These Are the Most and Least Satisfying Airports in North America

The 2022 J.D. Power airport ranking has new data on where we love—and hate—to fly.

Do you remember traveling this year? The memory probably brings back images of hours-long security lines and boards that flashed the "canceled" and "delayed" way more than they said "departed" or "on-time." If those experiences left you feeling unsatisfied at a North American airport, you aren't alone.

According to the J.D. Power 2022 North America Airport Satisfaction Study, everyone is less satisfied when it comes to airports in general. On a 1,000-point scale, overall satisfaction dropped by 25 points since 2021.

"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," said Michael Taylor, travel intelligence lead at J.D. Power, in a press release. "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."

Some more key findings from the study also probably won't be too surprising for anyone who has had to trek through an airport in recent months. More than half of the travelers surveyed described airport terminals as severely or moderately crowded, which lines up with responses from 2019. When it came to buying food and drinks at the airport, an increased number of people (from 20% in 2021 to 24% in 2022) reported not buying anything because of the price.

So which airports were offered the most satisfying experiences in 2022? Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport ranks highest out of all mega airports on the continent, with a score of 800 out of 1,000. San Francisco International Airport ranks second while Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport and John F. Kennedy International Airport tied for third. And no disrespect to JFK (well, maybe a little), but if that airport is at the top of our lists, Joe Biden and Beyoncé were right. America has a problem.

The least satisfying mega airports are:

  • Los Angeles International Airport
  • O’Hare International Airport
  • Newark Liberty International Airport

Do these results surprise you at all? Below, you can see the complete rankings for mega, large, and medium-sized airports in North America.

Courtesy of JD Power
Courtesy of JD Power
Courtesy of JD Power

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Opheli Garcia Lawler is a Staff Writer on the News team at Thrillist. Follow her on Twitter @opheligarcia and Instagram @opheligarcia.