In what should be a surprise to no one that lives here, Hawaii airports receive low satisfaction scores in JD Powers 2019 rankings. But, as is the case with these things, take the rankings with a grain of salt.
JD Powers Airport Satisfaction study ranks airports on a 1,000-point scale. For 2019, they surveyed 32,276 U.S. and Canadian residents that traveled through at least one U.S. or Canadian airport.
To measure traveler satisfaction, six factors were taken into consideration: terminal facilities; airport accessibility; baggage claim; security check; check-in/baggage check; and food, beverage and retail. Further, airports in the study are assigned to a size category based on the number of passengers they serve. According to JD Powers, mega airports are those having 33 million or more passengers per year, large airports have 10 to 32.9 million passengers per year, and medium airports have 4.5 to 9.9 million passengers per year.
How Hawaii Did
The only two airports to appear in the 2019 airport satisfaction rankings are the Daniel K. Inouye International Airport (HNL) and Kahului International Airport (OGG). HNL falls under the large category along with airports like Salt Lake City International Airport, Portland International, and Orange County. Top-ranked Portland earned 833 points, while Honolulu got a whopping 719. That places HNL second to the last above LaGuardia, which got 662 points.
The other Hawaii airport, Kahului, fell under the medium-size category along with airports like San Antonio International Airport, Palm Beach International, and Jacksonville International. Under this category, the top-ranked airport is Indianapolis International, which earned 833 points. Kahului, on the other hand, earned 754 points. And while that’s better than HNL’s rank, it places OGG dead last on its list.
Under the mega category, in the number one spot is Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (786), followed by Minneapolis-Saint Paul (779), and McCarran International Airport (777). Other airports I’ve personally been to under the category are DFW (773), PHX (770), JFK (758), SFO (750), SEA (740), LAX (726), EWR (695).
I’m not surprised HNL ranked so low in the rankings. It is a garbage airport made worse by the constant, numerous (and long-delayed) construction projects. After all, waiting facilities are not large enough, even for smaller aircraft like Boeing 737s. The dining selection at HNL is terrible, while the baggage claim areas are deplorable. And I don’t think things are going to get better any time soon.
Maui is even worse! Just about everything about OGG is terrible. The HVAC doesn’t work well, security check points are terrible, restrooms are gross, etc.
What surprises me, though, is that Kona isn’t on this list. It’s a downright terrible airport. To call it an international airport is hilarious. I HATE flying in and out of there. But, perhaps it isn’t big enough to qualify under the medium category?
I am surprised that SEA ranked so low. I fly through SEA more than any other airport, and, generally, I’m happy with the time I spend there. It isn’t perfect, of course, but I think its better than PHX and DFW. LAS is pretty good, though it isn’t quite my vibe.
Hawaii Airports Receive Low Satisfaction Scores, Final Thoughts
While agree with some of these rankings, some don’t make a lot of sense to me. But, these things are incredibly subjective. And, as is usually the case, I don’t fully agree with JD Power rankings. This is especially true of their automotive rankings.
What do you guys think?
There are only a few gates at HNL that are decent, and those are the Southwest gates, though they lose points for just how much of a pain they are to get to.
Island Miler says
That’s probably only because those are the newest. I’m sure the upper gate at C9 is great, but that’s because it’s the ANA lounge ;)
Living in Maui (OGG) and flying to HNL, KOA, and LIH several times a year, I agree with all of this. The airports are all horrible, and can we get some A/C in Maui please? Seriously, who loves getting off a LONG flight into Maui only to walk to baggage claim and have to stand there and sweat up a storm because it’s all open air.
Island Miler says
Right? Maui used to be decent, but every time I pass through, it keeps getting worse and worse.
Kona airport sucked! There’s no power ports, not enough seating, no jet bridges so you climb stairs to the airport, restaurants, major airline lounges and Priority Pass lounges are lacking. Kona city is beautiful but the residents should be ashamed of that airport.
Island Miler says
Yup! Kona hasn’t changed since it opened, and its current modernization project won’t change that. You can transit both terminals without leaving the sterile environment, while there will be a new 6-lane security checkpoint. But, still no AC or jet bridges.
Having transited these airports for 50 years, they were great and neat in 1970 but now they are all dumps. As typical government owned facilities in Hawaii, they have done virtually nothing to maintain or modernize these terminals for the benefit of passengers. But in true “empire building”, they are building new rental car facilities at the cost of $100s of millions and at the cost of passenger convenience. Just redo the bathrooms!
The Hawaiian Tourism Industry groups should truly be embarrassed.
Island Miler says
Exactly. And even work that’s done is defective and/or behind schedule and over budget. The incompetence level is ridiculous!