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Survey Says These Airports Are the Best to Fly Out of in 2021

News Airports + Flying
by Olivia Harden Sep 23, 2021

Let’s be honest, when you’re getting to your destination by plane, your travel experience starts in the airport. Moving throughout the airport with ease and boarding your flight sets the tone for your trip. And as travel picks back up again you might be curious to know, which airports are the best to fly from?

J.D. Power released its annual North American Airport Satisfaction Study and had some interesting finds. While last year’s survey showed the impact of the pandemic, this year’s rankings show the aftermath, and in relation to flying, what airports are meeting the expectations of passengers and which ones are falling behind. With labor shortages, construction projects, and COVID regulations, passengers used to pre-pandemic standards may be disappointed while trying to reach their destination.

“Airport customer satisfaction reached all-time highs when passenger volumes were severely suppressed by the pandemic, but as leisure travel rebounded sharply throughout the spring and summer of 2021, we saw an expected downturn in satisfaction,” said Michael Taylor, travel intelligence lead at J.D. Power in a press release. “Ultimately, the data conveys changing expectations among travelers. Early in the pandemic, passengers were satisfied with any shop or restaurant being open, but they now expect full service at the airport.”

The survey study two categories this year — mega airports and large airports. Medium-size airports were excluded this year due to low traffic due to the pandemic. Mega airports see 33 million or more passengers per year, while large airports host 10 to 32.9 million passengers per year. The study used data of 13,225 completed surveys from U.S. or Canadian residents who departed, arrived, or had a connecting flight from a US or Canadian airport within 30 days of filling out the survey. The airports were scored out of 1,000 points over six categories in order of importance: terminal facilities, airport arrival/departure; baggage claim; security check; check-in/baggage check; and food, beverage and retail.

Miami International Airport was ranked the number one mega airport, earning a score of 828 out of 1,000. New York-JFK earned 817 points and was followed closely by Minneapolis-St. Paul with 815 points. The 2020 first-place airport, Phoenix earned fifth place with 808 points.

best airports in america

Photo: JD Power

In the large airport category, Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport ranks highest with a score of 844, barely edging out Tampa International Airport with 843 points. and Raleigh-Durham International Airport earned third with 841 points.

Find out where your major airport falls on the list.

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