Best Airport in the World

By | Category: Travel rumblings

In a world where there are surveys about everything and where small numbers of people seem to provide incontrovertible evidence that something is happening, the results of the Airport Service Quality survey (ASQ) which is based on 275,000 surveys worldwide is always interesting. In 2009, 118 airports took part in this survey which involves carrying out a survey 4 times a year at different times of the day and which asks the same questions each time.  People are interviewed; they aren’t sent a survey, rung up or e-mailed so it is possible to talk to travellers across all types of flights.

So who won in 2009?

The best airport wordwide was Incheon in South Korea with Singapore as the runner up. The best airport in Europe was Kefklavik in Iceland with Zurich as the runner up. So how did the UK and Ireland do? Not very well on the face of it since only Southampton scraped a place and that was 5th in the Best Airport in Europe category. There were no awards for Heathrow, Gatwick or Manchester but neither were there any for  the big airports in Europe like Charles de Gaulle in Paris, Frankfurt, Schipol in Amsterdam, Madrid or Rome. None of the big airports in the US like Atlanta, New York’s JFK or Chicago’s O’Hare won anything either.  The winner of the North American category was Austin in Texas, not one of the largest airports in the world. Why should this be when big airports like Hong Kong and Beijing can manage to win over thousands of passengers to sing their praises? Angela Gittens, the Director General of ACI, (Airports Council International) who operate the survey says that the strong culture of customer service in the Far East is reflected by the fact that all of the major winners came from that region.

The fact that your favourite airport my not appear could be down to the fact that it may not have joined in the survey. Although ACI has 140 members, 22 did not carry out the survey or carry it out each quarter as is required. Or it could be that disruption like weather, industrial action or whatever affected the survey period. One thing that seems to come through is that it seems sometimes that the older an airport gets the more difficult it is for that airport to win.  In addition there are groups that miss out because of the type of airport they are. Maybe there should be new categories for best new and older airports as well best airport for packaged holidaymakers

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