Boston Logan Airport arrival pandemic

COVID-19: Safest Airports in North America

The first COVID-19 rating initiative, created in the wake of recovery from the pandemic, revealed the safest airports in North America.

The initiative called Safe Travel Score is based on an independent audit of 29 traveler health and safety measures, along with traveler convenience initiatives and overall traveler experience announced by airports, regulatory and government authorities to alleviate traveler anxiety and boost confidence.

The Safe Travel Score Methodology has evolved since it was first announced in August 2020. The process now assigns variable weights to all the initiatives depending on their importance. These initiatives are assigned to one of the three sub-categories (see below) which in turn have differential weights assigned to them, basis upon their gravity in the traveler’s decision-making and actual journey. The aggregated weights by sub-categories are rolled-up to arrive at the final Safe Travel Score.

Boston-Logan International Airport (BOS), New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK) and Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR) led the pack among North American airports with a Safe Travel Score of 4.3 out of 5. The East Coast airports play a crucial role in U.S.’ connectivity across the Atlantic. Even with the limited air traffic and lockdown in Europe, the North American airports have remained active to facilitate smooth travel for both international and domestic travelers. Canada’s Calgary International Airport (YYC) and Atlanta’s Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport (ATL) also made it to the leaderboard with a Safe Travel Score of 4.2 each.

Ensuring the health, safety, and security of the traveling public and airport staff is an airport’s top priority. Yet, given the disparity of initiatives across the U.S., Canada and Mexico, the North American airport leaderboard reflects poorly when compared to other regions, especially the Middle East and Asia Pacific. Among the initiatives of 169 airports assessed, just 9% scored a rating of 4.0 or higher – the lowest ratio worldwide.

“The North American airports, especially those in the U.S., have their work cut out for them. With limited regulatory enforcement compared to other countries, American airports are pursuing their independent initiatives to safeguard the in-airport passenger experience. From a macro perspective though, the North American airports need to step up their efforts to ensure a seamless and standardized experience,” remarked Virendra Jain, Co-Founder and CEO of Safe Travel Barometer.

In addition to the updated ratings, Safe Travel Barometer announces a refreshed dashboard and supplier profile pages, with a more intuitive interface and the ability to derive meaningful comparisons across suppliers. Company profile claims on Safe Travel Barometer is now live too – complete a claim form (subject to verification) to directly update your organization’s COVID-19 safety, traveler convenience and service initiatives.

Safe Travel Score, North American Airports, October 2020

AirportsCountrySafe Travel Score*
(October 2020)
Boston-Logan International Airport (BOS)U.S.A.4.3
John F. Kennedy International Airport (JFK)U.S.A.4.3
 Newark Liberty International Airport (EWR)U.S.A.4.3
Calgary International Airport (YYC)Canada4.2
Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport (ATL) U.S.A.4.2
Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)U.S.A.4.2
O’Hare International Airport (ORD)U.S.A.4.2
Philadelphia International Airport (PHL)U.S.A.4.2
San Francisco International Airport (SFO)U.S.A.4.2
Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (DFW)U.S.A.4.1


* Safe Travel Score is based on an independent audit of more than 29 parameters applicable to an in-airport experience across airside and landside. It takes into consideration COVID-19 related hygiene and safety measures, traveler convenience and experience initiatives announced by airports for travelers, airline crew and related on-ground staff.

These include:
COVID-19 Safety Protocols
• Traveler Convenience
• Traveler Experience

Safe Travel Barometer is a B2B solution by Safe Travel Technologies. It is the world’s most comprehensive database of COVID-19 health and safety protocols, and traveler experience initiatives announced by suppliers which influences traveler decisions in the new normal. The coverage includes more than 1,900 companies across 10 industry categories, 50 parameters, and traveler arrival information on more than 80 destinations.

Safe Travel Technologies is an independent subsidiary of VIDEC, a travel industry advisory and consulting firm.

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