Nov 17, 2023 - News

Why the Indianapolis' airport is "good, not great"

Indianapolis ranks high for in-airport amenities, but middle of the pack for flight time reliability. Photo: Luke Sharrett/Bloomberg via Getty Images

Indianapolis' airport is "good, not great," per a Wall Street Journal analysis.

Why it matters: We're used to hearing Indianapolis has the best airport — No. 1 for 11 years running, per one industry group — but this comprehensive ranking points to some weaknesses.

What they found: WSJ ranks Indianapolis International Airport at No. 4 in the U.S. for mid-size airports.

  • IND gets near-perfect ratings for car rentals, on-site parking, restaurants, shopping, gate seats, water filling stations, bathrooms, lounges and baggage claim.

Yes, but: The whole point of an airport is to get in and out — and that's where travelers can run into problems.

  • The Indianapolis airport is closer to the middle of the pack for nonstop destinations (26), on-time arrivals (76%), average departure delays (72 minutes), flight cancellations (2%), average taxi-out time (15 minutes) and taxi-in time (seven minutes).

Separately, one-third of the flights out of Indianapolis were either delayed or canceled during last year's holiday travel season, making it one of the riskier airports for people with time-sensitive holiday plans, gambling publication found in an analysis of departure statistics.

  • That's especially notable as we head into one of the year's most stressful travel periods.

Reality check: Some of IND's middling ratings can be attributed to the airlines — consider Southwest Airlines' epic meltdown last year — and inevitable Midwest weather patterns.

What they're saying: "Reliability matters most to passengers and carries the most weight in our rankings," WSJ writes.

The bottom line: IND excels at the factors it controls the most — passengers' experience inside the airport — but gets dragged down by flight delays.


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