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

Sept. 21, 2017
6 min read
Los Angeles Exteriors And Landmarks - 2016
J.D. Power Releases Airport Rankings; See How They Compare With TPG's
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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.

AirportJD Power
John Wayne Airport (California; SNA)796n/r
Tampa International (Florida; TPA)79511
Dallas Love Field (Texas; DAL)790n/r
Nashville International Airport (Tennessee; BNA)788n/r
Portland International (Oregon; PDX)7832
Orlando International (Florida; MCO)77825
Austin-Bergstrom International Airport (Texas; AUS)774n/r
Detroit Metro (Michigan; DTW)76726
Las Vegas McCarran International (Nevada; LAS)7659
Phoenix Sky Harbor International (Arizona; PHX)7651
Denver International (Colorado; DEN)76323
Charlotte Douglas International (North Carolina; CLT)7628
Minneapolis-St. Paul International (Minnesota; MSP)76210
Dallas/Fort Worth International (Texas; DFW)75819
San Diego International (California; SAN)7573
San Francisco International (California; SFO)75712
Washington Reagan National (Virginia; DCA)75513
William P. Hobby Airport (Texas; HOU)754n/r
Salt Lake City International (Utah; SLC)7544
Seattle-Tacoma International (Washington; SEA)7546
Baltimore-Washington International (Maryland; BWI)75314
Houston George Bush Intercontinental (Texas; IAH)75221
Chicago Midway International (Illinois; MDW)75017
Miami International (Florida; MIA)74920
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International (Georgia; ATL)74716
Washington Dulles International (Virginia; IAD)74424
Louis Armstrong New Orleans (Louisiana; MSY)743n/r
Kansas City (Missouri; MCI)742n/r
Oakland (California; OAK)742n/r
Lambert-St. Louis (Missouri; STL)738n/r
Boston Logan International (Massachusetts; BOS)73318
Honolulu International (Hawaii; HNL)7275
John F. Kennedy International (New York; JFK)72729
Chicago O’Hare International (Illinois; ORD)72327
Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International (Florida; FLL)72015
Philadelphia International (Pennsylvania; PHL)7157
Los Angeles International (California; LAX)71222
Newark Liberty International (New Jersey; EWR)68628
LaGuardia (New York; LGA)65430

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.

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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.

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

Featured image by GC Images