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Ranking North America's Airports: Travelers Reveal the Best and Worst based on Check-in, Customs, and More Wait Times

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North American Airports Ranked by Passenger Wait Times: Which are the Best and Worst?

Overview of the Study

In August, Casago, a comprehensive rental property management firm, conducted a study to evaluate North American airports. The study was based on passenger reviews from airlinequality.com, which rates various aspects of airport service, including wait times for check-in, baggage drop and pickup, and customs, on a one to five-star scale. The airports were then ranked according to the percentage of positive reviews they received. Interestingly, all the top-rated airports for wait times were located in the United States, while the lowest-rated ones were scattered across different countries.

Top-Ranked Airport: Southwest Florida International

Topping the list was Southwest Florida International Airport, with 66.67% of its reviews being four to five stars. Major airlines operating from this airport include American, Delta, JetBlue, Southwest, and United. A previous report by Travel Lens had also ranked this airport as the best in the U.S. based on factors like wait times, passenger satisfaction, and Google review ratings. Despite not being the largest airport in Florida, it is the second busiest single-runway airport in the country. Covering 13,555 acres, it is the third-largest U.S. airport in terms of land area.

Second-Best Airport: Portland International

Portland International Airport in Oregon was rated the second-best airport in North America for wait times. As the largest airport in Oregon, it handles 90% of the state's passenger air travel. J.D. Power and Associates recognized it as one of the best large passenger airports in 2015, 2016, and 2019 based on overall passenger satisfaction. The airport provides various amenities to passengers, including a light rail connection to downtown, free Wi-Fi, and tax-free shopping.

Worst-Ranked Airport: Punta Cana International

On the other end of the scale, Punta Cana International Airport in the Dominican Republic was ranked as the second-worst North American airport based on wait times, with only 6.98% of its reviews being four to five stars. Despite this, it is the busiest airport in the Dominican Republic and the second busiest in the Caribbean, handling over 8.3 million passengers in 2022 and accounting for 60% of all air arrivals in the country in 2023.

Other Noteworthy Airports

Other airports that made it to the list of best airports include Detroit Metro, Tampa International, Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International, Raleigh-Durham International, Ronald Reagan Washington National, Nashville International, Orlando Sanford International, and Chicago Midway International. Meanwhile, airports like Sangster International in Jamaica, Newark International, Daniel K. Inouye International, Seattle-Tacoma International, Toronto Pearson International, Salt Lake City International, Tocumen International, Miami International, and Mexico City International were among the worst-ranked.


In conclusion, this study provides valuable insights into the best and worst airports in North America based on wait times. Such information can be useful for travelers planning their trips, as well as airlines and airport authorities looking to improve their services.

Implications for New Businesses

The results of this study hold significant implications for new businesses, particularly those operating in the travel and hospitality industries. The rankings of airports based on wait times can shape traveler behavior, influencing their choice of airlines and airports, and consequently, their travel plans.

Opportunities for Business Growth

For businesses located near top-ranked airports like Southwest Florida International and Portland International, there is a potential for increased customer traffic due to the high passenger satisfaction levels. These businesses can leverage the positive reputation of these airports to attract more customers and grow their operations.

Challenges and Strategic Planning

On the other hand, businesses near lower-ranked airports like Punta Cana International may face challenges due to potential customer dissatisfaction with long wait times. These businesses may need to implement strategic planning and offer additional services to offset the negative impact of the airport's performance on their customer base.

Improving Customer Experience

Furthermore, businesses in the travel and hospitality sector can use these insights to improve their services. By understanding the factors that contribute to passenger satisfaction, such as reduced wait times, businesses can enhance their customer experience and gain a competitive edge in the market.

In conclusion, while the performance of airports can significantly impact new businesses, it also presents opportunities for these businesses to adapt, innovate, and enhance their services to meet the evolving needs and expectations of travelers.

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