Report confirms what we knew: Newark Airport worst in U.S. (Opinion)
We didn't need this JD Power ranking of major airports. We already knew Newark Liberty International Airport is a cesspool of dysfunction, bad manners and utter failure.
Too blunt? No. I'm being kind.
The satisfaction survey ranking shows Newark Airport as dead last in the nation. That's among what they call "mega" airports, even bigger than the next category of "large" airports. Out of a possible 1,000 points, Newark got the fewest of all "mega" airports with only 719.
Of course, the apologists are deployed pointing out that renovations ongoing for well over a year are dragging down the public's opinion. The new and improved, lemon-scented Terminal A was supposed to open in spring, and was pushed off to summer. Summer came and it was pushed off again to the end of the year.
Speaking of lemons, there's Terminal B, which will eventually, someday be replaced, and has all the charm of a dying 1970s mall with a leaking roof. It's awful.
The people who work there are for the most part also awful.
Some of the rudest ticket counter employees in the business are right there at Newark Airport. The communication is abhorrent. Everyone from the custodians to the retail shop workers seem like they're grudgingly performing community service rather than working for a living.
The TSA? Only at Newark Liberty International Airport do you get a taste of what induction day at Rikers Island must be like. I swear the delousing procedure in "Shawshank Redemption" seems preferable to some of the treatment you'll get by these officers.
And don't give me this guff about how it's a serious job and they need to keep their game face on to maintain order. I have been through many TSA security lanes in many other airports around the country and none of the others compares to this special level of customer service hell. You're yelled at, no, screamed at for things you shouldn't be.
Once I saw a woman simply ask a female TSA officer about whether something should go in a bin or loose on the conveyor. With all the grace of a barroom drunk, the officer screamed, "That what he said, ISN'T IT!?!" And no, no one had said that. If they had, it was said 20 minutes prior to our group being anywhere near the scanners.
Once I stood on the side of the X-ray waiting for my bag to come through. I made sure not to be in anyone's way. My bag must have been pulled because bags I knew had been behind mine were now coming out and mine still had not. I was trying to see if there was an issue but no one was calling me over. I waited as patiently as I could. Something like five minutes passed.
Finally, I asked the officer monitoring the X-ray machine when he had a free moment, "Excuse me, my bag never —"
"I want to but my bag never came out I'm just trying to ask —"
He interrupted again, even more belligerent, "Now you're being CONFRONTATIONAL! WAIT ON THE SIDE UNTIL I COME FOR YOU!"
I was stunned as he got on his radio looking for a supervisor apparently about me trying to ask a question. I just stood where I had been and finally after another minute, with no explanation from anyone, my bag finally reappeared. Did I wait for the scolding imbecile like I was told? Of course not. I went to my gate and nothing more came of his temper tantrum.
The place just sucks. Oh, and let's not forget we already knew Newark Airport is worst for on-time flights before this JD Power ranking even came out. More than 1 in 3 flights there are late arriving or delayed departing. Not to mention the prices suck. The parking sucks. The road configuration surrounding the airport sucks.
Did I mention Newark Airport sucks?
So what's the best "mega" airport in the nation? Minneapolis-St. Paul. I kind of want to travel there right now just to see what a real airport is like.
If you're looking for some relief in our area you might think about flying out of Philadelphia International. Well, that's ranked dead last in the "large" airport category.
The good news, if there is any, is that JFK is a "mega" airport ranked 4th best. Maybe that's the move if you don't mind traveling all the way out to Queens.
Oh, one last thing. Did I mention Newark Airport sucks?
Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Jeff Deminski only.
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