August 2021 through July 2022August 2021 through July 2022

The Windsor Locks-based airport was one of nine in the category to score below average. Only three other airports scored lower than Bradley in the study examining traveler attitudes: Cleveland’s Hopkins International, Hawaii’s Kahului Airport and Southern California’s Hollywood Airport.

Indianapolis International Airport in Indiana ranked highest among medium-sized airports in North America.

“The combination of pent-up demand for air travel, a nationwide labor shortage and ever-rising prices for everything from jet fuel to bottled water has created a scenario where airports are extremely congested and passengers are increasingly frustrated — and likely are continue through 2023,” said Michael Taylor, travel intelligence lead at JD Power, in a press release.

A spokesman for the Connecticut Airport Authority said in a statement, “Given the tremendous transformation of Bradley International Airport in recent years, we are surprised at the placement of JD Power.” The authority operates Bradley International.

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“Indeed, the travel experience we provide has been recognized by leading national travel publications, which have repeatedly ranked the airport among the top ten airports in the United States,” said Alisa Sisic, spokeswoman for the CAA.

Sisic also questioned the survey methodology.

“J,D,Power surveyed approximately 200 people for this survey while our traffic was 5.6 million passengers during the survey period,” she said.

Bradley International fares significantly better in other national airport studies, being ranked the eighth best airport in the United States by Conde Nast Traveler magazine in 2020.

Among airports frequently used by Connecticut travelers, New York City’s Kennedy International Airport ranked third in the mega airport category with Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport. LaGuardia Airport finished with the fourth-worst score in the large airport category, with only Kansas City International, Hawaii’s Honolulu International and Philadelphia International scoring lower.

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“In a way, this is a return to normal, as larger crowds at airports tend to confuse travelers even more,” Taylor said. “But in cases where car parks are congested, gates are standing room only and restaurants and bars aren’t even open to provide a respite, it’s clear that increased capacity at airports can’t come soon enough.”

The study asked respondents to rate airports in six categories, starting with terminal facilities as the most important, followed by airport arrivals/departures; arrival/departure at the airport; baggage claim; security check; Check-in/baggage inspection and food, beverage and retail. It was conducted between August 2021 and July 2022.

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The study is based on 26,529 completed surveys from US and Canadian travelers who have traveled through at least one US or Canadian airport. It includes both departure and arrival experiences as well as experiences that travelers had at connecting airports.

The study defines mega airports as 33 million or more passengers per year. The large category was for airports with 10 to 32.9 million passengers per year and the medium category for airports with 4.5 to 9.9 million passengers per year.

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