Revealed: North America's best-rated airports

Travellers' top airports

<p>Arina P Habich/Shutterstock</p>

Arina P Habich/Shutterstock

An amazing thing happened at North American airports over the past year. Despite facing a potentially debilitating combination of record high passenger volumes, an ongoing pilot shortage and countless weather delays and cancellations, overall passenger satisfaction actually increased, driven by improvements in terminal facilities; food, beverage and retail services; and baggage claim. According to the 2023 JD Power North America Airport Satisfaction Study, these are the best large and mega-sized airports across the continent.

Read on to discover North America's best airports, according to JD Power's most recent report, starting with large airports first, then moving onto mega airports...

Large airports, 20th: Ronald Reagan Washington National Airport, Washington DC, USA

<p>Ioan Florin Cnejevici/Shutterstock</p>

Ioan Florin Cnejevici/Shutterstock

The small-but-busy Ronald Reagan Washington International is a convenient city-centre airport, but doesn't fare well in the satisfaction index, with 779 points out of a 1,000. Despite its cool location – it sits right on the Potomac River bordering Washington DC and Arlington, Virginia – some customers complain of limited food and beverage options and long wait times at security.

19th: Chicago Midway International Airport, Illinois, USA



It might be Chicago's secondary airport, but Midway claims to be the 'busiest square mile' in town with its criss-crossed runways and over 22 million passengers in 2023. The airport is at the lower end of JD Power's ranking, with an overall score of 780, due to complaints from passengers saying it's outdated and that renovation works are constant.

18th: Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, Texas, USA



Austin-Bergstrom's score of 783 represents a significant fall from grace after the hub scored 819 and came in seventh place in 2021. The central Texas airport has struggled to keep up with massive population growth and the current demand for air travel, which have brought record traffic and long waiting times in recent years.


17th: Washington Dulles International Airport, Virginia, USA

<p>Steve Heap/Shutterstock</p>

Steve Heap/Shutterstock

Don't let the name fool you, as Washington Dulles isn't all that close to Washington DC. Around 27 miles (43km) from downtown, it's a fair old slog to get to the city from here, which is one of the reasons it scores five points below average in the satisfaction index, with 784 points.


Joint 15th: Vancouver International Airport, British Columbia, Canada

<p>Adam Melnyk/Shutterstock</p>

Adam Melnyk/Shutterstock

Although it's down to joint 15th from eleventh place in 2022, Vancouver didn’t even make it onto the list in 2020, so it's still seen significant long-term improvement. The Canadian hub is aesthetically pleasing thanks to a range of art installations through its two terminals, which focus on showcasing First Nations artists and drawing on British Columbia’s gorgeous landscapes.

Joint 15th: Baltimore/ Washington International Thurgood Marshall Airport, Maryland, USA



This airport serves the Baltimore/Washington DC metropolitan area and scores 787 points out of a possible 1,000. Regular travellers mention the fast, efficient service and good transport links to the airport's two namesake cities, high standards of cleanliness and great food options. Despite scoring two points below average, it's up three positions on this list since 2022.

Joint 13th: LaGuardia Airport, New York, USA

<p>Markus Mainka/Shutterstock</p>

Markus Mainka/Shutterstock

LaGuardia's recent redevelopment has resulted in a massive jump in passenger satisfaction, with the New York airport climbing from last position in 2019 to joint 13th place in 2023. Improved passenger flow, parking and terminal facilities see the airport scoring a respectable 788 points – one point less than the category average.

Joint 13th: Kansas City International Airport, Missouri, USA

<p>Jacob Boomsma/Shutterstock</p>

Jacob Boomsma/Shutterstock

Sharing the 13th spot with LaGuardia, Kansas City International Airport is a new entry on the list of the top 20 large airports. It's all thanks to its new terminal, which opened in February 2023 and replaces three separate terminals dating back to 1972. Passengers appreciate the bright, modern design, the ease of going through check-in and security, parking improvements and drop-off points for ride shares and buses.

12th: Portland International Airport, Oregon, USA

<p>Alexander Oganezov/Shutterstock</p>

Alexander Oganezov/Shutterstock

Oregon's biggest airport, Portland International comes in twelfth, so it has much work to do to regain its former glory after winning the category in 2019. Reviewers mention easy parking, good food, handy charging stations, punctual flights and even spectacular sunset views, although recently some customers have been dissatisfied with the airport staff.


11th: Nashville International Airport, Tennessee, USA



As you'd expect from an airport serving Music City, Nashville International's passengers give it good reviews for its live music throughout and great food and bars. It has performed respectably this year, coming in eleventh place, with a score of 10 points above the category average of 789.

10th: Calgary International Airport, Alberta, Canada

<p>Ronnie Chua/Shutterstock</p>

Ronnie Chua/Shutterstock

Alberta’s stunning national parks, including Banff and Jasper, are within relatively easy reach of Calgary International, which saw more than 18.5 million passengers in 2023. Up from 17th place in 2022, its current customer satisfaction ranking is 801, no doubt helped by improvements to parking and the addition of Lyft ride-sharing services. Its west runway is currently undergoing a CA$201 million (£115m/US$146m) rehabilitation project.

9th: San Antonio International Airport, Texas, USA

<p>Thomas Duesing/Flickr/CC BY-2.0</p>

Thomas Duesing/Flickr/CC BY-2.0

Just eight miles (13km) from walkable downtown San Antonio, this international airport is one of the few that seems to have held onto its progress in the customer satisfaction stakes despite overall trends. With 802 points, the Texan airport scores 13 points above its category's average of 789.

8th: Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport, Louisiana, USA



In November 2019, New Orleans Airport debuted its new £978 million ($1.3bn) terminal: a modern, airy building which took design inspiration from the shape of the Mississippi River. Incorporating 35 new gates serving 16 airlines, the expansion saw the airport shoot up in the rankings, from 21st place in 2019 to joint fourth in 2022. It comes in eighth in the most recent survey.

Joint 6th: William P. Hobby Airport, Texas, USA

<p>Ken Lund/Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0</p>

Ken Lund/Flickr/CC BY-SA 2.0

Houston's second largest airport, William P. Hobby Airport has quickly risen up the rankings since coming in 17th place in 2021, and joint seventh in 2022. In 2023 it scored 806 points to come joint sixth. Its first terminal, built in 1940 in the Art Deco style, is now a museum, while its newer terminals have been praised for their efficient service and cleanliness.

Joint 6th: Sacramento International Airport, California, USA

<p>Matthew Corley/Shutterstock</p>

Matthew Corley/Shutterstock

Sacramento International serves California's state capital and destinations such as Yosemite National Park and the Napa Valley wine region. Described as an 'easy-in, easy-out' airport, it comes in joint sixth place, which is up four places compared to last year. Travellers rate it highly for ease of access to parking and its well-organised, efficient service.

5th: Raleigh-Durham International Airport, North Carolina, USA



Raleigh-Durham Airport in North Carolina serves the growing area that consists of Raleigh, Durham and the so-called Research Triangle. After coming in third place in 2021, it slipped back to joint fourth in 2022, and down to fifth position in the most recent survey, but remains one of the top large airports for customer satisfaction. Notable features are clean, spacious waiting areas with lots of natural light and friendly staff.

4th: Dallas Love Field, Texas, USA



Dallas Love Field was the city's main airport until 1974 when Dallas/Fort Worth was built, and is the home of Southwest Airlines. Regular travellers love this smaller and less hectic alternative for ease of access and friendly staff. It has ranked in the top five for the last four consecutive years and scores a high 820 points overall.

3rd: Salt Lake City International Airport, Utah, USA



Close to the city it serves, Salt Lake City International Airport comes in third place, up from sixth place last year. In September 2020, it opened the first part of its £3 billion ($4.1bn) renovation project: a concourse which includes extensive parking, high-tech security gates and modern waiting areas. Finishing in 2024, these improvements helped the airport score a very respectable 825 points.

2nd: John Wayne Airport, California, USA

<p>F Armstrong Photography/Shutterstock</p>

F Armstrong Photography/Shutterstock

Serving more than 40 non-stop destinations throughout North America, John Wayne Airport is an ideal choice for those travelling to and from Orange County. Its Thomas F. Riley Terminals A and B, which were upgraded with a major improvement project in 2018, include 20 commercial gates across more than 730,000 square feet (67,800sq m). The popular hub comes in second place for the category with a score of 829.

Large airports winner: Tampa International Airport, Florida, USA



Holding onto the top spot in the large airports category, Tampa just clinched the win with 832 points, three points above the runner-up. TPA has a modern, efficient design in which one landside terminal smooths the flow of passengers to four airside terminals, using an elevated people-mover rail system. The airport is soon to get bigger, with a £733 million ($790m) terminal on the way, which is expected to be completed in 2027.

Now discover which mega airports made the top 20 list...

Mega airports, 20th: Newark Liberty International Airport, New York, USA



Newark Liberty International has never scored highly. This is New York's oldest major airport, with ageing buildings, frequent delays (due partly to its odd runway configuration) and an unreliable shuttle between terminals. This year it comes in 20th place again, with a poor score of 732, which is 40 points below the average for the category.

19th: Toronto Pearson International Airport, Ontario, Canada

<p>Nadezda Murmakova/Shutterstock</p>

Nadezda Murmakova/Shutterstock

The busiest airport in Canada, Toronto Pearson International is growing every year. Although some facilities have been modernised, travellers complain of long waits for luggage, poor signage and repeated security checks between terminals. Its rank has slipped again this year, down three places with a score of 749 out of 1,000.

18th: Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, Washington, USA



Seattle-Tacoma International (Sea-Tac for short) sits between the cities of Seattle and Tacoma in Washington State. Considered one of the fastest-growing airports in the US, it scored a lowly 754 points, which is down 10 points and six places from last year. Frustrated traveller reviews mentioned limited food options and long walks to gates.

Joint 16th: Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, Florida, USA

<p>Nejron Photo/Shutterstock</p>

Nejron Photo/Shutterstock

If you're flying to the Caribbean, it's likely you'll do it from Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International in Florida. From here, you can get to the likes of Barbados, Jamaica and the Bahamas. But while its destinations are all sunshine, sand and sea, there's less to smile about in the airport itself. With 762 points, it's well below the average satisfaction rating for this category.

Joint 16th: Boston Logan International Airport, Massachusetts, USA



It seems that ongoing, long-term construction projects at Boston Logan Airport can result in passenger delays and confusion, which may explain its below-average score of 762. Some reviewers are positive about the airport's new facilities – just leave yourself enough time to enjoy them.

15th: O'Hare International Airport, Illinois, USA



Located in the Chicago area, O'Hare International Airport serves the Midwest and many other destinations around the world. Scoring pretty low for passenger satisfaction with 763 out of 1,000 points, this airport boasted groundbreaking design when it was first built, but now needs modernisation.

14th: Los Angeles International Airport, California, USA

<p>Phillip B. Espinasse/Shutterstock</p>

Phillip B. Espinasse/Shutterstock

Los Angeles International Airport, or LAX for short, scores just 765 due to long wait times and difficulties in moving between its nine terminals. Hopefully this will be eased when the new LAX train system, the Automated People Mover, is finished, although this over-budget project, which was slated to open in 2023, is still under construction.

13th: Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport, Arizona, USA



After winning the category in 2020, coming fifth in 2021, and eleventh in 2022, Phoenix Sky Harbor has fallen even further from grace this year with a below average score of 769. It's one of the largest commercial airports in the USA, situated three miles (5km) from downtown Phoenix, and it serves as both a military and a civilian airport.

12th: Charlotte Douglas International Airport, North Carolina, USA



With a score of 772, Charlotte Douglas International is a busy airport and a major gateway to the Caribbean. Travellers like the well-organised, comfortable terminals as well as the rocking chairs, but some areas require improvement, such as the sluggish baggage delivery times.


11th: John F. Kennedy International Airport, New York, USA



The busiest of New York's international airports, and one of the busiest in the USA, JFK serves more than 70 different airlines, with around 15 million passengers each year. Its popularity has slipped significantly since last year, however, coming in eleventh, down from joint-third in 2022 and second place in 2021.

10th: George Bush Intercontinental Airport, Texas, USA

<p>Linda White Wolf/Shutterstock</p>

Linda White Wolf/Shutterstock

George Bush Intercontinental Airport, so named because it flies to all six of the world's inhabited continents, is located in Houston, Texas. With 776 points, it scores four points above the survey's average. Passengers praise its Skyway and Subway transportation systems, which help ease the movement of people between terminals, and the airport hotel.

Joint 7th: Orlando International Airport, Florida, USA

<p>Cari Rubin Photography/Shutterstock</p>

Cari Rubin Photography/Shutterstock

Just a two-hour drive for around 60% of Florida's population, Orlando International is a well-used and much-loved airport among those travelling to and from the Sunshine State. It has been a trailblazer, as the first in the States to use automated kiosks at passport control, and has ranked number one on this list in the past. Its score of 777 puts it in joint seventh place in the latest rankings.

Joint 7th: Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, Georgia, USA

<p>ESB Professional/Shutterstock</p>

ESB Professional/Shutterstock

Officially the busiest airport in the world, Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta moved a whopping 104.7 million passengers through its 192 gates in 2023. Despite this, its efficiency means it scores five points more (777) than average for mega airports (772). It's a major hub for international flights connecting to regional destinations across the US.

Joint 7th: Denver International Airport, Colorado, USA

<p>Arina P Habich/Shutterstock</p>

Arina P Habich/Shutterstock

Denver International is a well-loved hub that's climbed seven positions since last year, finishing joint seventh place. Whether they're en route to other destinations or stopping here for city breaks and skiing, travellers find this airport above average, giving it a score of 777 in the ranking.


6th: San Francisco International Airport, California, USA



The largest of the three main airports in the Bay Area, San Francisco International is a busy gateway to Europe and Asia. The transit hub has dropped four places in the rankings since last year with a great score of 781.


Joint 4th: Miami International Airport, Florida, USA



Miami International is south Florida's main airport and one of the busiest for international passengers, with a large proportion of flights to Latin America and the Caribbean. It's improved its customer satisfaction recently, jumping seven places in the 2020 rankings and winning the category in 2021. In 2022 it slid down to ninth, but it comes in joint fourth in the most recent survey with 783 points.

Joint 4th: Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, Texas, USA



The main airport serving both Dallas and Fort Worth, this hub comes joint fourth, up four places from last year. Dallas/Fort Worth International serves 67 non-stop international destinations and hosts numerous international airlines. Its score of 783 cements its status as one of North America's best-performing airports.


3rd: Harry Reid International Airport, Nevada, USA

<p>Kit Leong/Shutterstock</p>

Kit Leong/Shutterstock

Located in Paradise, Nevada, around five miles (8km) south of downtown Las Vegas, Harry Reid is perfect for those flying into Sin City. It provides a fitting welcome too, with a range of slot machines located around the terminal. The airport has been praised for its clean and modern buildings, as well as its helpful staff, receiving an overall score of 787, and up two places from last year.

2nd: Minneapolis-Saint Paul International Airport, Minnesota, USA

<p>Jeffrey J Coleman/Shutterstock</p>

Jeffrey J Coleman/Shutterstock

Minneapolis-St Paul International has been in the top 10 for the last four years: it came second in 2019, ninth in 2020, third in 2021, and first in 2022. In 2023 it was pipped at the post, despite its impressive score of 796. Serving the Twin Cities area of Minnesota, this airport has clean, well-organised terminals that aid the movement of passengers.

Mega airports winner: Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport, Michigan, USA

<p>Thomas Barrat/Shutterstock</p>

Thomas Barrat/Shutterstock

Coming in joint-third in 2022, Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport is this year's winner with 800 points. It's Detroit's modern, well-planned terminals that see it top the customer satisfaction charts. While kids love the musical light tunnel that connects the concourses, adults enjoy the excellent shopping and restaurants.

Now discover the best airport in every US state