ARLINGTON, Va. — Improvements and repairs, like those taking place at Reagan National Airport, are taking a toll on airline passengers everywhere according to a just-released report.
In its annual survey of travelers, J.D. Power said that construction has burdened passengers at airports across the country.
The overall customer satisfaction score this year for North American airports is 762, up one point from 2018, the survey said.
"While these projects are absolutely necessary to address surging demand, they are currently causing passenger delays and confusion,” Michael Taylor, Travel Intelligence Lead at J.D. Power, said. "This translates into a rushed passenger experience and less money spent on food, beverage and retail -- and it's slowing the progress of the airport satisfaction we've seen in the past several years."
$1 billion of improvements at Reagan National Airport are called Project Journey. The plan is to add 14 new gates (including eliminating buses to the dreaded gate 35X) as well as new security screening checkpoints by 2021.
"It will absolutely be worth it," airport spokesperson Rob Yingling said. "Reagan Airport is known for its convenience, so making these changes will only enhance those qualities that people love and enjoy now."
Construction is causing some delays on the arrivals level, where some lanes are blocked off and slowing down those trying to get home.
"It’s very annoying," Randa Ream of Indiana said. "It’s standing around that makes it even more tiresome."
Even if you’re leaving the D.C. area, don’t expect to escape construction. J.D. Power warns of major construction projects at airports in Atlanta, Boston, Chicago and L.A.