News and notes from Hartsfield-Jackson, the world's busiest airport

Hartsfield-Jackson ranks 8th in JD Power airport satisfaction study

Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport ranks 8th among large airports in a J.D. Power airport satisfaction study, which looks at everything from security to terminal facilities to baggage handling.

The study released Wednesday put Portland International Airport in the No. 1 spot among large airports. Portland is not an airline hub, but has received praise for its concessions and other amenities. In the No. 2 and No. 3 spots are Tampa International Airport and Las Vegas McCarran International Airport.

J.D. Power also said overall traveler satisfaction with large and medium-sized airports has improved since 2010, the last time it conducted such a study.

"Most airports have really made a tremendous shift over the past six years," said J.D. Power global travel and hospitality lead Rick Garlick. "It's no longer just about getting travelers from Point A to Point B as efficiently as possible; it's about making the airport experience enjoyable."

Improving food options, shopping and amenities helps, according to J.D. Power.

But, security waits can make or break airport satisfaction. Hartsfield-Jackson has been plagued by long security lines during peak periods recently, and the J.D. Power study showed satisfaction declines significantly when the security wait time is longer than 10 minutes.

The study also showed that satisfaction with airport accessibility is highest among travelers who use ride-share services. Hartsfield-Jackson does not allow pickups by Uber or Lyft, and has been working for months on developing a policy to allow the operations.

The J.D. Power study is based on responses from 21,009 North American travelers.

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About the Author

Business reporter Kelly Yamanouchi covers airlines and the airport.