The Airports That Make Travelers the Happiest

Did you have a better airport experience last year compared with other years? It turns out you aren’t alone.

The J.D. Power 2018 North America Airport Satisfaction Study showed “a record high for overall passenger satisfaction.” Specifically, there were improvements in check-in, food and beverage, accessibility, terminal facilities, and baggage claim. But which airports were the best, and what does the future look like?

The happiest airport in the “mega” category of the survey was a tie between Las Vegas McCarran International Airport and Orlando International Airport. Here are the top six happiest airports, and a screenshot of the rest.

Highest customer satisfaction: Mega airports

  • Las Vegas McCarran International Airport (LAS) tied for first
  • Orlando International Airport (MCO) tied for first
  • Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport
  • Denver International Airport
  • Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport
  • Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport

Major construction ahead

This list of airports may change in the future. Major construction projects are ongoing or soon to begin at airports in cities including Boston, Los Angeles, Denver and Chicago. These are anticipated to be several-year-long projects. Satisfaction surveys in future years may reflect this.

The big picture

These major renovations are meant to help passengers from all over the world. North American airports are swollen with people. Proposed changes to Chicago O’Hare International Airport would add in 3.1 million square feet of terminal space, according to the Chicago Tribune.

The Los Angeles Times reports that Los Angeles International Airport will add in 750,000 square feet with its current renovation, and Denver International Airport’s Great Hall project seeks to renovate its 1.5 million square foot Great Hall. There will likely be growing pains that impact travelers in the short term in an effort to improve travel long term.

What you can do

  • Plan ahead: Give yourself a bit more time to get to your gate if there are renovations going on.
  • Look out for layovers: Check online to see if any major construction is occurring and how that might impact getting to your next flight
  • Consider off-season travel: If you’re concerned about overly busy airports in addition to construction, avoid traveling at peak times.

Data originated from the J.D. Power 2018 North America Airport Satisfaction Study

SOURCE: Nerd Wallet