles to Memories has partnered with CardRatings for our coverage of credit card products. Miles to Memories and CardRatings may receive a commission from card issuers.

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Based in NYC. Points/miles enthusiast for years and actively writing about it for the last 6+ years at Danny the Deal Guru. I'm always looking out for deals. Making a few bucks is always nice, but the traveling is by far the best part of this business.

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