North American airports ranked by passengers

North American airports ranked by passengers: LaGuardia comes bottom, with John Wayne, Buffalo Niagara and Indianapolis rated as the top three

  • North America Airport Satisfaction Study ranked mega, large and medium hubs
  • Airports were measured against factors including check-in and baggage reclaim
  • Over 40,000 passengers who used the airports in 2017 were polled for research

North America’s airports have been ranked by passengers – and it’s New York’s LaGuardia that’s the worst, with Newark Liberty and LAX also faring badly.

The top three airports are John Wayne Airport Orange County, Buffalo Niagara and Indianapolis.

The hubs were rated the best in a survey that measures performance across five factors including check-in, food, beverages and retail, accessibility, terminal facilities and baggage reclaim. 

John Wayne Airport, Orange County in California, which has been ranked as the best in North America 

John Wayne Airport, Orange County in California, which has been ranked as the best in North America 

The worst rated airport in the research is New York's LaGuardia airport, pictured 

The worst rated airport in the research is New York’s LaGuardia airport, pictured 

The North America Airport Satisfaction Study by J.D. Power is now in its 13th year and polled over 40,000 passengers on flights between September 2017 and September 2018.

The study produced three rankings for ‘mega’, ‘large’ and ‘medium’ airports.

John Wayne Orange County is in the ‘large’ category but came top overall because it has the highest points score of any airport in any category. 

Buffalo Niagara and Indianapolis came second and third in the medium category but the only airport to beat their scores in any category was John Wayne Orange County. 

No airport in any category had a score as low as LaGuardia’s, here rated as a ‘large’ airport.

In the mega airport category Las Vegas McCarran International and Orlando International were voted the best, scoring 781 points out of 1,000.

Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (775) ranks third and Denver International Airport (771) ranks fourth.

Rounding off the top five is Dallas Fort Worth International with 770 points.

A table showing the passenger rankings of the mega airports in North America, with Las Vegas McCarran International and Orlando International top 

A table showing the passenger rankings of the mega airports in North America, with Las Vegas McCarran International and Orlando International top 

The large airport ranking saw John Wayne Airport, Orange County top the rankings. It also had the highest score overall 

The large airport ranking saw John Wayne Airport, Orange County top the rankings. It also had the highest score overall 

The worst rated mega hub is Newark Liberty on 701 points, while Los Angeles International and Chicago O’Hare received 735 points each.

In the large airport list John Wayne Airport Orange County at the top scored 815, with Dallas Love Field (810) ranking second and Portland International Airport (804) coming third.

Also making the top five best large airports are Nashville International (802) and Tampa International (799).

As well as LaGuardia, Kansas City International (733) and Philadelphia International (736) also fared badly.

In the medium airports category, Buffalo International (814) and Indianapolis International (811) were followed by Southwest Florida International (810) in third place.

Also highly rated are Sacramento International (805) in fourth place and Cincinatti/Northern Kentucky International (805) in fifth.

Buffalo Niagara Airport in New York fared well in the research coming second in the overall ranking and rated the best medium airport 

Buffalo Niagara Airport in New York fared well in the research coming second in the overall ranking and rated the best medium airport 

Indianapolis Airport was ranked as the third best airport in North America and second best medium airport 

Indianapolis Airport was ranked as the third best airport in North America and second best medium airport 

In terms of medium airports, the ranking shows that Buffalo Niagara International is the most highly rated 

In terms of medium airports, the ranking shows that Buffalo Niagara International is the most highly rated 

The worst ranking medium airports are Kahului Airport (757), San Jose International (767) and Cleveland Hopkins International (769).

Michael Taylor, travel practice lead at J.D. Power, who carried out the research wrote: ‘North America airports have been doing a tremendous job managing passenger volume, adding amenities, and keeping travellers moving despite some noteworthy challenges, but they will be put to the true test over the next few years.

‘Several multi-billion-dollar airport construction projects – such as those in Boston, Los Angeles and Chicago – are reaching phases in which passenger disruption and increased traffic will be incredibly hard to avoid.

‘How well these rapidly expanding airports manage throughout these infrastructure projects will provide valuable insight into what’s in store on a nationwide basis.’

MailOnline Travel has tried to contact LaGuardia Airport for comment.  

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