Customer Satisfaction with Airports Declines Sharply

The J.D. Power and Associates 2008 North America Airport Satisfaction Study says customer satisfaction with airports is down significantly. Travelers are impacted by an air travel industry laden with flight delays and cancellations caused by weather, air traffic issues and staff and service cutbacks, the report said.

The study finds that overall satisfaction is 675 on a 1,000-point scale in 2008—down 14 points from 2007. Prior to 2007, customer satisfaction with airports increased steadily between 2002 and 2006. More than one in five passengers reports experiencing a delay.

“When air passengers are forced to wait out delays in airports for departing flights, they are essentially a captive audience, and their frustration and stress levels affect their satisfaction with airport operations and amenities,” said Jim Gaz, senior director of travel and entertainment at J.D. Power and Associates.

“Those airports that are best equipped to handle delayed passengers with comfortable seating, a variety of food and beverage options and restrooms located near departure gates are the ones that will perform better in customer satisfaction in these trying times. When delayed passengers arrive at their destination airports, they are seeking efficient service at baggage claim and an expedient exit. Any additional inconveniences will only compound their dissatisfaction with the airport experience.” In particular, customer satisfaction with the security check aspect of the airport experience has declined considerably since 2007.

“Service inconsistencies in the security check process from airport to airport are particularly frustrating for customers, who report lower satisfaction with the professionalism of security staff and the ability of the security check process to make them feel safe, compared with 2007,” said Gaz. Visit www.jdpowers.com.

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