A new study measuring satisfaction with airports across North America found travellers are quite unsatisfied with many in Canada.
The report, conducted by J.D. Power, divides North American airports into three categories by size – mega, large and medium. Then, travellers rate the airports based on six factors: terminal facilities, airport accessibility, baggage claim, security check, check-in/baggage check, and dining and retail options.
In the mega category, Toronto Pearson International Airport ranked relatively low, 14th out of 19, with a score of 745 out of 1,000 points.
In the large category, Vancouver’s airport was ranked the highest out of all Canadian airports. It came in 6th out of 28, with a score of 801 out of 1,000 points.
Here is a breakdown of how other Canadian airports did in the study:
Also in the large category, Montreal-Pierre Elliott Trudeau International Airport ranked 20th out of 28, with a score of 750 out of 1,000 points.
Calgary International Airport faired better than Montreal’s airport, ranking 17 out of 28, with a score of 765 out of 1,000 points in the large category.
In the medium category, Ottawa’s international airport is ranked 12th out of 17, with a score of 780 out of 1,000 points.
Edmonton International Airport is 13th out of 17, with a score of 779 out of 1,000 points in the medium category.
Why do some airports rank better than others?
The higher-ranked mega airports, such as Detroit Metropolitan and Minneapolis-Saint Paul in the U.S., have newer facilities that accommodate a high volume of travellers, and more food and beverage offerings.
Some airports ranked low due to construction causing delays, which affects a passenger’s entire travel experience.
“There are big construction projects happening in major cities,” Mike Taylor, travel intelligence lead at J.D. Power said in a statement. “While necessary, they are causing delays, and this affects the entire experience – from the actual process of moving through an airport to how travellers spend their money.”
You don’t have to search hard on Twitter to find people complaining about their experiences travelling through Canadian airports.
Meghan Patrick, a Canadian country singer, said Toronto has the “WORST airport” she’s ever been to.
Dear @TorontoPearson ... I spend more of my life in airports than anywhere else. You are by far, without question, the WORST airport I’ve ever been in. Your customs line is always outrageously long. Every other airport seems to have it figured out, what’s your problem?— Meghan Patrick (@MegPatrickMusic) September 23, 2019
Hey @TorontoPearson, you’re the busiest airport in the country. How about you help those of us who want to reduce the use of plastic by installing refillable water bottle stations? Most other airports in Canada have them. These trickling water fountains just don’t cut it! #reduce pic.twitter.com/aqpQKiOO64— Tara Slone (@TaraSlone) September 22, 2019
Thank you Zurich airport for not being Montreal Airport and showing that disembarking from the plane, passport & customs can be all done in 10 mins, rather than 3hrs.— Saint Michael's Soul (@SaintMichaelsSo) September 23, 2019
Don't use Montreal unless your life depends on it.
Every time I have to go to the Ottawa airport, I think “this is it, this is the one time I won’t get there 2 hours early and it’ll be packed and I’ll miss my flight” and every time I’m stuck waiting for my plane for 2 hours.— Joseph Roque (@josephroquedev) September 21, 2019
The airports in the mega category accommodate 33 million or more passengers per year, large airports have 10 to 32.9 million passengers and medium airports have 4.5 to 9.9 million passengers per year.
The study, conducted between October 2018 and September 2019, is based on responses from over 32,000 Canadian and U.S. residents who flew through at least one U.S. or Canadian airport.