New Traveler Study Found The 5 Best (and Worst) Airports in North America


TSA lines are long, parking lots are full, and the gates are standing room only — travel is back and in full swing. And while the industry hasn’t entirely recovered from the pandemic, flight prices are falling. But the experience at some airports is falling, too. J.D. Power recently published its annual customer satisfaction index rating to find the best and worst airports in North America.

Travel levels have reached 91 percent of what they were pre-pandemic. However, the industry is still struggling to hire workers, leading to flight cancellations, overcrowded airports, and consumer dissatisfaction. The index found that 58 percent of airport travelers find the terminals moderately to severely crowded. And what seems like a continuous problem made worse, airport food is far too expensive (consider the $27 airport beer).

The study categorized airports by size: mega, small and medium. Mega airports were defined as having at least 33 million passengers every year. Minneapolis snagged first place, scoring 800 out of 1,000, while San Francisco International Airport took second with 796 points, and Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (791) and John F. Kennedy International Airport tied for third with 791 points.

Best mega airports in North American

  • Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport
  • San Francisco International Airport
  • Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport
  • John F. Kennedy International Airport
  • Harry Reid International Airport

Worst mega airports North American

  • Newark Liberty International Airport
  • O’Hare International Airport
  • Los Angeles International Airport
  • Boston Logan International Airport
  • Toronto Pearson International Airport

Large airports were defined as having 10 to 32.9 million passengers per year. Tampa International Airport earned first with a score of 846 and was also the highest-ranking airport overall. John Wayne Airport in Orange County, California, scored 826, and Dallas Love Field barely trailed behind with 825 points.

Best large airports in North American

  • Tampa International Airport
  • John Wayne Airport, Orange County
  • Dallas Love Field Airport
  • Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport
  • Raleigh-Durham International Airport

Worst large airports in North American

  • Philadelphia International Airport
  • Daniel K. Inouye International Airport
  • Kansas City International Airport
  • LaGuardia Airport
  • St. Louis Lambert International Airport

To create the index for North America’s and worst airports, J.D. Power compiled the results of 26,529 surveys from August 2021 to July 2022 from US or Canadian residents that traveled through at least one airport, including connecting flights, in the US or Canada within 30 days of taking the survey. The survey covers both departure and arrival experiences and measures overall traveler satisfaction in mega, large
and medium North American airports using six critical measures for a total of 1,000 points: terminal facilities; airport arrival/departure; baggage claim; security check; check-in/baggage check; and food, beverage and retail.