Worst Airport Ever

According to J.D. Power and Associates, Minneapolis-St. Paul International is the worst airport ever.

The survey ranked airports on six factors including check-in and baggage claim facilities and food offerings. MSP received a score of 647 on a 1,000-point scale, the lowest among the 60 airports studied.

I have been to a few airports (as I’m sure many of you have as well) but I don’t know that I’ve had that bad an experience at MSP. A D minus? Maybe I’ve just been conditioned to a horrible customer experience, considering this is my home airport.

Do you hate our airport as much as J.D. (Jerk Dummies) Power and Associates?

And, speaking of air travel, I am off to Europe for the next two and a half weeks. I shall return to my blog-reading public refreshed and with pictures.

6 Comments so far

  1. greg on May 20th, 2008 @ 4:38 pm

    WHAT? I can’t really speak to baggage check, but I can speak to check-in, security, terminal facilities and food/retail services.

    First off, check-in online before you leave home. It’s that easy. Otherwise, NWA has tons of self-service kiosks. I never check bags, so whatever on that.

    MSP has 6 security checkpoints, including the speedy G security checkpoint for travelers w/o luggage. With the new security system in place, which I’ve already weighed in on, we can only hope it gets better. Compared to the normal security lines I’ve experienced at Atlanta and Las Vegas, MSP is cake.

    As for terminal facilities and food, MSP is a sparkling gem compared to other airports. For example, LaGuardia Airport’s Northwest/Delta terminal is crazy dirty, ripped seats everywhere and the bathrooms are always completely trashed. They have one restaurant — Chili’s — and it always runs out of chips. Orlando’s main terminal is completely gutted down the rafters with exposed wires everywhere. It’s an accident waiting to happen thanks to all the kids that go through there. The restaurants at the Louisville, KY airport close at 8 p.m., leaving travelers with a 10 p.m. flight starving. The Des Moines International Airport has carpet stains and ripped seats galore. They didn’t even have one single restaurant last time I was there. At Dulles Airport in DC you have to ride these ghetto train things back across the tarmac, and they always fill up or you end up sitting in stickiness. The moving sidewalks at O’Hare are always broken and they don’t have enough seats in their terminals. Plus, how often have you tried to find a restroom and can’t? Never at MSP.

    We are spoiled to have so many restaurants, multiple terminals within short walking distance, clean facilities and multiple security checkpoints with a reputation for speediness.

    What airports are better or just as good as MSP? Detroit’s airport is awesome. So is Austin’s (live music). And the Anchorage Airport is a joy. I don’t know if I would pick any of those over MSP as a home base, though.

    I want to know what sorts of qualifications travelers had to have before they answered the survey. I don’t believe in this survey. So there.

  2. lexicon on May 20th, 2008 @ 4:38 pm

    Huh. Perhaps because I’ve been traveling to/from MPS my whole life I’m partial to it, or I just understand its workings better than a non-native.

    I’m curious what the other airports were now. MSP (particularly after they remodeled) is my favorite US airport. The only time I’ve seen food selection be a problem is late-late flights after most of the airport has shut down. Check-in is awkward everywhere thanks to the TSA regs, and I’ve yet to see any true innovation on the baggage claim front. We’re still getting airline baggage the way we did 30 years ago… but that’s no different in most US airports.


  3. Stephanie (slolee) on May 20th, 2008 @ 5:47 pm

    I find the ranking pretty shocking. I’ve been through a number of airport, and I have always come to the conclusion that MSP is a quality place. I think the biggest "black spot" on its current reputation is the whole Larry Craig debacle, and even that has faded from memory of all but perhaps a few Minnesotans.

    Not that I advocate for this restaurant, but my husband thinks that a fastfood joint sporting the golden arches is a must for any airport, to aid the rushed traveler in consuming morsels between flights. Recently, on a layover in Atlanta International, we had to traverse most of our way through one terminal to find a food map, and had to hop on a shuttle to find a food court. That would not even been an option for a traveler on a tighter schedule.

    Logan International in Boston isn’t any better. Their food courts, at least at the terminal I fly through, are outside security. I think that is a great idea if you want to have dinner with non-flying family members. However, there was no indication that once passed security, that was nothing. There was one hole-in-the-wall vendor serving all the gates in our secure area.

    I can’t remember the last time I had a lengthy weight at the security checkpoint, and am intrigued to test the "Choose Your Lane" system. Baggage claim is antiquated, but I actually like the long ovals compared to awkward zigzagging conveyor belts.

    Yep. I like MSP.

  4. Erica M (ericam) on May 20th, 2008 @ 6:48 pm

    Houston is the worst airport I’ve been through in recent memory. Terrible organization, terrible getting between terminals, terrible food choices, and not nearly enough seating.

    Seriously, at a bare minimum, we have waaay better food than a lot of airports.

    Security ain’t great, but it’s not terrible.

    MSP looks nice enough. Not scary or decrepit.

    108 comments at the moment on that Strib article.

  5. nayana on May 21st, 2008 @ 11:58 am

    I actually enjoy our airport. There’s usually something to do, it’s well lit, etc. The only big downside for me is the length of the A/B/C concourse, which isn’t really a problem if the trams are running.

    I have had much worse experiences at JFK, ORD, and countless others.

    Not sure what they’re talking about.

  6. lax car service (unregistered) on November 18th, 2010 @ 7:40 pm

    I’ve never been there, but I think every airport probably has is pros and cons. What is important to some, may not be to others. Hard to say any airport is the “worst.”

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