Believing Winners

By | Category: Travel news

Customer satisfaction is important to the airline, the airport and the airline passenger. Measuring that satisfaction is more difficult. Two organisations, Skytrax and ACI (Airports Council International) are probably the companies you might have come across if you have been asked to give your thoughts. Skytrax claims to have about 18 million reviews and ACI claims to survey at more than 200 airport terminals around the world. The two methods used are different and the interpretation is as well. Should you believe one or the other, both or neither?
The reason I ask is that both have recently announced winners. For Skytrax it was the top airlines in the world and for ACI it was the leading airports. You might remember we covered Skytrax’s top airports a few months ago.(click here) None of the top 10 airlines as voted by responders to Skytrax surveys was British. Qatar Airlines won top spot and then was followed by Singapore Airlines which consistently gets top marks. The only European airline making the top ten was Turkish Airlines. The other nine were all Far Eastern, Australasian or Middle Eastern based. Now I have travelled in the last year on Qatar (economy), Cathay Pacific (ranked 4th; business and economy class), Thai International (5th economy) and Qantas (8th economy.) I have also flown business class on British Airways long haul which I thought was superior to that provided by Cathay. For economy class, I couldn’t find much difference between BA, Qantas and Cathay. What it boils down to is that each flight is different and each individual assesses each flight differently.
The same applies to airports. The ACI list awarded best airport in Europe to Amsterdam’s Schipol in the largest airport category; to ICF Antalya in Turkey in the 10-25 million passengers category; to Edinburgh in the 5-10 million category and Bournemouth in the under 5 million passenger category. The ACI awards are not limited to the results of its survey as there is a panel that decides. Still, would those airports be your choice?
Older airports rarely win. New terminals or new airports often have the advantage in the way people think. I can’t remember when terminal 2 at Heathrow won anything before it was closed. And Edinburgh has undergone a huge refurbishment. But Robin Hood Airport near Doncaster is an easy, open airport to get around as is Inverness. London City gets you through its small airport in a fast time from arrival to getting ready to board yet these came nowhere. Again it becomes personal as to what attracts and pleases you.
The conclusion is read the surveys if you will but don’t believe that you will rate them in the same way.

image courtesy of Qatar Airlines

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