J.D. Power has just released their 2016 North American Airport Satisfaction Study ranking the nation’s airports by customer satisfaction, and New York’s LaGuardia Airport has been bestowed the title of the country’s worst. According to the study—and just about anyone who’s visited LGA in the last few months—construction woes related to Governor Cuomo’s $8 billion plan to transform the hub into a world-class airport by 2020 has led to serious headaches for travelers, and a 6-point drop in overall satisfaction from 2015. Last year, LGA ranked as the second worst airport in the U.S., just after Newark International.
LGA did, however, find a champion in Michael Taylor, director of the airport practice at J.D. Power, who defended the ranking in the study: “Those current terminals handle more than 13 million travelers a year. They were designed to handle only 8 million travelers,” he said. “This improvement has been needed for a long time. The new design is going to create major short-term headaches for LaGuardia travelers, but the results will be worth it. The design solves two major problems for the airport: overcrowding and the ability to move aircraft more efficiently on and off runways.”
As seen in the chart above, the northeast was well-represented at the bottom, with Newark Liberty International, Boston’s Logan Airport, and the Philadelphia International Airport ranked among the five worst airports in the country.
In spite of this, all in all, J.D. Power found that traveler satisfaction at large airports rose 5 points in 2016 to 724 (based on a 1,000-point scale). They add that the increase is also commendable given that annual traveler volume has been up 5-6 percent.
The study, now in its 11th year, surveyed 38,931 North American travelers between January and October 2016 on six factors (in order of importance): terminal facilities, airport accessibility, security check, baggage claim, check-in/baggage check, and food/beverage and retail.