Favorite airports in North America? Regional hubs land on list

Despite constant construction and increased passenger traffic, passengers are more satisfied with their experiences at airports across North America than ever before.

Overall passenger satisfaction with airport has reached an all-time high, and some regional airports like John Glenn Columbus International Airport and the Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport have made the list of top airports for quality experiences.

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Customer satisfaction scores have reached an all-time high of 749 (on a 1,000-point scale), which is up 18 points from last year’s all-time high, according to the J.D. Power Ratings. John Glenn Columbus International Airport landed a 767 score, while Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky scored 781 for medium-sized airport rankings.

“The trifecta of a steadily improving economy, record passenger volume and billion-dollar renovation projects unfolding in airports across the country has created a challenging environment for customer satisfaction,” said Michael Taylor, travel practice lead at J.D. Power.

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Increased traveler satisfaction has been attributed to technology investments that address high passenger capacity and construction projects at airports. Phone apps, self-service bag-check kiosks and other technologies expedite processes for busy passengers.

A quirky way to make passengers happy? Airports are bringing in animals. Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Airport has more than 30 stress-relieving ponies on staff that travelers can interact with.

“Many airports have also found success in improving customer satisfaction through creative use of high-touch traveler outreach initiatives. Phoenix Sky Harbor, for example, deploys a team of therapy dogs for passengers to pet while they wait to board; and San Francisco International features a pet therapy pig that roams the terminal looking for pets and selfies,” the report found.


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