Sep 25, 2020 - Economy

Coronavirus has made airports happier places with less congestion

airport gate with travelers wearing masks

Passengers relax at California's Long Beach Airport. Photo: Brittany Murray/MediaNews Group/Long Beach Press-Telegram via Getty Images

One upside of the global pandemic is that airports are a lot more pleasant these days.

The big picture: A year ago, overcrowding and construction led to delays and confusion for travelers at many major airports.

  • Today, airports are comparatively empty, leading to a sharp increase in traveler satisfaction as passengers breeze through security checkpoints, baggage claims and food and retail services, according to a new study.

Details: Overall customer satisfaction was a record-high 784 (on a scale of 1,000), up 22 points from 2019 in J.D. Power's annual airport satisfaction study.

  • The check-in process, food and retail shops saw significant improvements, while passengers also gave airports high marks for cleanliness, less crowding and lower noise levels.

What they're saying: “Compared to the pre-COVID-19 environment when most airports were running significantly over capacity, the lack of crowds and long lines is actually creating a very convenient experience for travelers right now." said Michael Taylor, travel intelligence lead at J.D. Power.

The highest-ranking major airports were Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, Miami International Airport and McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas.

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