The sharp coronavirus-related decline in passenger volume across North American airports has “been a boon” for traveler satisfaction, according to a new J.D. Power survey.
Results of the 2020 North America Airport Satisfaction Study indicate that satisfaction within such airports has “risen sharply” since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, J.D. Power said Wednesday.
In fact, satisfaction for North American airports reached a record high of 784 on a 1,000-point scale, which is up 22 points from 2019, J.D. Power said.
The high marks were largely driven by the fact that passengers are more easily able to “breeze through” security checkpoints and baggage claims now compared to pre-pandemic times, J.D. Power said.
Passengers have commended airports for cleanliness, slim crowds and lower noise levels, all of which are due to record-low passenger volume.
Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport ranked the highest in passenger satisfaction among mega airports, while Dallas Love Field ranks highest among large airports and the Indianapolis International Airport ranked highest among medium airports, according to the results.
“Compared to the pre-COVID-19 environment when most airports were running significantly overcapacity, the lack of crowds and long lines is actually creating a very convenient experience for travelers right now,” Michael Taylor, travel intelligence lead at J.D. Power, said.
However, this lower passenger volume is not sustainable over the long term, Taylor said, adding that airports are taking extra precautions in order to “facilitate a rebound in travel.”
The study is based on more than 26,000 responses from U.S. or Canadian residents who traveled through at least one U.S. or Canadian airport over the past 30 days.