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Tucson ranked No. 3 in small airports

Sky Harbor finishes No. 5 for large airports

Tucson International Airport finished No. 3 among small North American airports in a new survey. Sky Harbor Airport in Phoenix ranks No. 5 in the large category.

J.D. Power interviewed more than 12,000 passengers who took a roundtrip flight in 2009. They evaluated their departing and arriving airports in six areas:

  • • Airport accessibility
  • • Baggage claim
  • • Check-in/baggage check process
  • • Terminal facilities
  • • Security check
  • • Food and retail services

TIA, with 755 points on a 1,000-point scale, scored "Among the Best" in accessibility, and "Better than Most" in overall satisfaction, check-in, security, terminals, food & retail services and baggage claim.

Phoenix, with 669 points, got a top rating in overall satisfaction, check-in, security and terminals. Its accessibility and food & retail services were called "Better than Most."

While the airline industry has made technological advances, researchers found that the basic needs of comfort and ease of movement aren't being met.

"As much as Internet access may be a fun diversion or enable productivity for passengers, getting passengers in and out of the airport easily and efficiently is of utmost importance," Stuart Greif, vice president and general manager of the global hospitality and travel practice at J.D. Power and Associates, said in a press release.

In the study, smaller airports scored better than medium and large airports as passengers have shown dissatisfaction with larger facilities. Medium airports, however, continue to maintain the same level of customer satisfaction.

A good impresson of an airport can have an economic impact, according to the study.

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"Passengers who report that they are 'disappointed' with the airport only spend on average about $14.12 during their visit. However, passengers who report being 'delighted' spend an average of $20.55."

Among large airports, Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County scored 705 — thanks to its highly rated terminal and baggage claim facilities.

Indianapolis International, with the top small airport score – 777 – because of its impressive check-in/baggage check and security facilities.

Kansas City International ranks highest in the medium segment with 742 points, a score attributed to its efficient accessibility, check-in/baggage check and security facilities.

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1 comment on this story

Feb 18, 2010, 1:46 pm
-0 +1

Passengers who report that they are ‘disappointed’ with the airport only spend on average about $14.12 during their visit.

Man, airports have really jacked up the price of bottled water, I tell you what.

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Click image to enlarge


Passengers gave a high score to Tucson International Airport for its accessibility.

On the Web

Top 5 small airports 

(fewer than 10 million passengers)

  1. Indianapolis International - IND
  2. Southwest Florida International - RSW
  3. Tucson International - TUS
  4. Jacksonville International Airport - JAX
  5. Austin-Bergstrom International - AUS

Top 5 large airports

(30 million or more passengers per year)

  1. Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County - DTW
  2. Denver International - DEN
  3. Minneapolis/St. Paul International - MSP
  4. Orlando International - MCO
  5. Phoenix Sky Harbor - PHX

Top 5 medium airports 

(10 million to 30 million passengers)

  1. Baltimore Washington International - BWI
  2. Boston Logan - BOS
  3. Calgary International - YYC
  4. Chicago Midway International - MDW
  5. Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International - CVG