Toronto Pearson International Airport is ranked near the bottom of the major North American hubs in JD Power’s latest customer satisfaction rankings.
In a 2021 survey released Wednesday, Pearson was the second lowest of the 20 airports in the “Mega” category, with at least 33 million passengers annually.
Michael Taylor, Head of Travel Intelligence at JD Power, says Pearson was particularly unsuccessful due to facilities and pandemic policies.
“Many of them are related to the COVID procedure and we were actually able to upgrade some terminal facilities.”
He said all issues related to waiting times, baggage delays, and the number of people allowed at the terminal due to a pandemic contributed to a relatively low ranking.
“This year was a tough year. There was a huge amount of operational challenges under the COVID procedure in Toronto.”
Pearson’s 780 out of 1,000 points showed an improvement from last year’s 763 points, but fell below a record high of 798 points.
Airports managed by the Greater Toronto Area have warned of increased latency throughout the pandemic due to the need for additional screening and testing.
GTAA did not immediately respond to the request for comment.
According to JD Power, customer ratings were generally high from the first half of August 2020 to the July 2021 survey period, but declined in the second half due to higher passenger numbers and expectations.
Consumer insights say labor shortages have led to lower scores for food, beverage and retail services between airports.
Pearson’s passenger numbers plummeted during the pandemic. The number of passengers in the second quarter of last year was only 500,000, but about 1 million passed through the terminal in the second quarter of this year, compared to 12.8 million in the same period in 2019.
Pearson scored low on the JD Power survey, but earlier this year the Airports Council International awarded the largest airport in North America for the fourth consecutive year.