The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey announced that the region’s major airports – John F. Kennedy, LaGuardia, and Newark Liberty — cumulatively achieved their highest scores yet in the Airport Service Quality (ASQ) survey, which is conducted by Airports Council International and serves as an important industry benchmark for customer satisfaction.
The cumulative rating of 4.05 out of a possible 5 represents the first time that the overall cumulative score of the Port Authority’s three major airports exceeded 4.0, a significant improvement from past surveys. Each of the three airports improved their scores in the 2021 ASQ survey. The higher ASQ results, the first published since 2019 because of the pandemic, reflect a sustained emphasis on improving the customer experience and coincides with the agency’s major investments to transform the airports.
ASQ scores incorporate all aspects of the passenger journey, end to end. They include responses and ratings of the key customer areas of concern, including airport cleanliness, airport condition, staff courtesy, technology upgrades and access, quality of concessions, security, and other amenities. For more on ACI’s ASQ program, click: https://aci.aero/programs-and-services/asq.
“The residents of New York and New Jersey, as well as the millions of annual visitors to our region, deserve world-class airports,” said Port Authority Chairman Kevin O’Toole. “That’s why we are investing $30 billion to modernize and enhance LaGuardia, Newark Liberty and JFK and give travelers the amenities they expect and the passenger experience they demand. These improved scores speak to the progress we have made, but we are just getting started.”
“Customer satisfaction surveys at our airports used to put them at the bottom of the barrel, and we made it a top priority to dramatically change that,” said Port Authority Executive Director Rick Cotton. “These highest-ever ASQ scores are a step in the right direction and come from a relentless focus on enhancing all aspects of the customer experience – from new and cleaner bathroooms to free, high-speed WiF and improved signage and access to ground transportation – as well as our unprecedented capital plan to build new world-class facilities at all of our airports.”
The largest individual improvement was at LaGuardia Airport, which achieved an ASQ score of 4.17 out of 5 in 2021, a 14-percent increase over its 2019 score of 3.66. At John F. Kennedy International, the 2021 score of 4.06 represented a 4-percent increase over 2019. Newark Liberty International saw a 5-percent customer satisfaction improvement over 2019, with a 2021 ASQ score of 3.91.
The record-setting cumulative scores come as the Port Authority is in the midst of unprecedented investment at its airports.
LaGuardia’s $8 billion total rebuild of all facilities, with the exception of the landmarked Marine Air Terminal, continues to achieve major milestones. The airport’s new Terminal B, with contruction completed in January, was awarded UNESCO’s Prix Versailles as best new airport in the world for 2021. The arrivals and departures hall for the new Delta Air Lines’ Terminal C at LaGuardia is scheduled to open this spring.
Newark Liberty is completing a new $2.7 billion Terminal A, replacing the outmoded, nearly 50-year-old existing Terminal A with a one-million-square-foot terminal including 33 new gates scheduled to open later this year. It represents the agency’s largest ever investment in the state of New Jersey. A new AirTrain is also coming to Newark Liberty to replace the current AirTrain, which has outlived its useful life. The new service is expected to start in 2026.
The transformation of JFK into a unified world-class gateway has also taken major steps forward through four separate terminal projects.
In December, New York Governor Kathy Hochul joined Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian and Port Authority leadershp to break ground on the expansion of JFK’s Terminal 4. Also in December, Gov. Hochul and the Port Authority reached agreement with a consortium of developers to build a new Terminal 1.
Last August, the Port Authority Board approved plans a new Terminal 6 on the airport’s north side that will connect with JetBlue’s existing T5. In December 2019, work began on the $425 million expansion of JFK’s Terminal 8, led by American Airlines — which operates the terminal — and British Airways, which will be relocating to Terminal 8 from Terminal 7, set to be demolished to make way for the new Terminal 6.