When will Europe improve?

By | Category: Travel news
Incheon airport, South Korea

Incheon airport, South Korea a perennial winner for customer service and satisfaction

Organised by Airports Council International, (ACI) the ASQ awards (airport service quality) are one of the few awards where the flying public makes the decisions. Unlike a lot of awards there is no voting where e-mails lobbying you to vote land in your in-tray in awards season.

These awards are based on a survey which is handed out to carefully selected airport passengers throughout the world. In fact over 550,000 in-depth passenger surveys at over 300 airports across more than 80 countries worldwide last year contributed to deciding which airports won. At Heathrow for example, the data is used to assess each of the terminals not just Heathrow as a whole. It is based on these surveys that airports benchmark themselves against rivals.

The world’s top airports for passenger service in 2015, as chosen by the world’s travellers, are:

Best Airport by Region (over 2 million passengers per year)
Africa
First place: Mauritius; Second (tie): Cape Town; Durban Third: Johannesburg

Asia-Pacific
First (tie): Seoul Incheon; Singapore; Second place (tie): Beijing; Mumbai; New Delhi; Sanya Phoenix; Shanghai Pudong; Third(tie): Guangzhou Baiyun; Taiwan Taoyuan; Tianjin Binhai

Europe
First (tie): Moscow Sheremetyevo; Pulkovo; Sochi; Second (tie): Dublin; Malta; Prague; Zurich; Third (tie): Copenhagen; Keflavik; London Heathrow; Porto; Vienna

Middle East
First: Amman, Second (tie): Abu Dhabi; Doha; Third (tie): Dammam; Dubai; Tel Aviv

North America
First: Indianapolis; Second (tie): Dallas Love Field; Grand Rapids; Jacksonville; Ottawa; Tampa; Third (tie): Austin; Detroit; Sacramento; San Antonio; Toronto Billy Bishop

Latin America-Caribbean
First: Guayaquil; Second: Quito; Third: Punta Cana

Best Airport by Size

2–5 million passengers per year
First; Jaipur; Second: Lucknow; Third: Guayaquil

5–15 million passengers per year
First: Sanya Phoenix; Second: Tianjin Binhai; Third: Hyderabad

15–25 million passengers per year
First: Seoul Gimpo; Second: Wuhan; Third: Denpasar

25–40 million passengers per year
First tie): Mumbai; New Delhi: Second: Taiwan Taoyuan; Third: Shanghai Hongqiao

Over 40 million passengers per year
First (tie): Seoul Incheon; Singapore: Second(tie): Beijing; Shanghai Pudong
Third place: Guangzhou Baiyun

Best Airport by Region (under 2 million passengers per year)
Africa: Upington
Europe: Skopje
North America: Portland
Latin America-Caribbean: Culiacan

Best Airport by Size and Region)
Asia-Pacific
2–5 million passengers per year: Jaipur
5–15 million passengers per year: Sanya Phoenix
15–25 million passengers per year: Seoul Gimpo
25–40 million passengers per year: New Delhi
Over 40 million passengers per year: Seoul Incheon

Europe
2–5 million passengers per year: Sochi
5–15 million passengers per year: Pulkovo
15–25 million passengers per year: Dublin
25–40 million passengers per year: Moscow Sheremetyevo
Over 40 million passengers per year: London Heathrow

North America
2–5 million passengers per year: Grand Rapids
5–15 million passengers per year: Indianapolis

Most Improved Airport
Africa: Nairobi
Asia-Pacific: Denpasar
Europe: Istanbul
Latin America-Caribbean: Kingston
Middle East: Dammam
North America: Saskatoon

As you see from the results neither the UK nor Ireland does particularly well. Heathrow is the best airport in Europe carrying over 40 million passengers per year and Dublin wins the same category for airports seeing 15-25 million passengers per year. Neither wins in the size category at all and Asian airports dominate.

What are they doing in terms of passenger service and satisfaction in comparison to European, North American, African and Middle Eastern ones. That question has been occupying the minds of non-Asian airport executives for years. But they still haven’t managed to clone that magic formula. How long will it take?

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