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December 18, 2016

Study: Philly airport among worst in nation for passenger satisfaction

Travelers still face a daunting task when flying in and out of Philadelphia, according to a recent study.

Philadelphia International Airport was named the third worst large airport in North America in J.D. Power's annual survey of passenger satisfaction, which was released Thursday. This year's rankings were the 11th study released. Last year, PHL was ranked the fifth worst.

The study ranked all airports on terminal facilities, accessibility, security area, baggage claim and retail stores. PHL received a score of 688 out of a possible 1,000, below the average of 724. That's also a slight dip from last year when the airport was given a score of 691.

Only New York LaGuardia and Newark Liberty International airports were deemed worse than PHL.

The study noted that one reason why older airports are struggling is that they were not designed to handle a large volume of people. However, airports are focusing on technological improvements, according to Michael Taylor, J.D. Power's director of the airport practice.

"Airports are successfully applying technology to improve check-in, security screening and the food, beverage and retail shopping experiences,” Taylor said.

While airports undergo renovations to alleviate issues due to infrastructure, Taylor maintains that construction will only increase disruption and stress for travelers.

Currently, a $30 million makeover of Terminal B at PHL is underway to improve food service. "Thousands of iPads" will be installed at gates, allowing users to place orders. The effort is expected to be completed within the next 12 to 18 months.

The list was compiled using 38,931 responses from North American fliers who traveled at least once between January and October. Travelers were able to evaluate either the departing or arriving airport.

Portland International Airport is Oregon earned top honors on the list.