Air Travel Demand in Early 2022 Surged Despite Impact of Omicron Variant

Customer Satisfaction at North American Airports Dropped in 2022

New data showed that overall air traveler satisfaction dropped by 25 points in 2022 due to fewer flights, crowded terminals and limited food and beverage offerings.

According to the J.D. Power 2022 North America Airport Satisfaction Study, global passenger numbers climbed to 91 percent of pre-pandemic totals, but flight cancellations and crowded terminals caused overall customer satisfaction at North American airports to fall 25 points to 777.


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The study showed that 58 percent of airport travelers described the terminal as severely or moderately crowded, which nearly matched the 59 percent of respondents who said the same in 2019.

Another 24 percent of travelers said they did not purchase food or beverages at the airport due to the inflated costs, which is up from 20 percent in 2021 and 23 percent in 2019. Parkin was also an issue, as 14 percent of travelers said parking was more expensive than expected.

“The combination of pent-up demand for air travel, the nationwide labor shortage and steadily rising prices on everything from jet fuel to a bottle of water have created a scenario in which airports are extremely crowded and passengers are increasingly frustrated—and it is likely to continue through 2023,” J.D. Power travel intelligence lead Michael Taylor said.

“In some ways, this is a return to normal as larger crowds at airports tend to make travelers more frazzled, but in cases where parking lots are over capacity, gates are standing room only and restaurants and bars are not even open to offer some reprieve, it is clear that increased capacity in airports can’t come soon enough,” Taylor continued.

As for how mega airports rank in terms of passenger satisfaction, Minneapolis-Saint Paul International topped the list, followed by San Francisco International, Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County and John F. Kennedy International round out the top five.

Tampa International ranked highest among large airports and Indianapolis International ranked highest among medium airports.

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