A study analyzing and ranking 27 large North American airports according to passenger satisfaction placed Dulles International Airport ahead of both Reagan National and BWI.
A total of 26,529 passengers responded to a survey from JD Power that collected data based on at least one major airport visit within the past year.
Everything from the convenience of security lines, arrivals, and departures to baggage claim, check-in, terminal facilities, and culinary and retail options factored into the rankings. On a 1,000-point scale, Dulles earned a satisfaction score of 789, making it No. 11 on the 27-airport list.
In what may be a surprise to Virginians, Baltimore-Washington International actually earned a higher score than Reagan, ranking 14th on the list compared to DCA’s No. 17 spot.
All three airports, however, were rated lower than the previous year, which should come as no surprise, the study said, given that satisfaction with North American airports reached an all-time high in 2021 due to diminished passenger traffic stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic.
Coupled with labor shortages and resulting flight complications, terminal crowds surging to pre-pandemic levels have no doubt impacted customer satisfaction.
“The combination of pent-up demand for air travel, the nationwide labor shortage and steadily rising prices on everything from jet fuel to a bottle of water have created a scenario in which airports are extremely crowded and passengers are increasingly frustrated — and it is likely to continue through 2023,” Michael Taylor, travel intelligence lead at J.D. Power, said in the study.
As for the rest of the large airport rankings, Tampa International led the pack in customer satisfaction, followed by John Wayne Airport in Orange County and Dallas Love Field. On the negative side, Kansas City (25th), Honolulu (26th), and Philadelphia (27th) accounted for the bottom spots.
Rankings of mega- and medium-sized airports were also included in the study.
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