Survey shows passengers unhappy with Internet, transportation at D.C. airports

Local,DC,Transportation,Melanie Ciarrone


Passengers of the Washington area’s two airports are unhappy with Internet availability and transportation from the airports,  according to a new study from the airports’ managers.
However, the thousands of passengers who use Ronald Reagan Washington National and Washington Dulles International airports every day are satisfied overall with the service, said the 2008 Passenger User Survey.
The Metropolitan Washington Airports Authority conducted the survey, which showed that 20 to 25 percent of passengers at the airports are dissatisfied with the availability of the Internet and WiFi, as well as the availability of electrical outlets in departure gate areas. Airport officials say they already are working to address passengers’ concerns.
“We recently installed electrical charging stations throughout both airports to provide additional electrical outlets for passengers to charge cell phones, computers, etc.,” said Courtney Mickalonis, spokeswoman for theMWAA.
WiFi is available throughout both airports, she said. The study also found that about 20 percent of passengers are not satisfied with the availability of transportation leaving Dulles. Passengers at both airports  were dissatisfied with the price of taxis.
At Dulles, the MWAA contracts with Washington Flyer Taxi,  whose rates are set by the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Commission, Mickalonis said. While the taxis are the only taxis allowed to operate on-demand at Dulles, passengers can call and use cabs from other companies, said Bill Morrow, director of the Transit Commission.
The MWAA maintains an open taxi system at Reagan National and, based on the Passenger Survey, 95 percent of passengers are satisfied with the availability there, Mickalonis said.
The Airport Council International, the global airport trade group, conducted another study in which the two airports scored “average,” with Reagan ranking 53rd and Dulles ranking 67th out of 114 total surveyed airports. The airports earned their highest marks for efficiency of check-in staff and waiting at check-in.
More passengers are satisfied with Reagan National than with Dulles, based on an A through F grading scale, according to the Passenger Survey. Almost half the respondents gave Reagan National an A, while 40 percent gave Dulles an A. However, the number of passengers who gave Dulles an A grade rose by 5 percent from 2007.



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