Not all airports are the same — just ask any business traveler. Given all the different international airports in the world, where do you have to travel to find the best airports? The top airports can be found in Seoul, Hong Kong and Singapore.
Yes, as many business travelers either already know or suspect, Asia offers some of the best airports in the world; U.S. airports did not make the cut for the top 10 global airports. This, according to findings from the 2009 World Airport Awards, produced by Skytrax, a London-based research firm that specializes in the airline industry.
Based on survey results of 8.6 million responses between 2008 and 2009 that measured passenger satisfaction, where can you find the top 10 airports in the world?
|1||Incheon International Airport|
|2||Hong Kong International Airport|
Source: Skytrax, June 2009
It’s relevant to know that Skytrax reported that the final winning margins between the top three positions is extremely small, so it’s probably not so important to get caught up in the exact ranking (but, hey, best airport ranking is still coveted). Perhaps the most important message of the study is the importance of traveler expectations for service excellence from the airport industry. This study measured the opinions of travelers from 97 different nationalities on the basis of more than 39 different product factors.
“An airport is looking to deliver world-class standards that will persuade customers to want to use it again, and achieving this loyalty demands the highest levels of quality leadership consistency,” said Edward Plaisted, Skytrax CEO. “It is very clear from the 2009 survey results that Incheon International is setting the current global Quality benchmark across these front-line airport service categories.” added Plaisted.
Zurich Airport ranks 4th worldwide, and this year took the title as best Airport Europe – ahead of Munich Airport (5th) and Kansai (6th). Munich and Kansai hold the same rating as in the global Top 10 airports for 2008, with Kuala Lumpur slipping from 4th to 7th in 2009.
BEST IN REGION AIRPORT AWARD WINNERS – 2009
BEST AIRPORT : AFRICA
BEST AIRPORT : ASIA
BEST AIRPORT : AUSTRALIA/PACIFIC
BEST AIRPORT : EUROPE
BEST AIRPORT : MIDDLE EAST
BEST AIRPORT : NORTH AMERICA
BEST AIRPORT : SOUTH AMERICA
BEST AIRPORT : CENTRAL AMERICA
BEST IN CATEGORY AIRPORT AWARD WINNERS – 2009
BEST DUTY FREE SHOPPING
EASIEST INTERNATIONAL TRANSIT AIRPORT
BEST AIRPORT DINING
BEST SECURITY PROCESSING
CLEANEST AIRPORT WASHROOMS
BEST TERMINAL CLEANLINESS
BEST BAGGAGE DELIVERY
BEST LEISURE AMENITIES
BEST IMMIGRATION SERVICE
“We see it as critical to carry out the survey as a ‘post’ travel experience, rather than on-the-spot passenger interviews during their time in the airport,” comments Peter Miller, vice president of marketing for Skytrax. “[Our] expertise in carrying out airline passenger surveys over the past 20 years has shown that a variety of factors (eg. queuing, stress points in the airport) can result in on-the-spot interview techniques delivering skewed final results.”
Skytrax uses the survey to help determine passenger satisfaction with airport standards and processes. Miller explains that Skytrax feels that a customer’s “post-travel” sentiments will determine their longer term loyalty to an airline, airport etc.
Skytrax has been operating this survey since 1999. Survey results were released June 2009.