J.D. Power recently released their 2021 North America Airport Satisfaction StudySM, and while Chicago's O'Hare airport really takes it on the chin, at least I got to learn a new term: Mega-Airport.

J.D. Power defines a mega-airport as those with 33 million or more passengers per year; large airports with 10 to 32.9 million passengers per year; and medium airports with 4.5 to 9.9 million passengers per year.

Passengers walking through airport concourse in O'Hare, Chicago, Illinois, USA.
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Silhouette of passengers walking through airport hallway with luggage
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Let's Put O'Hare Airport's Numbers Into Perspective

In 2020, at the height of the pandemic and its related restrictions, O'Hare saw 30.9 million passengers come through its doors. 30.9 million is 63.9% less than 2019 when a record 84.6 million traveled through O'Hare. Looking at it like that, O'Hare could still be described as a mega-mega-mega airport.

I'm really more of a Fly-RFD kind of guy. I've flown out of Rockford multiple times, and have always had a good experience.

Chicago Rockford International Airport (RFD), Facebook
Chicago Rockford International Airport (RFD), Facebook
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Chicago Rockford International Airport (RFD), Facebook
Chicago Rockford International Airport (RFD), Facebook
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Out Of 20 Mega-Airports In The United States, O'Hare Ranks Dead Last With Customers

To calculate their rankings, J.D. Power looked at 6 things: terminal facilities; airport arrival and departure; baggage claim; security check; check-in and baggage check; and food, beverage and retail. They then ranked each mega-airport on a 1000-point scale. Chicago's O'Hare scored 772.

Young caucasian man at the airport waiting for his plane looking at the windoe
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As for the top airports for customer satisfaction, Miami International Airport's score of 828 out of 1000 tops JFK's score of 817, which is only 2 points better than Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport's 815. Here's the top 5 in customer satisfaction:

  • Miami International: 828
  • JFK: 817
  • Minneapolis St. Paul: 815
  • Orlando International: 812
  • Phoenix Sky Harbor: 808

And the bottom:

  • Newark Liberty: 792
  • Seattle-Tacoma: 789
  • Boston Logan: 784
  • Toronto Pearson: 780
  • Chicago O'Hare: 772

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