Passengers are always the primary focus at Pittsburgh International Airport, and a consistent effort to improve their experience is garnering national attention.
PIT ranked second among medium-sized airports in the 2022 J.D. Power North American Airport Satisfaction Study, released Wednesday. The study defines medium-sized airports as serving 4.5 million to 9.9 million passengers annually; 18 airports meet those parameters.
Pittsburgh’s second-place finish is its highest in the study since at least 2010; Indianapolis International Airport ranked first, just three points ahead of PIT on a 1,000-point scale.
“Passengers are at the heart of everything we do, and it’s such an honor to be recognized for the service we provide our customers,” said Samantha Stedford, Director of Customer Experience for PIT.
J.D. Power conducted the survey from August 2021 through July 2022 via 26,529 completed surveys from U.S. or Canadian residents who traveled through at least one U.S. or Canadian airport.
The study measured overall traveler satisfaction in six areas: terminal facilities; airport arrival/departure; baggage claim; security check; check-in/baggage check; and food, beverage and retail.
According to the study, overall satisfaction is down 25 points this year as the aviation industry continues to rebound from the COVID-19 pandemic.
“The combination of pent-up demand for air travel, the nationwide labor shortage and steadily rising prices on everything from jet fuel to a bottle of water have created a scenario in which airports are extremely crowded and passengers are increasingly frustrated—and it is likely to continue through 2023,” said Michael Taylor, travel intelligence lead at J.D. Power.
At PIT, evaluating and improving the passenger experience is a constant process that involves every department, as well as the airport’s airline, business and government partners, Stedford said.
“Everyone in the airport community goes out of their way to take care of our passengers, especially our front-line team members,” she said. “This recognition validates all of our efforts to support our guests.”
The study’s results arrive as the airport is coming to the one-year anniversary of the groundbreaking for its state-of-the-art Terminal Modernization Program.
The $1.4 billion project promises to upgrade all of the service areas measured by the study and provide a better experience overall, offering a more efficient passenger journey with more amenities.