How we made this ⊕
Sources: FlyerTalk Forum Members, Bloomberg.com Readers
Bloomberg conducted a 39-question online survey from late September to early November 2014. The neutral survey queried respondents on their most recent round-trip flights to and from Canadian or U.S. airports, yielding two sets of useful data points per survey response. Users were asked to rank their experiences with a variety of airport amenities on a scale from 1-10, compared to other airports they have visited.
Specific questions were asked in three broad categories:
1. Travel times, check-in, and security (50% Weight)
2. Gate area, seating, and restrooms (25% Weight)
3. Restaurants, shopping, and terminal layout (25% Weight)
We received survey responses for 152 airports in the U.S. and Canada. Only airports for which we received more than 30 responses were included in the final ranking, which narrowed the final count to 36 airports. Our final list includes the busiest 25 U.S. airports and six of the seven busiest Canadian airports. There was no statistically significant relationship between the final survey score and the size of the airport as measured by the number of annual passengers.
Additional Disqualification Criteria:
Responses about other international airports were removed. Respondents were disqualified if they indicated that they had taken no round-trip flights in the past year.
Survey respondents represented a diverse mix of travelers. The majority (50.7%) indicated they most recently traveled for business or mixed business and leisure. The majority of respondents (65.5%) flew economy, followed by premium economy (15.5%), first class (9.2%), and business class (8.9%).
Sources: Bureau of Transportation Statistics (U.S. airports), Airport Factsheets (Canadian Airports)
Since empirical data are available for all large U.S. and Canadian airports, we compared the airports that made our final ranking to a larger data set including the largest U.S. and Canadian airports in an effort to get a more representative sample. Data are from July 2013-July 2014, capturing an entire year to eliminate seasonal effects.
Three measures composed an airport's on-time performance score:
1. Percentage of flights canceled (50%)
2. Percentage of flights departing and arriving on time (25%)
3. Average delay, in minutes (25%)
Each metric was ranked against the other airports in the data set. For Canadian airports, the average delay time in minutes was not available, so the final score was determined by an equal weighting of on-time performance and flight cancellation percentage.
Source: Google Maps Data
Google Maps provided data to calculate travel times to and from airports' primary city center, usually a city hall or a cluster of large corporate offices. The overall score was equally weighted between driving time (50%) and travel time on public transportation (50%).
Driving time: Google Maps provided driving times both from the airport to the city center and from the city center to the airport in 30-minute increments during morning (7-10 a.m.) and evening (4-7 p.m.) rush hours, for the busiest 50 U.S. airports and 10 Canadian airports. Two sets of times were provided for each 30-minute increment: an average driving time and a “pessimistic” driving time, which represented the 90th-percentile worst-case scenario. We determined that it is not just the average travel time that is important, but also how much time a commuter would have to budget to get to or from the airport. Therefore, half of the driving score was a comparison of the average driving times between airports, and the other half compared the average difference between the “pessimistic” and normal driving times.
Public Transportation: Public transportation travel times vary significantly less than driving times and rarely change throughout the day. To determine the public transportation score, we compared average travel times by public transportation in the morning and evening rush hours, using the fastest available time within a one-hour window.