Best US Airports in 2023
In unexpected news, passengers are liking their airport experience just a little better. J.D. Power’s 2023 North American Airport Satisfaction Study found airline passengers are actually more satisfied with their overall airport experience this year than they were last year.
Overall passenger satisfaction improved, even with record high passenger volumes, an ongoing pilot shortage and countless weather delays and cancellations. The study shows an overall satisfaction improvement of 3 points (on a 1,000-point scale). The customer experience was mainly improved due to better terminal facilities, food and beverage and retail service, and baggage claim.
Many of the top-performing airports in the study have one thing in common: recently completed construction and redevelopment projects that have improved passenger flow, parking and terminal facilities. Nowhere is the positive effect of capital improvement clearer than in New York’s LaGuardia Airport, which has climbed from dead last in passenger satisfaction in 2019 to reach the large airport segment average, this year. And the airport is still surrounded by heavy construction.
Happy passengers are good for airports too. There is a direct correlation between overall passenger satisfaction and spending at the airport. Passengers classified as “delighted,” meaning they rate 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.
While North American airports have managed to keep passengers reasonably satisfied throughout a challenging year, overall satisfaction is still down from the highs seen in 2020 when passenger volumes were dramatically lower due to the pandemic. More than half (60%) of travelers say they experienced severe or moderate crowding within the terminal, a 2% increase from last year.
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 top 20 mega, large and medium airports below.
You can check out the full study here.