In a J.D. Power and Associates study of traveler satisfaction, the Honolulu airport ranked 18th out of 21 medium-traffic airports in the country. With an overall satisfaction rating of only 667 out of 1,000 possible points, the main Hawaiian airport was near the bottom of its class in terms of customer satisfaction.
The Honolulu airport, which sees 10 to 20 million passengers each year, received ratings of three out of five in the categories of airport accessibility, baggage claim, check-in/baggage check process, terminal facilities, security check and food and retail services.
Marsha Wienert, the state’s tourism liaison, acknowledged the need for improvement at the airport and looks forward to seeing the results of the state’s $2.3 billion modernization plan, which began in 2006.
The first improvements, which are expected to be completed by the end of summer 2009, are being made in the check-in and baggage process. Passengers will be able to get their boarding pass and check their bags in at the counter rather than having to take their luggage to a separate screening machine. The state also is upgrading its shuttle bus system. New vehicles will be in service by the end of 2009.
Another exciting improvement, which is not state-funded, is concessionaire HMSHost’s $16 million upgrade to the airport’s food and beverages service. Expected to be complete by early 2009, the new additions will include Island Brews, Cold Stone Creamery, Starbucks, Dewar’s Clubhouse Bar and Grill, Lahaina Chicken Company, Jamba Juice, Chow Mein Express and a Gordon Biersch Restaurant.