Toronto Pearson Airport ranked among worst in North America airport survey

Toronto Pearson International Airport is one of the lowest ranked major airports in North America when it comes to customer satisfaction, according to a new report. (NurPhoto via Getty Images)

Toronto Pearson International Airport is one of the lowest ranked major airports in North America when it comes to customer satisfaction, according to a new report.

According to the JD Power 2022 North American Airport Satisfaction study released Wednesday, Pearson International ranks 16th out of the 20 largest “mega” airports in North America. Airport scored 755 points out of a possible 1,000, below the average of 769 but slightly above Boston Logan (754), Los Angeles (753), Chicago’s O’Hare (751) and Newark Liberty of New York (719).

Topping the list of mega-airports – defined as those that serve more than 33 million passengers a year – are Minneapolis-Saint Paul (800), San Francisco (796), Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County (791) and New John F. Kennedy of York (791).

The JD Power study is based on a survey of more than 26,000 passengers from Canada and the United States traveling through North American airports. Respondents were asked about their satisfaction with terminal facilities; airport arrival and departure; baggage claim; Security; baggage check and check-in and food, beverage and retail services.

The survey was conducted between August 2021 and July 2022, a period that included the summer travel season, when many airports were in chaos amid a resurgence in travel demand which, combined with labor shortages and processing issues, has led to a wave of cancellations and delays.

“The combination of pent-up demand for air travel, nationwide labor shortages and steadily rising prices for everything from jet fuel to a bottle of water has created a scenario in which airports are extremely congested and passengers are growing increasingly frustrated – and it’s likely until 2023,” said Michael Taylor, head of travel intelligence at JD Power, in a press release.

“(It) is clear that increasing airport capacity cannot happen soon enough.”

Vancouver International scored 794 points for a ranking of 11th out of 27 major airports, defined as those serving between 10 million and 32.9 million passengers a year. Calgary International Airport ranked 17th with 780 points, below the major airport average of 784 points, while Montreal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau Airport ranked 22nd with 766 points.

In the category of medium airports, defined as those serving between 4.5 million and 9.9 million passengers per year, Ottawa Macdonald-Cartier Airport earned 806 points for a ranking of 10th out of 18, while Edmonton International scored 799 points for a ranking of 12th out of 18. The average score for medium-sized airports was 807.

The survey found overall airport satisfaction was down 25 points from 2021 as travelers grapple with fewer flights, crowded terminals and scarce food and drink offerings. More than half (58%) of travelers described the terminals as very or moderately crowded. About one in four (24 per cent) say they didn’t shop for food or drink at the airport because they were too expensive.

Alicja Siekierska is a Senior Reporter at Yahoo Finance Canada. Follow her on Twitter @alicjawithaj.

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