This is the No. 1 Airport in America During Covid-19, According to 26,000 Passengers

Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport ranks the highest in passenger satisfaction in North America, according to J.D. Power. This is based on a survey with 26,058 American and Canadian passengers this year during Covid-19 in the J.D. Power 2020 North American Airport Satisfaction Study released September 23, 2020. Phoenix International Airport is the best airport to fly during Covid-19 based on guest satisfaction. 

The overall customer satisfaction score this year for North American airports is a record-high 784, up 22 points from 2019, according to J.D. Power, and has risen sharply since the onset of the Covid-19 pandemic. The leap in satisfaction is driven by significant improvements with the check-in and in the food, beverage and retail factors, all of which were amped up to a whole other level during Covid-19, when passengers were afraid to fly.

For those who did travel through airports, they found service expectations matched and/or exceeded. In the survey, passengers gave high marks for cleanliness, less crowding and lower noise levels—all of which are positively affected by record-low passenger volumes during Covid-19. 

While Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport ranks highest in passenger satisfaction among mega airports with a score of 805, Miami International Airport (801) ranks second and McCarran International Airport (797) ranks third. Readers should note that these were high trafficked airports during Covid-19, so there could be some imbalance since many other airports were not frequented as much during Covid-19. 

best airport during Covid-19

A big factor on airports ranking high is a “mall like experience” with well designed shopping mall feel rather than an airport, according to J.D. Power.

Nearly one-third (30%) of travelers say their opinion of the airport they traveled through has improved after seeing its response to the COVID-19 pandemic. More than two-thirds (68%) say their opinion has not changed and just 2% say they have a more negative view of their airport since the pandemic.

The 2020 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): terminal facilities; airport arrival/departure; baggage claim; security check; check-in/baggage check; and food, beverage and retail.

Mega airports are those with 33 million or more passengers per year; large airports with 10 to 32.9 million passengers per year; and medium airports with 4.5 to 9.9 million passengers per year.


Now in its 15th year, the study is based on 26,058 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 2019 through July 2020.

Do you think Sky Harbor is the best airport during Covid-19? Let us know in comments below.

More stories:

Travelbinger is featured in New Yorker magazine as a travel expert – take a look

A 9-step guide to travel safely during Covid-19

9 airline predictions based on aftermath of 9/11 and Great Recession (2008)

7 positive predictions for travel after coronavirus pandemic

Airlines are still flying planes with no passengers during the coronavirus pandemic. Here’s why.

Travelbinger is proud to be a publisher with Google News

Some of the links in this post are affiliate links. If you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission. Please do! I’m a one-man team for this website, so any help is sincerely appreciated.

Travelbinger is now on YouTube! Subscribe here for exclusive travel tips and advice from founder Jimmy Im.  Follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram. 

Leave a Reply