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Salt Lake International scores 5th highest in satisfaction among large US airports

Officials with Salt Lake City International Airport expect their summer flight numbers to actually exceed what they did in 2019. (PHOTO: KSL NewsRadio)

SALT LAKE CITY — The first new hub airport built in the United States in the 21st century, Salt Lake City International Airport scored 5th (826 on 1,000-point scale) out of 21 large airports in overall customer satisfaction, according to a new survey released Wednesday.

Salt Lake International flying high

The number of travelers in US and Canadian airports has reached 75% of pre-pandemic levels, according to the J.D. Power 2021 North America Airport Satisfaction Study.* But a persistent labor shortage has severely limited beverage, food and retail operations in airports.

*The 2021 North America Airport Satisfaction Study measures overall traveler satisfaction with mega, large and medium North American airports by examining six factors (in order of importance):

  1. terminal facilities;
  2. airport arrival/departure;
  3. baggage claim;
  4. security check;
  5. check-in/baggage check;
  6. and food, beverage and retail.

While airport satisfaction levels remained high due to suppressed volume of passengers through July 2020 to January 2021, satisfaction levels dropped from January 2021 to July 2021 as more leisure travelers returned to airports only to find restaurants and retail shops closed because of lack of employees.

“Early in the pandemic, passengers were satisfied with any shop or restaurant being open, but they now expect full service at the airport,” said Michael Taylor, travel intelligence lead at J.D. Power.

Here are the rankings for the top mega airports:

2021 North America Airport Satisfaction Study

Here are the rankings for the top large airports:

2021 North America Airport Satisfaction Study

Airports in the medium-airports category were not award eligible this year due to reduced passenger volumes.


Now in its 16th year, the study is based on 13,225 completed surveys from U.S. or Canadian residents who traveled through at least one U.S. or Canadian airport and covers both departure and arrival experiences (including connecting airports) during the past 30 days. Travelers evaluated either a departing or arriving airport from their round-trip experience. The study was fielded from August 2020 through July 2021.

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