Hopkins Satisfaction Improves, But Still Puts it Among Nation’s Least Popular Airports

Although traveler satisfaction with Cleveland Hopkins Airport has risen, it remains rated among the worst airports for its size according to a survey made by marketing firm J.D. Power.

Hopkins improved its score in the annual survey from 755 to 786 but that placed it third from the bottom among medium-sized airport, which handle 4 million to 9.9 million passengers annually.

The highest potential score is 1,000. In 2020 the average score for all airports was 784.

The top-rated airport in the medium category was Indianapolis with Pittsburgh also ranking in the top five.

The J.D. Power survey was conducted from October 2019 through July 2020, meaning it covered the period during which air travel plunged due to COVID-19 pandemic.

Cleveland would have been ranked as a “large” airport based on its 2019 passenger totals of 10 million.

A spokesman for J.D. Power said the rankings are planned far in advance and thus don’t use the most up-to-date passenger numbers.

Had Cleveland been rated as a large airport it would have ranked 17th out of 28 airports.

Michael Taylor, travel intelligence lead at J.D. Power, said North America’s top-rated airports have in common an open, airy experience that feels more like a well-designed shopping mall than an airport.

“These airports also do a good job of conveying local flavor in their passenger experience, from food and beverage offerings that feature regional specialties to design cues that evoke local color,” he said.

Among the largest airports, which handled 33 million or more passengers a year, Phoenix ranked first and Newark last. Among large airports (10 million to 32.9 million passengers annually), Dallas Love Field ranked best and New York LaGuardia ranked worst.

In an unrelated development, Cleveland officials said the announced closing of the International Exposition Center at the airport is expected to mean a loss of more than $2 million to the airport.

I-X Center Corporation, which leased the exposition center from the city, had been paying $2 million in annual rent.

The company renting the I-X Center said it would close the facilities due to a collapse of business following the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic.

 

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