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Detroit, Tampa, and Indianapolis Lead in Airport Satisfaction

The best airports in North America can be found in Detroit, Tampa Bay, and Indianapolis, according to the J.D. Power 2023 North America Airport Satisfaction Study.
Detroit, Tampa, and Indianapolis are rated the best airports to fly through, while Newark, Philadelphia, and Maui leave a lot of the customer experience to be desired.


The findings are from the J.D. Power 2023 North America Airport Satisfaction Study, released on Monday, September 25, 2023.


While Scores Increased, Crowds Still Remain a Problem at Airports

Overall, the researchers at J.D. Power and Associates noted that scores increased across the board in 2023. The average score among all airports was 780 out of 1,000, even though terminals remained crowded from increased airline cancellations and delays. Researchers attribute the increase in passenger satisfaction to improved infrastructure, including improved terminals and better food and beverage options. However, the research projects crowded terminals will remain problematic in the future, as travel demand continues to increase.


A happier traveler also means one who is more willing to spend money inside the terminal. Flyers who rated their airport experience a 10 out of 10 spent an average of $44 at airport stores. On the other side, those who were “disappointed” by the airport – rating their experience 1-5 out of 10 – spent nearly half the amount.


Overall, the scores revealed flyers were happier at medium-sized airports. Terminals including Ontario International Airport (ONT) in California, Jacksonville International Airport (JAX), and Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport (CVG) were consistently ranked higher than their mega and large counterparts.


In the mega airport category, Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW) ranked the highest, followed by Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport (MSP) and Las Vegas Harry Reid International Airport (LAS). At the bottom of the list was Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR), Toronto Pearson International Airport (YYZ), and Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA).


Among major airports, Tampa International Airport (TPA) earned the top score for the second consecutive year. Orange County John Wayne Airport (SNA) came in second place, only three points behind Tampa. Salt Lake City International Airport (SLC) was rated third. The lowest rated airports were Philadelphia International Airport (PHL), Honolulu Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL), and Montréal–Trudeau International Airport (YUL).


Flyer Favorite Indianapolis International Airport (IND) earned another J.D. Power trophy and their second consecutive win in the medium airport category, followed by Ft. Myers Southwest Florida International Airport (RSW) and Ontario International Airport. Maui Kahului Airport (OGG), Hollywood Burbank Airport (BUR), and Hartford Bradley International Airport (BDL) were the lowest rated in the category.


What do you think of the ratings? Share your thoughts on the FlyerTalk Forums.

AlwaysFlyStar October 10, 2023

I don't know why HNL gets so much hate. It is certainly 'retro', but has decent amenities. The gardens are a wonderful feature that I have easily spent hours at a time in. I mean, it certainly isn't the best airport in the world, but it is very far from my least favourite in North America...

skchin September 26, 2023

DTW needs a Priority Pass club in the main terminal.