This is one of those cases where people are not looking deep into the survey and are just looking at it on the surface, where if you look at it a little more deeply, this survey may be more credible than it appears.
Criteria 1 - Airport Accessibility: I don't know exactly how people voted here, but given that airports like DEN
are light years outside the city and also have no public transportation access along with only one highway, they are lower. DTW
had high marks here which does suprise me a bit. Additionally, JFK
rate high, EWR
actually has excellent highway access, plus the AirTrain. JFK
isn't has good, but they have AirTrain to two places. SFO
probably get held down because of the long access road from the highway to get in.
Criteria 2 - Check in: LAS
ranked highest here and the biggest reason why is probably the CUTE terminals which allow self serve check in for any airline, and something I think is needed at all airports to help airlines cut costs. Looking at the rest of the list, I think its pretty accurate. MSP
is probably low simply because it can be next to impossible to find a non northwest ticket counter in the terminal. JFK
being high is a bit surprising though.
Criteria 3 - TSA
: All this deals with is speed of getting through TSA
and friendliness. If you have ever cleared TSA
, you know its a very slow process in that airport. DFW
gets high marks obviously because by its very nature there aren't too many crowded checkpoints. My only complaint here is that LAS
is often a TSA
nightmare, but it got a Five star rating.
Criteria 4 - Terminal Facilities: DEN
is ranked very low here and I don't know why. Maybe passnegers don't think its well signed or something like that. MSP
is ranked near the bottom, which is largely due to the extremely long walks necessary in the airport. Try clearing Customs from the LGW
flight, then having 20 minutes to get to a Pinnacle flight. It will probably take you 30 minutes just to walk that. Plus its not the best signed airport in the world, meaning it is easy to get lost, and last time I was there it was hard finding the light rail. All the airports that should be near the top in this (LAS
) are, and JFK
is near the top too which is surprising, but I guess other than 2 and 3, most of the terminals are simple and easy to navigate. ATL
, and MCO
are in the next tier as all three airports are very easy to navigate and are well signed. Again, these ratings got it right for the most part.
Criteria 5 - Food and Beverage: MSP
should be higher as they have plenty of choices. Problem is they are all so spread out most passengers don't know about all of them. Highest rated airports were JFK
. I don't know much about the options in either JFK
, but I do know that PHL
has one of the better food courts out there. They have lots of great options, you never have to wait long for service, they are reasonably priced, and the staff are pretty friendly as well. DFW
has some good options, including Auntie Anne. Next tier were LAX
, which may be a bit high since the only good places I have found there are in the TBIT, DTW
which has good options but not a lot of reconizable names, and ATL
, which has lots of good options, but you have to find the right concourses.
Criteria 6 - Retail services: No real complaints here from anything. MCO
should be a bit higher, but the airport shops are between the two TSA
checkpoints, and most people are going straight to TSA
from the ticket counters. MSP
again gets killed by being so spread out.
Criteria 7 - Baggage Claim: This seems to be more about ease of finding the baggage claim more than speed. Obviously DFW
is highest here as they should be. I am not familiar with landside in DEN
so I can't comment, but I know baggage has been a problem there since it opened. EWR
also ranked high on this list. One thing that I think killed a lot of airlines here is the fact that when you get to the baggage claim, it can be difficult figuring out which carosel serves your airline. This is especialy true in LAS
, and MCO
Criteria 8 - Customs: EWR
got high marks here, and its largely probably due to the new terminal C facility. This is the area where most airports did the worst. The best of the rest were PHL
with A West being a modern facility, IAH
which also has a modern facility, MCO
which is killed only be a TSA
recheck and reclaim issue, and LAX
which I am not too familiar with. This seems to be the area where most airports could use the most improvement.
There you have it. Using these criteria, JD
power may have gotten this one right. As i said, this survey did not take into account things like runway layouts, delay proneness, or issues like that. This just focused on the terminals themselves and how they present themselves to the passengers. And they pretty much got it right. And I will debate this with anyone.