Reaching new heights

Austin airport flies higher in annual traveler satisfaction study

Austin airport flies higher in annual traveler satisfaction study

Austin-Bergstrom International Airport ABIA
Traveler satisfaction in ABIA is soaring. Photo courtesy of Austin-Bergstrom International Airport

When it comes to traveler satisfaction, Austin-Bergstrom International Airport is now in a different stratosphere.

The 2021 North American airport satisfaction study from market research giant J.D. Power puts the Austin airport in seventh place among large airports. That’s a notch up from last year, when ABIA landed at No. 8 on the list.

In the 2021 study, the Austin airport earned a score of 819 on a 1,000-point scale, a few steps above the average score of 805 among the 20 large airports. Last year, the airport garnered a score of 804.

Though COVID-19 has put a kink in normal airline travel, passenger traffic at ABIA has been on the rise of late, with the Austin airport reporting a massive 279.6 percent increase in July 2021 passenger traffic compared with June 2020, when far fewer people were flying.  

Meanwhile, down the road in the Alamo City, the San Antonio International Airport, which appeared in a higher tier this year — large airports, instead of its previous midsize categorization — moved up from being ranked 11th in the lower tier to landing at No. 9 among large airports and earning a score of 813. Last year, the airport garnered a score of 811.

Here’s how the other large airports in Texas fared:

  • Dallas Love Field, No. 4, with a score of 829. That score makes it the top-rated Texas airport in the study. In 2020, Love Field ranked first among all of the large airports, earning a score of 844.
  • William P. Hobby Airport in Houston, No. 17, with a score of 794. In 2020, Hobby ranked fourth, with a score of 823.

Attaining a score of 844, Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport landed in first place among large airports this year. Large airports handle 10 million to 32.9 million passengers a year.

Miami International Airport, with a score of 828, grabbed the No. 1 spot among mega airports. This year’s average score for the 20 mega airports was 798. Mega airports welcome at least 33 million passengers a year.

Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport earned the No. 7 spot in the mega-airport category, with a score of 805. Last year, Texas’ busiest airport claimed sixth place, with a score of 791.

Houston’s George Bush Intercontinental Airport secured the No. 8 spot in this year’s mega-airport category, with a score of 801. That’s up from 13th place in 2020, when it received a score of 775.

The J.D. Power study measures traveler satisfaction in six categories:

  • Travel facilities.
  • Airport accessibility.
  • Baggage claim.
  • Security check.
  • Check-in and baggage check.
  • Food, beverage, and retail.