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Honolulu airport ranked the third worst in North America

HONOLULU (AP) — Honolulu’s airport ranked the third worst in North America for customer satisfaction and the second worst among large airports in annual survey of air passengers.

Daniel K. Inouye International Airport received the ranking in the J.D. Power 2019 North America Airport Satisfaction Study, The Honolulu Star-Advertiser reported Tuesday.

Inouye airport ranked behind New York’s LaGuardia Airport and New Jersey’s Newark Liberty International Airport as the worst among 62 airports. The airport moved two spots in the wrong direction in the large-airport category, where it was fourth worst the previous year.

Honolulu’s satisfaction score was 719 out of a possible 1,000, or 17 points lower than its score last year.

The annual study conducted from October 2018 through September was based on responses from 32,276 U.S. or Canadian residents who passed through at least one North American airport. The survey scored airports on terminal facilities, airport accessibility, baggage claim, security check, check-in and baggage check, food, beverage and retail.

In the midsize-airport category, Kahului Airport remained at the bottom of the list, although its satisfaction score of 754 out of a possible 1,000 was only two points worse than last year.

The study found that after several years of growth, customer satisfaction stagnated as North American airports struggled to handle surges in passenger volume amid construction delays.

The Honolulu and Maui airports were among those that lost ground because of those factors, said Michael Taylor, travel intelligence lead at J.D. Power.

Hawaii’s $3.6 billion airports modernization project just passed the halfway point, with most of the capital improvements expected to be completed by the end of 2021. The state Department of Transportation did not respond to a request for comment about the airport survey.

Access problems generally have a large effect on other airport factors, Taylor said. “Despite the fact that you know the food or beverage might actually be better or great, it doesn’t matter if people are not going to use it because they don’t feel like they have time to do it,” he said.