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Construction Hinders Passenger Satisfaction: J.D. Power Study

A new J.D. Power study has found customer satisfaction at North American airports is essentially flat when compared to 2018, with larger numbers of travelers citing construction-related delays getting into and out of the airport as the reason for the stagnation.

The J.D. Power 2019 North America Airport Satisfaction Study found the passenger customer satisfaction score now stands at 762 on a 1,000-point scale, up 1 point compared with last year. That follows several years of steady improvement.

“With major terminal construction projects now underway in Los Angles, Boston, Chicago, Atlanta and many other airports, it is becoming impossible for travelers not to experience some form of disruption,” says Michael Taylor, J.D. Power travel intelligence lead. “This translates into a rushed passenger experience and less money spent on food, beverage and retail—and it’s slowing the progress of the airport satisfaction we’ve seen in the past several years.”

There is some good news in the findings in that travelers’ satisfaction with TSA screening is up 5 points as biometric screening technologies are now moving passengers through security faster.

Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW) ranks highest in passenger satisfaction among mega airports in the J.D Power study with a score of 786, followed by Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport (MSP). Las Vegas McCarran International Airport (LAS) and Orlando International Airport (MCO) rank third in a tie.

Among large airports, Portland International Airport (PDX) ranks highest among large airports with a score of 833, followed by Dallas Love Field Airport (DAL). Tampa International Airport (TPA) ranks third.

Indianapolis International Airport (IND) ranks highest among medium airports with a score of 833. Jacksonville International Airport (JAX) was second and Buffalo Niagara International Airport (BUF) ranks third.

The J.D. Power study notes that many of the airports now leading the passenger satisfaction lists are relatively new facilities that incorporate localized food and beverage offerings and offer easy access, suggesting that airports that can handle larger numbers of passengers while providing such experiences will see improved scores.