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September 24, 2017

Survey: Philadelphia International comes in second-to-last for airport satisfaction

Of the 21 largest airports in the United States, Philadelphia International came in second-to-dead-last in a recent ranking of traveler satisfaction.

J.D. Power unveiled the findings from its 2017 North American Airport Satisfaction Study, with California’s John Wayne Airport taking the top slot for top satisfaction among the country’s 21 largest airports.

Philadelphia, meanwhile, managed to wrangle up the ranks by one spot, ranking 20th of 21.

Philadelphia International received 715 out of 1,000 points on the J.D. Power scale, which accounted for factors such as airport amenities, accessibility, security, and baggage handling. Overall, the rating for consumers at Philadelphia International was classified as “about average.”

In 2016’s report, the Philly airport only scored 688 points; this year’s new score most likely reflects an updated Terminal F, which included $35 million in renovations last October.

Nationwide, airport satisfaction has hit an all-time high, J.D. Powers reported.

“Capacity has become a huge challenge for North American airports, with many reporting 100% of available parking spots being filled and large airports, such as Orlando International, setting passenger volume records each month for more than three years straight,” said Michael Taylor, travel practice lead at J.D. Power, in a statement.

“Despite these difficulties, airports are responding with new technology and old-fashioned personal skills to win over harried travelers. These range from smartphone apps that tell travelers where to find a parking spot to therapy dogs—and in one case, a therapy pig—mingling with travelers to relieve stress and improve the overall airport experience.”

In addition to the influx of technology to help with customer overload, the report notes the growth of therapy animals, including a roaming pig in San Francisco International and 30 ponies on staff at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky Airport. Sounds like Philly will have to get some farm animals on site to make it to No. 19 next year.

And which airport did Philly outrank? It will bring some joy to those who insist Philly is better than New York: LaGuardia Airport ranked No. 21 with 654 points.