J.D. Power: Airport Satisfaction Drops as Volume Returns


Some travel activity has picked back up from its Covid-induced standstill, and U.S. airports have struggled amid the resurgent demand to provide the services and experiences travelers expect, according to J.D. The latest Power annual North America Airport Satisfaction Study. 

This study is based upon more than 13200 interviews with U.S.- and Canadian citizens who visited at least one U.S. oder Canadian airport to arrive or depart during the 30 preceding days. The results of the survey revealed that satisfaction was highest during the second quarter of 2020. However, this period saw travel volumes remain low due to the Covid-19 epidemic. However, satisfaction levels declined dramatically as more activity began to resume in the spring of 2021. 

Respondents were particularly dissatisfied with the lack of food and beverage options available as many airports—especially smaller and regional airports—struggled with labor shortages and restaurant closures, the study found. 

According to Michael Taylor (J.D.’s travel intelligence leader), frustration at fewer options for food and beverages in airports is a sign that travellers have reverted back to their pre-Covid expectations. Power.

“Ultimately, the data conveys changing expectations among travelers,” said Taylor in a statement. “Early in the pandemic, passengers were satisfied with any shop or restaurant being open, but they now expect full service at the airport.”

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2021-09-23 JD Power Airports

Construction and renovation were other factors that significantly dragged satisfaction scores for some airports. However, while such projects can cause short-term disruption and inconvenience for travelers, they ultimately result in improvements that typically lead to   significantly higher satisfaction scores once completed, J.D. Power noted

The airport study measured traveler satisfaction across six separate factors: terminal facilities, airport arrival/departure, baggage claim, security check, check-in/baggage check, and food, beverage and retail. 

According to the annual number of passengers, airports were classified into three different categories. 

According to the number of annual passengers handled, Miami International Airport ranked highest among airports. JFK International Airport followed closely by Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport.

Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport ranked highest among the Large category —those with 10 million to 33 million annual passengers—followed by Tampa International Airport and Raleigh-Durham International Airport. 

J.D. Power said that individual airports within the Medium category weren’t ranked due to lower passenger volumes. Power claimed. 



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