Thursday, March 14, 2013

REVEALED: The world’s best airports according to Airports Council International

Airports Council International has revealed the world's best airports for 2012
Which airports are the best for passenger satisfaction?
 Airports Council International (ACI) describes its annual Airport Service Quality (ASQ) Awards as “the industry’s most prestigious accolades”… I can't vouch for that, but the results are pretty interesting.

The awards, which were launched in 2006, attract the participation of more than 200 airports from across the world. In order to the select the winners, airline passengers are interviewed prior to boarding their flight and asked to rate their satisfaction with the airport that day. And we’re not talking about a handful of passengers here, but more than 350,000 people at last count.

As part of this year’s awards, the winners were announced in different categories, such as the best airport on a region-to-region basis, the best airport in terms of size, and the most improved airport.

While announcing the results of the ASQ Awards for this year, ACI World Director Angela Gittens described the current market as “an exciting time for airports”.

"As airports and their operators increasingly accept the positive correlation between passenger satisfaction and airport revenues, we see more and more airports striving to meet, and in some cases exceed, the levels of customer service that their passengers expect,” she added.

“Airports that deliver superior customer service stand apart from the competition and superior customer service remains one of the most important differentiators in the increasingly competitive airport industry.”

For this blog post, I wanted to focus on the regional winners. Below, you will find a list of the top three airports for each region, as announced by Airports Council International as part of the ASQ Awards.


Best Middle Eastern Airports
1. Abu Dhabi
2. Dubai
3. Doha
Best European Airports
1. Moscow Sheremetyevo
2. Malta
3. Edinburgh
Best America-Caribbean Airports
1. Cancun
2. Guayaquil
3. Montego Bay
Best North American Airports
1. Indianapolis
2. Ottawa
3. Tampa
Best Asia-Pacific Airport
1. Seoul Incheon
2. Singapore
3. Beijing
Best African Airports
1. Cape Town
2. Durban
3. Cairo

What are your thoughts? Do you agree with the results? As always, please feel free to share your comments here, and you can also get in touch on Facebook, Twitter and Google+ - I look forward to connecting with you!


  1. Way to go Tampa & Dubai! Love those airports!

  2. Anand UnnikrishnanMarch 15, 2013 at 7:21 AM

    Indian Airports are now in par with other world class airports.

  3. Argyle Airport Australia ( aspires to be when completed the "Best Airport in the World"

  4. Thanks for sharing. What insight do you have from the qualitative response that airports can learn from? In other words, what did those passengers say were the reasons for being highly or not at all satisfied, what are the common traits among the winners etc?

  5. Tampa is the best in the U.S. That's my opinion and I'm sticking to it.

  6. Isabel GonçalvesMarch 16, 2013 at 6:42 PM

    Congratulations Faro airport Best Inprovement Europe!!!

  7. There are airports that emerged as efficient hubs just because the traffic demand justified the development, growth and sustainability. Yet there were visionaries who perceived the need for it, built it and the traffic came, and with it, other avenues in the hinterland that is the economic growth engine. There are the others. Not even assured business on a golden platter would not make them recognize the potential and they don't bat an eyelid dismissing it at their own peril. Need one say more??!! The glass is always half empty for them.

  8. Interesting results, but I am quite disappointed of the results for Europe and North America. If we look at the Middle East and Asia, there are some big names on the list. Somehow I find it's a pity that large European airports are not as competitive in terms of customer satisfaction.

    1. Valid observation...hits the nail on the head...I remember Schiphol and one or two other airports in Airport, names of which are best not mentioned in apprehension of an outcry, if not a backlash(!), really epitomized concepts of a quintessential super-efficient airport until Changi came along to instill the humane touch and the aesthetic element to pair with the efficiency. A good number of airports in Asia have seen fit to follow that model. Windfall or even salutary gains are evidenced by the spillover benefits that carried on to the airlines that these airports housed as (their) hubs.

  9. I must admit to being biased for Tampa(TIA) living in the Tampa Bay area and having flown in and out of there many times. But, being an experienced air traveler, I can say that it is a very efficient airport. Well laid out and even easy to get to and from , in and out of. Congrats TIA!

  10. Who sponsored the results in the Middle East? Abu Dhabi no 1? What were the evaluation criteria?

  11. The Link below to ACI's website will answer some of the questions asked on here but not all.

    As a regular user of some of the airports named I am surprised to see them mentioned as the best in their region but as many have said what are the criteria?-and another question might be how are the results audited as the airport does their own research?

    But I believe that ACI do a great job in encouraging and supporting airports to improve their passenger satisfaction.

    What would readers suggest should be the criteria? I am working on a project for a small regional airport-what should they strive to do better than anyone else in their region?

  12. Shubhashish BhattacharyaMarch 19, 2013 at 10:33 AM

    ASQ ratings are made out of the set of 33 Question set that is framed at different times of day , Different day of month and different month of Year. The decision making factor on the ASQ card however is the 33rd Question ." Rate the overall experience at Airport" this determines the ranking at the airport and that's why despite the best services sometimes the average falls down.

  13. It is like any marketing research it is a trick to promote some of participants. Criterias are not so obvious and used for airport PR mostly .

  14. TPA - Tampa is best in the U.S.

  15. Statistics is a trivial snooping act of humor where often the actor enjoys more than the audience.

  16. I have the privilege to be working at Tampa airport for the last 13 years and helping in its transformation. We are currently undergoing a spectacular modernization of the building with a lot of upcoming changes which will elevate the customer satisfaction.


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