J.D. Power and Associates, a renowned global marketing research company, conducted in 2010 a North America Airport Satisfaction Study.
It concluded that “Kansas City International Airport ranks highest within the medium airport segment.” Its high score was attributed to “its efficient accessibility, check-in/baggage check and security facilities.”
Ranked just behind us were Port-
land International and Tampa International.
A more recent study by a different consulting group, just released, noted KCI’s high passenger numbers and low airline costs. It also concluded there were several ways the airport could increase revenues.
But the J.D. Power study was specifically aimed at measuring satisfaction of travelers who use airports. They targeted convenience for their measurement. And convenience, in my opinion, should trump all other considerations, which I believe can be addressed by renovation.
“It’s no secret,” wrote Power, “for many travelers, the most dreaded part of any trip involves the airport.”
“Some airports,” said the report, “have seized the opportunity for a captive audience. In many locations, renovated terminal interiors more closely resemble shopping malls, with restaurants, shopping and entertainment. In spite of these conveniences, however, travelers still yearn for basic travel needs: short wait times, ease of airport navigation and prompt baggage delivery.”
The report continued: “Overall passenger satisfaction with the airport experience averages just 690 points (on a 1,000 point scale) — considerably lower than average satisfaction with hotels and rental cars (756 and 733, respectively).
Power said: “The airport experience, often the first and last part of a trip away from home, is often the portion that often sets the tone for the rest of the journey.”
But what about KCI? How many points did it score?
Our airport scored a whopping 742 points!
J.D. Power North America Airport Satisfaction study is based on responses from more than 12,000 passengers, who evaluated their departing and arriving airports.
This information is so vital to the mayor’s citizen task force — the KCI Terminal Advisory Group — that the group may want to bring to town key representatives from J.D. Power who were involved in their study.
The group should hear firsthand the rave reviews about KCI, and get the chance to ask questions. As it is, the task force will be holding a listening tour, where citizens have a chance to voice their feelings about KCI. That’s fine, but it is not scientific.
If you want anecdotes, the tsunami of emails I received from my column last week on KCI indicates the airport’s popularity runs wide. Not a single email disagreed with my conclusion that KCI is “one of the most convenient airports in the world.”
But it may not be enough to hear anecdotally about our citizens’ love affair with KCI. A reputable, objective, scientific study was done and reached the same conclusion.
Let’s get this report into the record.