Toronto Pearson International Airport ranks among the five worst airports in North America when it comes to overall passenger satisfaction.
According to JD Power’s annual customer satisfaction survey, Canada’s busiest airport ranks 16th out of 20 mega airports, with 755 out of 1,000.
The score is determined by examining six factors – terminal facilities, airport arrivals and departures, baggage claim, security screening, and baggage check-in, as well as food and beverage and retail space.
“The biggest problem they’ve had this year has been the massive influx of passengers,” Michael Taylor, managing director of travel, hospitality and retail at J.D. Power, told CTV News Toronto from Pearson Airport.
“Congestion, long queues, lack of services, which is normal in every airport, but then add more people, it becomes a real problem.”
Throughout the summer, customers flying through Toronto Pearson Airport have complained of long lines, lost baggage, and flight delays. Taylor said that while Pearson isn’t the best airport overall, it’s already experiencing a significant increase in passenger volume.
“This had the biggest impact.”
However, Taylor argued that most airports are struggling with an increase in passengers.
“We saw the peak of satisfaction in the airport industry happened at the height of COVID, because there’s no one at the stations. You can park near. There were no lines. It took five minutes to get to the plane for everyone.” That’s kind of the perfect experience, except it’s a terrible business model to airlines and airports.
“As people come back and travel, and the increase is greater than anyone ever expected, the satisfaction goes down, and that’s totally to be expected.”
Minneapolis St. Paul International Airport, San Francisco International Airport, Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport and New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport were among the top four “huge airports,” according to a survey of more than 26,500 people.
The study also found that while passenger volume has risen to about 91 percent of pre-pandemic levels, overall satisfaction with air travel has declined.
The study found that overall customer satisfaction with North American airports fell by 25 points this year, with about 58 percent of survey respondents saying airport buildings were “severe or moderately crowded.”
Nearly a quarter of travelers said food and drinks were expensive, while about 14 percent said parking cost more than expected.
The Greater Toronto Airports Authority (GTAA), the organization that oversees operations at Toronto Pearson International Airport, has been easing the headache of travel for months. In early August, they said the airport had seen “measurable” operational improvements, particularly in security wait times, flight delays and cancellations, as well as baggage delivery.
The JD Power 2022 North American Airport Satisfaction Study was conducted between August 2021 and July 2022. Participants were residents of the United States or Canada who had traveled through at least one airport and covered departure and arrival experiences, including communications.