J.D. Power Ranks KCI “About Average”

With all the talk about the need for a new “front door” for Kansas City–in the form of a single-terminal construct at KCI–and the countering claims that the airport’s convenience factor vastly outweighs the need for change, J.D. Power release its 2017 North America Airport Satisfaction Study today, and it placed customer satisfaction with Kansas City’s in the range of . . . average.
Among the class of 21 airports in the Large category, KCI ranked 15th, with a score of 742 on a scale of 1000. By comparison, No. 1 in that category was John Wayne Orange County Airport, with a score of 796. The rankings put KCI ahead of Lambert-St. Louis-(738), Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International (720), Philadelphia International (715) and New York’s LaGuardia, dead last at 654. Kansas City’s score, incidentally, was better in its category than were the scores for airports in Boston (Logan, 733), New York (JFK, 727), Chicago (O’Hare, 723), Los Angeles (LAX, 712) and Newark-Liberty, a distant 18th at 686.
Overall, the release said, passenger satisfaction with North American airports has reached an all-time high, as airports of every size have found creative ways to address the challenges of constant construction projects and increased passenger capacity demand.

“Capacity has become a huge challenge for North American airports, with many reporting 100% of available parking spots being filled and large airports, such as Orlando International, setting passenger volume records each month for more than three years straight,” said Michael Taylor, Travel Practice Lead at J.D. Power. “Despite these difficulties, airports are responding with new technology and old-fashioned personal skills to win over harried travelers. These range from smartphone apps that tell travelers where to find a parking spot to therapy dogs—and in one case, a therapy pig—mingling with travelers to relieve stress and improve the overall airport experience.”

Among all airports, with 18 airports in the Mega category and 21 in the Medium category, overall customer satisfaction scores have reached an all-time high of 749, slightly above the KCI ranking. That was up 18 points from last year’s all-time high, the release said, attributing improvements to a 25-point increase in satisfaction with security check, thanks largely to fewer TSA staffing issues this year. Signficant gains came in two other criteria, check-in/baggage check (+19 points) and food, beverage, and retail (+15 points). Self-service bag-check kiosks and other bag-tagging technologies have played a significant role in improving the baggage check process.

More on the survey results can be found here.