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DTW ranks No. 1 in customer satisfaction survey

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A J.D. Power survey found that passengers liked Detroit Metro the best among U.S. airports

View from the top of an escalator looking down at a long terminal with people walking down the hallway and standing at gates. A red monorail rides above the throngs of people. Shutterstock

Few people like flying. But if you’re going to travel, Detroit Metropolitan Airport (DTW) is apparently the place to do it.

A survey conducted by the marketing research company J.D. Power found that DTW had the highest customer satisfaction among all “mega” airports—those that get 33 million or more passengers per year—with a score of 786 out of 1,000.

Over the last year, more than 32,000 travelers took the survey, with scores determined by a combination of six factors: terminal facilities; airport accessibility; baggage claim; security check; check-in/baggage check; and food, beverage, and retail.

Other mega airports with high scores are Minneapolis-Saint Paul International, Las Vegas McCarran International Airport, and Orlando International Airport.

According to the press release, “The common bond among top-performing airports such as Detroit Metropolitan ... is relatively new facilities that accommodate increased passenger volume, incorporate localized food and beverage offerings, and offer easy access. Airports that can handle larger numbers of passengers while providing such experiences see a payoff in the form of improved satisfaction scores.”

DTW has indeed been offering more local food and beverage options. It’s also working on improving accessibility through a $16 million construction project to upgrade roads and signage, as well as incorporating bus routes.

The McNamara Terminal, designed by SmithGroup and opened in 2002, is noteworthy for its striking design which features an arc-shaped roof and exposed trusses. There’s also the mile-long ExpressTram people mover.