Tampa International Airport ranked best large airport in the nation by passengers

Passengers ranked Tampa International Airport the best large airport in the nation for customer satisfaction. [SKIP O'ROURKE   |   Times]
Passengers ranked Tampa International Airport the best large airport in the nation for customer satisfaction.[SKIP O'ROURKE | Times]
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Tampa International Airport, which is frequently lauded by travel magazines and experts, has been recognized as the top passenger-rated large airport in the nation.

AirportXP, a mobile platform from Phoenix Marketing International that collects opinions from travelers, compiled the data from more than 170,000 airport users between November and February.

Passengers were allowed to rate an airport on a seven-point scale. Airports were given a percentage of passengers who rated the airport a 6 or a 7. TIA scored an 82 percent rating, just squeezing ahead of Salt Lake City International, which had an 81 percent rating. The Charlotte Douglas International Airport in North Carolina had a 79 percent rating, while Chicago's Midway and Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson airports also were in the top five with ratings over 75 percent.

TIA's high rating came during a period when construction at the airport was ongoing for the $953 million renovation, which didn't appear to bother too many passengers.

Among medium-sized airports, Palm Beach International took third with a 83 percent rating, trailing the airports in Omaha, Neb., (90 percent) and Warwick, R.I. (89 percent).

Among small airports, Bellingham International in Bellingham, Wash., scored the highest among all size airports, with a 93 percent rating.

"Many smaller airports outperform their larger counterparts on passenger satisfaction measures related to presecurity items (e.g., parking, checking in) due to their ease," said Scott Ludwigsen of Phoenix Marketing International in a statement. "While many passengers prefer the postsecurity amenities (e.g., food and beverage, retail, lounges) larger airports offer for the variety."

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