Travelers are Falling in Love with Airports. Here’s Why. | BW Travel Zone

Travelers are Falling in Love with Airports. Here’s Why.

By Chris McGinnis

A new survey of passenger satisfaction with North American airports found that flyers’ happiness with the airport experience is at “an all-time high” with airports like Orlando, Detroit and Las Vegas emerging as favorites. However, The J.D. Power survey points to big frustrations at facilities undergoing major construction projects.

I have to agree with those findings when I think about how much airports have improved in the last 10-20 years compared to the cold, institutional spaces I trundled through in the 80s and 90s.

On the company’s 1,000-point satisfaction scale, the overall airport rating jumped 18 points this year, to a record score of 749. The biggest increase – 25 points – came for the security screening process, as TSA has increased staffing and continues to deploy new, automated screening lanes that move passengers through the process about 30 percent faster than before.

J.D. Power notes that passengers also report significantly higher satisfaction levels with check-in/baggage check – thanks largely to technological improvements like self-service bag checking – and in the food, beverage and retail concessions available at airports.

However, the survey found that the hassles created for travelers by construction projects at some major airports – like Newark, Los Angeles, New York LaGuardia and Chicago O’Hare – are an obstacle to passenger satisfaction. Those airports “are still fighting the headwinds of traveler disruption and access challenges that are handicapping their overall satisfaction scores,” the company said.

Now in its 12th year, the J.D. Power survey for 2017 recorded the opinions of more than 34,000 travelers. They were asked to rate their airport experience in several areas, including terminal facilities, airport accessibility, security screening, baggage claim, check-in/baggage check, and dining/retail concessions.

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