STATEN ISLAND, N.Y. — Despite ongoing projects to improve upon existing amenities, two of the area’s three international airports ranked near the bottom of the barrel in terms of customer satisfaction, according to a recent survey.
J.D. Power, a global marketing information services company, released its 2020 North American Airport Satisfaction Study, ranking the overall airport experience of customers at mega-, large- and medium-sized airports in North America.
The study ranks airport satisfaction on a 1,000-point scale, examining the following six factors, listed in order of importance: terminal facilities; airport accessibility; baggage claim; security check; check-in/baggage check; and food, beverage and retail.
The 15th annual study surveyed over 26,000 U.S. or Canadian residents who traveled through at least one North American airport in the past three months. The data collection ranged from August 2019 to July 2020.
Airport rankings are separated by passenger volume, with mega airports handling 33 million-plus annual passengers, large airports handling between 10 million and 32.9 million annual passengers and medium airports handling between 4.5 and 9.9 million annual passengers.
JFK International Airport performed well in this year’s survey, tying for fourth place in the “mega” category with a score of 793. Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport ranked first in the “mega” category with a score of 805, followed by Miami International Airport and McCarran International Airport, with scores of 801 and 797, respectively.
Meanwhile, Newark Liberty International Airport ranked dead-last, 19th out of 19, in the “mega” category, with a score of just 733, 25 points behind the next closest airport.
In the “large” category, LaGuardia International Airport ranked 27th out of 27, garnering only 712 points, the lowest of any airport included in the survey, regardless of size.
This marks the second straight year that Newark Liberty International Airport and LaGuardia International Airport both ranked dead-last in their respective categories.
This year, overall customer satisfaction reached an all-time high, with an average satisfaction score of 784 for all North American airports, up 22 points from 2019.
The increased satisfaction has been driven, in part, by declining passenger volumes as a result of the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic, which has given passengers shorter wait times and resulted in enhanced sanitization efforts, making North American airports the cleanest they’ve been in years.
“Compared to the pre-COVID-19 environment when most airports were running significantly over capacity, the lack of crowds and long lines is actually creating a very convenient experience for travelers right now. Obviously, this lower passenger volume is not sustainable for most airports. Airport managers are doing all they can to provide a safe and clean environment to facilitate a rebound in travel,” said Michael Taylor, travel intelligence lead at J.D. Power.