North America Airport Satisfaction Study

J.D. Power and Associates Reports:
Although Technology May Help Improve the Airport Experience, the Basics Have the Greatest Impact on Passenger Satisfaction

Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County, Indianapolis International and Kansas City International Airports Each Rank Highest in Overall Passenger Satisfaction in their Respective Segments

WESTLAKE VILLAGE, Calif.: 18 February 2010 - Although technology has revolutionized air travel during the past decade, passenger satisfaction with airports continues to lag behind that of other aspects of the travel industry, largely because passenger expectations of basic needs-such as prompt baggage delivery, airport comfort and ease of navigating the airport-are not being met consistently, according to the J.D. Power and Associates 2010 SM released today.

The study measures overall airport satisfaction in three segments: large (30 million or more passengers per year), medium (10 million to 30 million passengers per year) and small (fewer than 10 million passengers per year). Six factors-assessed through 27 specific attributes-are examined to determine overall customer satisfaction: airport accessibility; baggage claim; check-in/baggage check process; terminal facilities; security check; and food and retail services.

Overall passenger satisfaction with the airport experience averages 690 on a 1,000-point scale in 2010, which is an improvement from 675 in 2008. However, satisfaction with airports in 2010 is considerably lower than satisfaction with hotels (756, on average) and rental cars (733, on average).1

Technology has helped drive efficiencies for airports and increase convenience for travelers-for example, through wireless Internet access, parking lot management systems and online check-in. However, the study finds that the areas with greatest impact on overall passenger satisfaction are speed of baggage delivery; ease of check-in and baggage check; comfort in airport terminals; and the amount of time required for security check. For many passengers, basic needs such as seating comfort and ease of moving through the airport are not consistently being met.

"As much as Internet access may be a fun diversion or enable productivity for passengers, getting passengers in and out of the airport easily and efficiently is of utmost importance," said Stuart Greif, vice president and general manager of the global hospitality and travel practice at J.D. Power and Associates. "Airports can best facilitate passenger progress and improve satisfaction by focusing on key elements such as the clarity of airport signage, facilitating quick and accurate delivery of baggage and partnering with the TSA to reduce security check wait times."

The study finds that providing high levels of airport passenger satisfaction has a strong positive impact on retail spending. Among passengers who are "disappointed" with their airport experience (providing ratings of one to five on a 10-point scale), airport retail spending averages $14.12. However, passengers who are "delighted" with their airport experience (providing ratings of 10 on a 10-point scale), spend an average of $20.55 on airport retail purchases-45 percent more than do "disappointed" passengers. Only a small percentage of passengers-9 percent-are "delighted" with their airport experience.

At the segment level, passenger satisfaction with large airports has decreased in recent years. During the same time frame, satisfaction with medium airports has remained flat while satisfaction with small airports has increased.

Large Airports
Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County (DTW) ranks highest in overall customer satisfaction among large airports and performs particularly well in the terminal facilities and baggage claim factors. Denver International (DEN) and Minneapolis/St. Paul International (MSP), in a tie, closely follow DTW in the segment rankings. DEN performs particularly well in the airport accessibility factor.

Medium Airports
Kansas City International (MCI) ranks highest among medium airports, and performs particularly well in three of the six factors: airport accessibility, check-in/baggage check and security check. Following MCI in the segment rankings are Portland International (PDX) and Tampa International (TPA). PDX performs particularly well in the food and retail services factor while TPA performs particularly well in the terminal facilities and baggage claim factors.

Small Airports
Among small airports, Indianapolis International Airport (IND) ranks highest and performs particularly well in the check-in/baggage check, security check and terminal facilities factors. Following IND in the segment rankings are Fort Myers/Southwest Florida International (RSW) and Tucson International (TUS).

The 2010 is based on responses from more than 12,100 passengers who took a round-trip flight between January and December 2009. Passengers evaluated their departing and arriving airports, and the study includes a total of more than 24, 200 evaluations. The study was fielded between January and December 2009. For more information, view airport ratings or read an article on

About J.D. Power and Associates
Headquartered in Westlake Village, Calif., J.D. Power and Associates is a global marketing information services company operating in key business sectors including market research, forecasting, performance improvement, Web intelligence and customer satisfaction. The company's quality and satisfaction measurements are based on responses from millions of consumers annually. For more information on car reviews and ratings, car insurance, health insurance, cell phone ratings, and more, please visit J.D. Power and Associates is a business unit of The McGraw-Hill Companies.

About The McGraw-Hill Companies
Founded in 1888, The McGraw-Hill Companies (NYSE: MHP) is a leading global information services provider meeting worldwide needs in the financial services, education and business information markets through leading brands such as Standard & Poor's, McGraw-Hill Education, Platts, Capital IQ, J.D. Power and Associates, McGraw-Hill Construction and Aviation Week. The Corporation has more than 280 offices in 40 countries. Sales in 2008 were $6.4 billion. Additional information is available at

1Source: J.D. Power and Associates 2009 North America Hotel Guest Satisfaction Index StudySM and J.D. Power and Associates 2009 Rental Car Satisfaction StudySM

No advertising or other promotional use can be made of the information in this release without the express prior written consent of J.D. Power and Associates. /corporate

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