J.D. Power Releases Airport Rankings; See How They Compare With TPG’s

Sep 21, 2017

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Customer satisfaction firm J.D. Power ranks a lot of things based on how much customers like them, and on Thursday it released its 12th annual list of top US airports. (Spoiler right away: New York LGA, dead last in its category, continues to be loathed by the people who use it. For the winner, read on.)

Based on a survey of 34,695 passengers, the 2017 North America Airport Satisfaction Study seeks to “measures overall traveler satisfaction” based on six factors:

  • terminal facilities
  • airport accessibility
  • security check
  • baggage claim
  • check-in/baggage check
  • food, beverage and retail

Broken into categories based on size, the top-ranking airports of this year’s J.D. Power study:

  • Mega: Orlando International (MCO, 778 points out of 1,000); Detroit Metropolitan (DTW, 767) and Las Vegas’ McCarran (LAS, 765)
  • Large: John Wayne (SNA, 796); Tampa (TPA, 795) and Dallas Love (DAL, 790)
  • Medium: Sacramento (SMF, 810); Indianapolis (IND, 807) and Ted Stevens Anchorage (ANC, 806)

Last November, The Points Guy came out with a ranking of the 30 busiest airports in the US. Here’s how the passenger satisfaction-based J.D. Power rankings measure up against TPG’s data-driven ankings.

Airport JD Power
John Wayne Airport (California; SNA) 796 n/r
Tampa International (Florida; TPA) 795 11
Dallas Love Field (Texas; DAL) 790 n/r
Nashville International Airport (Tennessee; BNA) 788 n/r
Portland International (Oregon; PDX) 783 2
Orlando International (Florida; MCO) 778 25
Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (Texas; AUS) 774 n/r
Detroit Metro (Michigan; DTW) 767 26
Las Vegas McCarran International (Nevada; LAS) 765 9
Phoenix Sky Harbor International (Arizona; PHX) 765 1
Denver International (Colorado; DEN) 763 23
Charlotte Douglas International (North Carolina; CLT) 762 8
Minneapolis-St. Paul International (Minnesota; MSP) 762 10
Dallas/Fort Worth International (Texas; DFW) 758 19
San Diego International (California; SAN) 757 3
San Francisco International (California; SFO) 757 12
Washington Reagan National (Virginia; DCA) 755 13
William P. Hobby Airport (Texas; HOU) 754 n/r
Salt Lake City International (Utah; SLC) 754 4
Seattle-Tacoma International (Washington; SEA) 754 6
Baltimore-Washington International (Maryland; BWI) 753 14
Houston George Bush Intercontinental (Texas; IAH) 752 21
Chicago Midway International (Illinois; MDW) 750 17
Miami International (Florida; MIA) 749 20
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International (Georgia; ATL) 747 16
Washington Dulles International (Virginia; IAD) 744 24
Louis Armstrong New Orleans (Louisiana; MSY) 743 n/r
Kansas City (Missouri; MCI) 742 n/r
Oakland (California; OAK) 742 n/r
Lambert-St. Louis (Missouri; STL) 738 n/r
Boston Logan International (Massachusetts; BOS) 733 18
Honolulu International (Hawaii; HNL) 727 5
John F. Kennedy International (New York; JFK) 727 29
Chicago O’Hare International (Illinois; ORD) 723 27
Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International (Florida; FLL) 720 15
Philadelphia International (Pennsylvania; PHL) 715 7
Los Angeles International (California; LAX) 712 22
Newark Liberty International (New Jersey; EWR) 686 28
LaGuardia (New York; LGA) 654 30

All data from J.D. Power 2017 North American Airport Satisfaction Survey. For ease in comparison, only Mega and Large airports from the J.D. Power study were included in this chart.

One interesting observation: four of the top seven airports in the J.D. Power study are airports that weren’t large enough to include in the TPG rankings. Mid-size airport John Wayne (SNA) received the highest ranking of the 39 airports in J.D. Power’s Mega and Large lists. Southwest’s home of Dallas Love Field (DAL) ranked third and Nashville (BNA) took fourth. Another Texas airport, Austin-Bergstrom (AUS), lands seventh of the largest 39 J.D. Power airports.

There are a few airports that scored well in both: Portland (PDX), Phoenix (PHX) and Las Vegas (LAS) all landed in the top 10 on both lists. Meanwhile, New York City’s JFK, Chicago O’Hare (ORD) and Newark (EWR) scored near the bottom of both lists.

And there’s one airport ranking that both TPG and J.D. Power agree on: New York City’s La Guardia (LGA) ranks at the absolute bottom of both lists, thanks to the frustrating process to get a ride and the gridlocked roads surrounding it. Construction is underway, but a better LGA is still years off.

Other airports received mixed reviews. Orlando (MCO) finished 25th out of 30th on TPG’s rankings partially due to slow security, but finished #1 among Mega airports on J.D. Power’s satisfaction survey. Denver (DEN) landed #5 in J.D. Power’s Mega airports list vs. #23 on TPG’s list — penalized for being so far outside of town. Similar for Detroit (DTW), slammed in TPG rankings for shamefully-poor public transit. But, DTW ended up second among Mega airports in J.D. Power’s poll.

These disconnects might make more sense when it’s revealed that J.D. Power allowed connecting passengers to complete the survey. Security, distance from the city and poor public transit aren’t going to be an issue for them.

Featured image by FG/Bauer-Griffin via Getty Images

Do you think J.D. Power’s rankings hit or missed the mark based on your experience?

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