New York LaGuardia Airport Worst In USA (And Kennedy Airport Not Much Better)

December 18, 2016

For all of you Harlemites traveling from New York LaGuardia Airport, we maybe telling you something you already know, Forbes Magazines is reporting that the New York LaGuardia Airport is the worst in the nation, and Kennedy Airport is not far behind.

North American airports improved in traveler satisfaction from 2015 to 2016 in all areas evaluated: terminal facilities; airport accessibility; security check; baggage claim; check-in/baggage check; food, beverage and retail shopping, according to a new ranking released this week. Advanced technology, thoughtful design, and innovative and local food were among the reasons cited. The good news is despite challenges from an increase in the number of people flying and aging infrastructure.

Those are the main findings of the J.D. Power 2016 North America Airport Satisfaction Study, based on the personal flying experiences of nearly 40,000 travelers at large and medium airports.

The greatest improvements this year occurred in baggage claim and the food, beverage and retail categories; security check improved the least, due in part to greater traveler volume that resulted in an increase in security line wait times.

Portland International Airport in Oregon ranked highest in satisfaction among large airports for the second consecutive year, followed by Tampa International Airport and Las Vegas McCarran Airport. Indianapolis International Airport ranked highest among medium airports, followed by Buffalo Niagara International Airport and Fort Myers/Southwest Florida International Airport.

New York LaGuardia Airport, Newark Liberty International Airport and Philadelphia International Airport were ranked the lowest in the large airport category. Cleveland Hopkins Airport, Kahului Airport, and Bradley International Hartford/Springfield Airport received the lowest rankings for medium airports.

“Many airports, especially the nation’s largest airports, were never built to handle the current volume of traveler traffic, often exceeding their design limits by many millions of travelers,” Michael Taylor, director of the airport practice at J.D. Power, said in a statement.  “Yet airports are overcoming infrastructure limits by affecting the things they can influence,” he added, like applying technology to make improvements.

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Las Vegas McCarran International Airport, for example, was cited for its successful deployment of self-service passport control kiosks to maintain fluid traveler flow.

The study noted that many airports are currently undergoing major renovations, which impacted their ratings. Many others have construction planned, which may impact on-time performance and mean more disruption and stress for travelers.

The multibillion-dollar redesign of LaGuardia Airport, for example, is expected to solve overcrowding and increase the ability to move aircraft more efficiently on and off runways.

But the short- term pain is expected to result in long-term gain. The multibillion-dollar redesign of LaGuardia Airport, for example, is expected to solve overcrowding and increase the ability to move aircraft more efficiently on and off runways. During construction, the report suggests, simple measures like good signage could help manage passenger flow.

Local Food and Design Featured

New and innovative restaurants that offer a wider variety of food options, often with a focus on local cuisine and a greater focus on design were also cited as contributing to improved ratings at a number of airports. For example, Miami International Airport added Cuban and Caribbean restaurants and Houston Hobby features Texas barbecue options.

“Offering local flavor and local design elements unique to the area provide a ‘sense of place,’” said Taylor. “For example, Portland International Airport has incorporated regional designs and symbols in the flooring. The color schemes and storefronts make the airport feel unique to Oregon and the Northwest. Indianapolis International Airport has a very open design with a lot of space so travelers aren’t crowded.”

Click here to view the specific rankings and read more about the survey.

(charts courtesy of J.D. Power, publisher of the 2016 North America Airport Satisfaction study.)

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