How bad are our airports?

By | Category: Travel news

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The claims handling company, Air Help, has published an airport global performance survey and neither UK airports nor airlines come out of it very well.

Needless to say that both airports and airlines have criticised the report which is based on evidence gathered between late December 2017 and late March this year. Air Help says that it made its judgement based on factors including airlines’ on-time performance, quality of service and their claims processing for delayed and cancelled flights. For airports, it also measured Twitter sentiment.

Unlike ACI (Airports Council International) which compares airports with similar sized passenger numbers or passenger profiles, Air Help lumps everything together. Of the three qualities it uses to grade airports (on-time performance, quality of service and passenger sentient) only one is factual that being on-time performance. The other two qualities depend on humans. With regards to airports or airlines, people are likely to use Twitter or other social media platforms only if they want to complain or moan so monitoring and using it as a quality measurement is very biased.

As for quality of service that varies from one person to another. Without a definition you don’t know if one person is treating quality of service as another person is.

The winner in the airports section, the Hamad International Airport in the capital of Qatar, Doha, may be the first airport in the world but I cannot believe it based on the methodology used by Air Help. And are Gatwick, Edinburgh, Manchester and Stansted four of the worst airports in the world? Absolutely not because  Air Help only lists 76 airports and there are hundreds just in Europe. Leaving aside this technical and rather cheap point did Air Help consider any building works going on whilst the data was being collected? That will affect how people react as will the weather, the day they fly and a host of other things.

No, I as an airport user cannot believe in the results whilst there are so many imponderables. I prefer to await the ACI results before deciding which airport or not to use. And that is always supposing I have a choice!

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