Updated November 27, 2023 - 5:17 pm
Harry Reid International Airport ranks ninth in the nation among 50 major airports in a Wall Street Journal analysis measuring reliability, value and convenience.
The airport serving Las Vegas had the lowest average domestic airfares in the country, according to the Journal report, thanks to the large presence and competition among ultra-low-cost carriers and the large market share dominance of Southwest Airlines, a low-cost operator.
The rankings were published by the Journal Monday. The top airport in its ranking: Phoenix’s Sky Harbor International Airport, followed by Minneapolis International, Los Angeles International, Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International and Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport.
Rounding out the top 10 were San Francisco International, Houston Intercontinental, Seattle-Tacoma International, Las Vegas and Boston’s Logan International.
The rankings were based on data collected between July 2022 and June 2023.
Airport rankings were based on 30 factors that span a trip, from buying a ticket to arriving at a final destination. Using data from government agencies, a survey of travelers conducted by Journal research partner Dynata and other sources, the rankings highlight the airports that boast on-time flights, short waits throughout the trip and the amenities that travelers like best. The airports were separated into large and midsize categories based on the number of passengers they accommodate.
Airfare ticket pricing was Reid’s strongest attribute, with an average one-way ticket price of $274. Only Kahului, the main airport serving the island of Maui in Hawaii, classified as a midsized airport with airfares averaging $272, was better. Maui’s high fares to the U.S. mainland are offset by the large number of lower costing interisland flights.
Las Vegas benefits from competition from 30 airlines offering an average 582 daily flights, many of them on airlines classified as discount carriers — Spirit, Frontier, Allegiant, Breeze and Avelo among them. Reid also is dominated by low-cost carrier Southwest Airlines, which has a 40.4 percent market share and offers an average 250 daily flights.
Airport officials have said Reid manages to keep costs low for airlines with lower fees, which are offset by the revenue the airport collects from gaming revenue with its hundreds of slot machines located throughout both terminals.
Airport spokesman Joe Rajchel on Monday said Reid is a “common-use” airport, meaning gates can be changed quickly with signage to accommodate any airline’s schedule, which also lowers costs.
With flights to 156 destinations (11th best nationwide), Reid placed high among the nation’s airports for convenience.
Reid also scored well in a taxi and ride-share ranking (first among 50) because of its close proximity to nearby attractions and for bathrooms and airline lounges (second among 50). It also was first for its production of airport messages.
Where Reid wasn’t as high was for delays in arrivals and departures — and the Clark County Department of Aviation says many of those are the result of weather delays occurring in other cities. Poor East Coast, Midwest weather and Florida rainstorms frequently result in arrival delays, which become departure delays.
“It’s not that we don’t have our own weather delays occasionally,” Rajchel said. “It’s just that delays east of us can result in a ripple effect on schedules.”
For on-time arrivals, Reid ranked 19th with 70.1 percent and 18th in on-time departures at 69.2 percent. The average arrival delay was 63 minutes and 29 seconds (second) and the average departure delay, 60 minutes, 22 seconds (fourth).
The airport ranked 13th in flight cancellations at 1.85 percent.
Reid also ranked fifth nationwide for shopping and sixth for available seating at airport gates. Among passengers surveyed, it ranked fourth for the airport layout, fifth for onsite parking, but 18th for car rental convenience.