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SFO, San Jose airports ranked among best in North America

Busy airports like SFO show that the travel sector is one of the economy’s bright spots. | Camille Cohen/The Standard

San Francisco International (SFO) and San Jose Mineta International (SJC) ranked among the best airports in North America for customer experience, according to passengers and the Airports Council International.

The 2022 Awards for Airport Service Quality saw SFO achieve an award in the category covering North American airports serving over 40 million annual passengers. The Dallas-Fort Worth airport was also honored in this category.

SJC was the sole winner in the category for North American airports serving 15 to 25 million annual passengers.

READ MORE: SFO Luggage Thefts Almost Doubled: How To Protect Yourself

Other top-ranked airports include Minneapolis/St. Paul International Airport; Indianapolis International Airport; Michigan Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport; Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport; Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport; Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport; Gerald R. Ford International Airport in Grand Rapids, Michigan; and Fort McMurray International Airport in Alberta, Canada.

Passengers wait in a long line at the San Jose airport's car rental lobby. | Kevin V. Nguyen/The Standard

SFO was crowned best airport by the Wall Street Journal in November. “The place is oddly quiet, even during rush hour,” wrote WSJ columnist Dawn Gilbertson of SFO.

WSJ also crowned Sacramento as one the midsize best airports—SJC came third in that category—while New York’s La Guardia and New Jersey’s Newark airports were placed squarely in the worst airports category of the newspaper’s rankings.

“San Francisco is a world-class destination that welcomes millions of visitors from around the world every year, and this award speaks to the highest quality of service and experience offered at SFO,” Mayor London Breed said. “I want to thank everyone at SFO, especially the dedicated frontline workers, for this major accomplishment.”

A plane hovers above an airport runway.
A United Airlines Boeing 777 takes off from San Francisco International Airport. | Yichuan Cao/NurPhoto via Getty Images | Source: Yichuan Cao/NurPhoto/Getty Images

The awards SFO and SJC won from the Airports Council International are based on live research via surveys gathered at the airport—direct from passengers—rating their satisfaction on the day of travel, a press release from SFO said.

The surveys cover over 30 performance indicators across key elements of the passenger’s airport experience, including signage and wayfinding, check-in, and shopping and dining. Over 465,000 surveys were collected.

“We are truly honored to be ranked by passengers as the top airport in North America in the ACI Airport Service Quality program,” SFO Airport Director Ivar C. Satero said. “Combined with our ranking as the top U.S. airport by the readers of the Wall Street Journal, this latest award validates the hard work our team has put forth to create the world-class airport experience our customers truly appreciate and deserve.”

Joe Burn can be reached at