Hawaii airports receive poor scores in JD Power survey

J.D. Power’s North American airport satisfaction survey is likely to provide additional ammo for a growing contingent of Hawaii officials and hospitality and airline industry players who are pushing for improvements to the state’s airports and the creation of an airport authority to oversee the operations.

The state’s largest airport, Honolulu’s Daniel K. Inouye Airport, ranked 21st out of 24 large airports in the U.S. and Canada, with an overall satisfaction score of 736 out of 1,000. John Wayne Airport in California’s Orange County and Dallas Love Field tied for the top spot in the Large Airport category. For the country’s busiest airports, Las Vegas McCarran Airport and Orlando Airport tied for first in the Mega Airport category with a score of 781 in the satisfaction survey.

Additionally, out of 21 facilities in the Medium Airport rankings, Kahului Airport on Maui placed last, with a satisfaction score of 757. Buffalo Niagara Airport in New York topped that list with a satisfaction score of 814.

The J.D. Power survey included six factors in arriving at an airport’s satisfaction score, including terminal facilities, airport accessibility, security check, baggage claim, check-in/baggage and food, beverage and retail. The survey is based on responses from 40,183 travelers who transited through at least one domestic airport during the past three months.

Hawaii airports have a long history of sub-par performance in the J.D. Power poll. In 2015, Honolulu Airport scored 712 out of 1,000, below the average that year for large airports of 719, and ranked 23 out of 31 large airports.  Kahului Airport, meanwhile, scored a 705 in 2015, beating out just two other midsize airports, ranking 31st out of 33 in the Medium Airport rankings.

Both Hawaii Gov. David Ige and Hawaii Tourism Authority leadership have acknowledged in recent years that the state’s airports are in need of a face-lift and modernization.

Hawaii is one of only three states that does not have an independent airport authority. For two consecutive years, a bill to establish an airport authority in the Aloha State  has failed in the legislature.

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