Skift Take

North America's airports will never match some of the best in Europe or Asia, where nations are more likely to invest in infrastructure. But airports in North America are slowly improving, and that's good news for passengers.

America’s most-hated big-city airport is New York LaGuardia — and it’s not even close.

That’s the verdict from J.D. Power, which on Thursday released its 2016 North America Airport Satisfaction Study. Travelers hated LaGuardia even more this year than last.

The reason? The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, which operates the airport, is spending $8 billion to construct a new, modern facility. Travelers will begin to see benefits by 2018, though it will take at least four more years before the project is substantially completed. For now, though, LaGuardia is not a pleasant experience for anyone. Travelers are not just complaining about the usual issues — like overcrowded terminals and underwhelming concessions — but they also gripe about construction-related woes.

The top four larger airports on J.D. Power’s remain the same as in 2015, with travelers preferring Portland, Oregon, Tampa, Las Vegas, and Orlando. But the fifth airport, Miami International, made a major jump, up from 18th last year. It’s not fully clear why Miami jumped so many spots, but J.D. Power credited Miami for improving its concessions.

The J.D. Power study, now in its 11th year, asked travelers for their opinions on six factors, including terminal facilities, security screening, baggage claim, food and retail. The company conducted its survey from January-October and received 36,465 usable responses.

While travelers are losing patience with LaGuardia, and nearby Newark Liberty International, which finished second-to-last, they are being increasing satisfied by U.S. airports, according to the study.

J.D. Power ranks airports on a 1,000 point scale, and this year’s average of 731 was a six-point increase from 2015. Travelers seem most happy about improved food, beverage, and shopping options at airports, according to the study.

The survey also ranked medium-sized airports. In the medium category, travelers preferred Indianapolis, Buffalo, and Southwest Florida International Airport in Fort Myers, while they disliked airports in Maui, Hartford, and Cleveland.

Here is the full list.

Large Airports Score
Portland (Ore.) International Airport 786
Tampa International Airport 775
Las Vegas McCarran Airport 759
Orlando International Airport 751
Miami International Airport 750
San Diego International Airport 748
Salt Lake City International Airport 747
Toronto Pearson Airport 745
Washington Reagan National Airport 742
Chicago Midway Airport 741
Denver International Airport 738
Charlotte Douglas Airport 738
Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport 737
Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport 735
Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport 734
Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport 734
Baltimore Washington International Airport 734
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport 733
Honolulu International Airport 727
Washington Dulles Airport 726
San Francisco International Airport 725
Large Airport Average 724
Seattle-Tacoma International Airport 721
Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport 720
John F. Kennedy International Airport 713
Houston Bush Intercontinental Airport 709
Los Angeles International Airport 702
Chicago O’Hare Airport 689
Boston Logan Airport 689
Philadelphia International Airport 688
Newark Liberty International Airport 669
New York LaGuardia Airport 649
Medium Airports Score
Indianapolis International Airport 794
Buffalo Niagara International Airport 791
Fort Myers/Southwest Florida International Airport 790
Jacksonville International Airport 789
Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport 783
Ontario International Airport Airport 781
Palm Beach International Airport Airport 780
Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport 779
Raleigh-Durham International Airport 779
Eppley Airfield Airport 779
Nashville International Airport 777
Albuquerque International Sunport 777
Vancouver International Airport 776
Dallas Love Field Airport 775
Pittsburgh International Airport 772
Milwaukee – General Mitchell International Airport 772
San Antonio International Airport 767
Sacramento International Airport 767
John Wayne Orange County Airport 765
Hollywood Burbank Airport 764
San Jose International Airport 761
Austin-Bergstrom International Airport 761
Medium Airport Average 760
Montréal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport 757
John Glenn Columbus International Airport 756
Calgary International Airport 756
Kansas City International Airport 744
Houston Hobby Airport 737
Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport 730
Lambert-St. Louis Airport 728
Oakland International Airport 726
Kahului Airport 724
Bradley International Hartford/Springfield Airport 724
Cleveland Hopkins Airport 704

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Tags: airports, laguardia

Photo credit: During snow storms, like this one in 2014, travelers have few places to wait comfortably at New York LaGuardia. 120400 / 120400

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