New York LaGuardia Is North America’s Least Favorite Airport

  • 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 AirportsScore
    Portland (Ore.) International Airport786
    Tampa International Airport775
    Las Vegas McCarran Airport759
    Orlando International Airport751
    Miami International Airport750
    San Diego International Airport748
    Salt Lake City International Airport747
    Toronto Pearson Airport745
    Washington Reagan National Airport742
    Chicago Midway Airport741
    Denver International Airport738
    Charlotte Douglas Airport738
    Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport737
    Phoenix Sky Harbor Airport735
    Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport734
    Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport734
    Baltimore Washington International Airport734
    Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport733
    Honolulu International Airport727
    Washington Dulles Airport726
    San Francisco International Airport725
    Large Airport Average724
    Seattle-Tacoma International Airport721
    Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport720
    John F. Kennedy International Airport713
    Houston Bush Intercontinental Airport709
    Los Angeles International Airport702
    Chicago O’Hare Airport689
    Boston Logan Airport689
    Philadelphia International Airport688
    Newark Liberty International Airport669
    New York LaGuardia Airport649
    Medium AirportsScore
    Indianapolis International Airport794
    Buffalo Niagara International Airport791
    Fort Myers/Southwest Florida International Airport790
    Jacksonville International Airport789
    Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport783
    Ontario International Airport Airport781
    Palm Beach International Airport Airport780
    Ted Stevens Anchorage International Airport779
    Raleigh-Durham International Airport779
    Eppley Airfield Airport779
    Nashville International Airport777
    Albuquerque International Sunport777
    Vancouver International Airport776
    Dallas Love Field Airport775
    Pittsburgh International Airport772
    Milwaukee – General Mitchell International Airport772
    San Antonio International Airport767
    Sacramento International Airport767
    John Wayne Orange County Airport765
    Hollywood Burbank Airport764
    San Jose International Airport761
    Austin-Bergstrom International Airport761
    Medium Airport Average760
    Montréal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport757
    John Glenn Columbus International Airport756
    Calgary International Airport756
    Kansas City International Airport744
    Houston Hobby Airport737
    Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport730
    Lambert-St. Louis Airport728
    Oakland International Airport726
    Kahului Airport724
    Bradley International Hartford/Springfield Airport724
    Cleveland Hopkins Airport704
    Photo Credit: During snow storms, like this one in 2014, travelers have few places to wait comfortably at New York LaGuardia. Zoran Milich / Reuters

    Up Next