DCA, BWI mediocre; Dulles near bottom of airport survey

WASHINGTON — All three Washington-area airports have been investing to improve the traveler experience, with new or improved terminals, better and cheaper parking, and big improvements in eating and retail options. For travelers, the changes have not gone unnoticed.

Even so, one national survey ranks all three of the region’s airports as just “mediocre.”

Travel news site, ThePointsGuy.com, which says it has 3.4 million unique monthly visitors, examined the 30 busiest U.S. airports and used a broad set of data, including performance numbers from the Federal Aviation Administration and the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, user ratings from J.D. Power, and convenience metrics using Google Maps and iFly.com, as well as the airports’ own official websites.

Categories included flight delays and cancellations, security wait times, airport locations, public transit options, bars, restaurants and lounges, Wi-Fi costs and parking rates.

The report says Reagan National Airport is the best Washington-area airport because it is easy to get to and has the 11th-fewest flight delays among the 30 largest U.S. airports. It also says one of DCA’s biggest drawbacks is its rank as the fourth-most flight cancellations.

Dulles International Airport stands out for its plentiful lounges, but gets low marks for its inconvenient location. Dulles ranks in the bottom half for flight delays and cancellations.

BWI/Marshall Airport’s best attributes, the report says, are plenty of bars and restaurants and inexpensive parking, but its ranking was dragged down by the fifth most flight delays.

Where do the three rank on the list of the 30 largest U.S. airports?

ThePointsGuy.com puts Reagan National at No. 13, BWI/Marshall at No. 14 and Dulles International at No. 24.

It’s pick for the best U.S. airport among the 30 largest is Phoenix Sky Harbor International. It’s pick for the worst is New York’s LaGuardia.

You can see the full report from ThePointsGuy.com.

Jeff Clabaugh

Jeff Clabaugh has spent 20 years covering the Washington region's economy and financial markets for WTOP as part of a partnership with the Washington Business Journal, and officially joined the WTOP newsroom staff in January 2016.

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