(CNN) — Air traffic is increasing and passenger satisfaction is decreasing. This comes as no surprise to anyone who passed through an airport in the summer.
The JD Power 2022 North America Airport Satisfaction Study, released Wednesday, shows that overall satisfaction fell 25 points on a 1,000-point scale from the 2021 score. Newark Liberty International Airport scored the worst of the mega airports.
The overall satisfaction score for North American airports in 2022 was 777.
US passenger volume is approaching pre-pandemic levels. On Sunday, the U.S. Transportation Security Administration screened 2,371,992 passengers at airport checkpoints. That figure is 94% of the same weekday in 2019.
But travelers will face fewer flights, busier terminals and limited food and drink options, says the new JD Power study.
“The combination of pent-up demand for air travel, the nationwide labor shortage and steadily rising prices for everything from jet fuel to a bottle of water have created a scenario where airports are extremely crowded and passengers are increasingly frustrated,” said Michael Taylor. , travel information leader at JD Power, in a statement.
And Taylor expects this unfortunate turn of events to continue through 2023.
The 25-point drop follows a record level of satisfaction with North American airports — 802 on the 1000-point scale — in last year’s study, which includes passenger surveys from the second half of 2020.
But as that survey progressed into 2021 and the third and fourth wave of the survey, passenger satisfaction steadily declined as passenger volume rose again.
The 2022 survey was conducted from August 2021 to July 2022, as air traffic continued to recover.
Passengers wait in line at Newark Liberty International Airport terminal on November 24, 2021.
It was based on more than 26,500 surveys of US or Canadian residents who have passed through at least one US or Canadian airport in the past 30 days. Travelers evaluated either a departing or an arriving airport of their outward and return journey.
Now entering its 17th year, the survey looks at airport passenger satisfaction across three categories: mega-airports, major airports and medium-sized airports.
Satisfaction is determined by looking at six factors, ranked in order of importance: terminal facilities, airport arrivals/departures, baggage claim, security screening, check-in/baggage screening and food, drink and retail.
So which airports are the most satisfying for travelers? And which ones fall short?
Most and Least Satisfying North American Mega-Airports
Of the mega-airports evaluated in the survey — those airports with 33 million or more passengers per year — Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport ranks highest in customer satisfaction with a score of 800 out of 1,000.
Thanks to the airport’s updated terminal facilities, it has earned the top spot for satisfaction, according to Taylor. Last year’s construction and renovations showed up in this year’s results, he said.
Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport, seen here in August 2022, achieved the best traveler satisfaction score among North America’s mega-airports.
“Even as it undergoes numerous ongoing construction and upgrade projects this summer, MSP has experienced more delays and cancellations than some other airports in its size class,” Bangs told CNN Travel in late August in response to questions about the airport’s performance over the summer. . She attributed that to management and possibly fewer storms than some other major airports.
San Francisco International Airport (with a score of 796) and Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (791) were also among the top airports in the satisfaction survey.
Top five scorers on a 1,000-point scale for mega-airport satisfaction:
• Minneapolis-Saint Paul . International Airport (800)
• San Francisco International Airport (796)
• Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (791)
• John F. Kennedy International Airport (791)
• Harry Reid International Airport (790)
At the bottom of the list of mega airports is Newark Liberty International Airport, with a score of 719 out of 1,000.
Airports being built and undergoing major renovations typically score poorly for terminal facilities, Taylor said.
Travelers wait at Newark Liberty International Airport on July 1, 2022. The airport was plagued by cancellations and delays this summer.
Jeenah Moon/Getty Images
Newark’s $2.7 billion Terminal A overhaul is expected to open later this year, and there are major plans to improve food, beverage and retail offerings in the new terminal.
“But those improvements won’t be available to passengers for a while. Rome wasn’t built in a day…and neither are new airport terminals,” Taylor said via email.
Also bottom of the list: O’Hare International Airport in Chicago (751) and Los Angeles International Airport (753).
Bottom five scorers on a 1,000-point scale for mega-airport satisfaction:
• Toronto Pearson . International Airport (755)
• Boston Logan International Airport (754)
• Los Angeles International Airport (753)
• Chicago O’Hare . International Airport (751)
• Newark Liberty International Airport (719)
Most and Least Satisfactory North American Large and Medium Airports
Of the major airports – those with 10 million to 32.9 million passengers a year – Tampa International Airport scored the highest for customer satisfaction with a score of 846 out of 1,000.
John Wayne Airport, Orange County in California (826) and Dallas Love Field (825) also scored highly.
At the bottom of the list of major airports was Philadelphia International Airport (729).
Of the medium-sized airports – those with 4.5 to 9.9 million passengers a year – Indianapolis International Airport scored the highest with a score of 842 out of 1,000.
Pittsburgh International Airport (839) and Jacksonville International Airport (826) are in second and third place for satisfaction.
Hollywood Burbank Airport in California was at the bottom of the list of mid-sized airports for traveler satisfaction, with a score of 763.
Top image: Newark Liberty International Airport on May 30, 2022. (Photo by Yaroslav Sabitov/Shutterstock)