Detroit Metro Airport ranked 9th best in nation

Tom Greenwood
The Detroit News

A study released Wednesday by J.D. Power has ranked Detroit Metropolitan Airport as ninth best in terms of overall traveler satisfaction.

Now in its 10th year, the North America Airport Satisfaction Study rates large and medium-sized airports on six factors, including: terminal facilities; airport accessibility; security check; baggage claim; check-in/baggage check; and terminal shopping.

Findings were based on responses from 21,009 North American travelers from July through October 2015.

The 2015 study showed overall traveler satisfaction averages 725 points (on a 1,000 scale), up from a 690 average in 2010, which is the last time the survey was conducted.

The overall satisfaction level with large airports was 719, up from 665 in 2010. For medium-sized airports the average was 752 points, a 69 point increase since 2010.

Portland International Airport was ranked highest in satisfaction amongst large airports with a score of 791. Tampa International came in second at 776 points and Las Vegas’ McCarran International Airport ranked third at 759.

For medium airports, Dallas Love Field and Southwest Florida International ranked highest with a tie score of 792 point. Indianapolis International and Raleigh-Durham International tied for third with 789 points.

Detroit Metropolitan Airport was rated ninth highest with a score of 738.

Starting in 2013, Detroit Metro completely transformed its retail program to include local concepts such as Running Fit and Mills Pharmacy, along with recognized brand such as Desigual, The Body Shop, PANDORA, and Estee Lauder Beauty Boutique and Dylan’s Candy.

In 2014, the airport initiated new dining options with the addition of Zingerman’s Deli, PF Chang’s to go plus favorites like Max and Erma’s, Chick-Fil-A, the Earl of Sandwich and National Coney Island.

The airport also began offering complimentary Wi-Fi service.

“Most airports have really made a tremendous shift over the past six years and are now focused on managing the end-to-end experience for their travelers,” said Rick Garlick, global travel and hospitality practice lead at J.D. Power in a press release.

“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.”

Terminal facilities — which covers everything from restaurants and retail operations to restrooms and seating near gates —have the greatest impact on overall airport satisfaction according to the study.

“Airports that have responded to this demand by offering a variety of food, beverage, merchandise, and other attractive services and amenities are realizing significant gains in overall customer satisfaction,” said Jeff Conklin, vice president of the utility and infrastructure practice at J.D. Power in a press release.

For more information about the travel study, visit

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