Nov 22, 2022 - News

How PHL stacks up against other airports

Illustration of an airplane's contrail forming a smiley face

Illustration: Annelise Capossela/Axios

Philadelphia International Airport (PHL) flies in the middle of the pack when it comes to the nation’s busiest airports.

Yes, but: Customer satisfaction is in a tailspin.

Why it matters: We’d guess that the user experience at PHL is going to be top of mind for many of you over the next month and a half.

What’s happening: The Wall Street Journal ranked the 20 busiest U.S. airports this year on 19 factors, including on-time performance, ticket prices and J.D. Power’s customer-satisfaction scores. PHL ranked 13th overall, besting Chicago’s O'Hare (14th) and Orlando (15th).

  • The best: San Francisco
  • The worst: Newark

Of note: Airline reliability carried the most weight in the ranking.

By the numbers: PHL’s on-time arrival and departure rates are 78% and 80% respectively, per the Journal.

  • Delays average 15 minutes for arrivals and 14 minutes for departures.
  • The average ticket cost for a domestic flight is $334.

Zoom in: Philly ranked almost at the bottom — 19th — on its customer satisfaction score.

What they’re saying: High rankings don’t mean the perfect flying experience, the WSJ’s Dawn Gilbertson wrote.

  • “It says a lot about the complexity of air travel that airports at the top or bottom of our rankings didn’t shine or stink in every area,” she said, noting that San Francisco had among the highest domestic ticket prices in the country.

Heather Redfern, a spokesperson for PHL, told Axios that the airport is investing in improving passengers’ experience, such as renovating bathrooms and testing new seating in certain terminals.

💭Mike’s thought bubble: I’m thankful that I’m traveling via car this Thanksgiving.

🧠 Be smart: Check out these travel tips for PHL during the busy holiday season.


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