When it comes to airports, biggest doesn’t always mean best.
The recently released J.D. Power 2023 North America Airport Satisfaction Study examined mega airports by looking at these six factors in order of importance:
- Terminal facilities
- Airport arrival/departure
- Baggage claim
- Security check
- Check-in/baggage check
- Food, beverage, and retail
Mega airports are defined as those with 33 million or more passengers per year. That sets them apart from large airports, which have 10 to 32.9 million passengers per year, as well as medium airports, which have 4.5 to 9.9 million passengers per year.
The study is based on 27,147 completed surveys from U.S. and Canadian residents who traveled through at least one U.S. or Canadian airport (including connecting airports) during the past 30 days. It covered both arrival and departure experiences.
The data in the study was fielded from August 2022 through July 2023. The airports were also measured based on a 1,000-point scale of overall customer satisfaction.
Despite being one of the busiest airports in the U.S., the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) didn’t make the top 10, landing in the No. 11 spot with a score of 765.
After being No. 3 in 2022, the Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport landed in the No. 1 spot this year.
The Michigan airport ranked the highest in passenger satisfaction among mega airports, scoring 800.
According to the FAA, the Detroit airport is the busiest in the state.
It is also a major hub for Delta Air Lines, which was the highest-rated domestic airline in the U.S., according to Bounce’s 2023 Airline Index.
It is also a base for Spirit Airlines, which ranked in the No. 8 spot on the Bounce index.
- Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport
- Minneapolis-Saint-Paul International Airport
- Harry Reid International Airport
- Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport and Miami International Airport (tie)
- San Francisco International Airport
- Denver International Airport, Hartsfield Jackson Atlanta International Airport, Orlando Airport (tie)
- George Bush Intercontinental Airport
- John F. Kennedy International Airport
- Charlotte Douglas International Airport
- Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport
Down from the No. 1 spot last year is the Minneapolis-Saint-Paul International Airport. The Minnesota airport ranked in the second spot, scoring 796 out of 1,000.
Minneapolis-Saint Paul International is ideally located between the two major cities of Minnesota.
According to the airport’s website, its high ranking was accredited to its modern facilities, which received a major update in 2021.
The third airport on the list is the Harry Reid International Airport, scoring 787 out of 1,000.
The airport, formerly known as McCarran International Airport, serves the Las Vegas, Nevada, area.
Domestic flights out of Harry Reid International cost an average of $269.92 in Q1 2023 versus $239.77 in Q1 2022, a 12.57% increase year-over-year.
It is an operating base for Allegiant Air, Frontier Airlines, Southwest Airlines and Spirit Airlines.
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