Incheon International Airport (Seoul, S Korea) was named World’s Best Airport for 2009, in the World Airport Awards published by Skytrax.
Hong Kong International Airport, was pipped to 2nd place by Incheon International, with Singapore Changi Airport ranking 3rd best in the world, according to the latest passenger satisfaction rankings. Skytrax reports the final winning margins between these top 3 positions was the smallest ever known for such a large global project, at one stage it looked possible there might be a dead-heat result between these top three airports!
The World Airport Awards™ are based on the results from 8.6 million questionnaires filled out by airline passengers in 2008/9, covering over 190 airports all over the world. The takes and measures traveller experiences across 39 different airport services and product factors, from initial check-in, arrivals and transfer through to departure at the gate.
The survey began in 1999, and is widely held in high regard for the clearness of process and that the rules are not only rigorously applied, but also because of its independence. The worldwide survey interviews for the 2009 Awards totalled a stunning 8,640,552. Over 97 different passenger nationalities took part.
“We congratulate Incheon International Airport for achieving this title as World’s Best Airport for 2009” said Skytrax CEO, Mr Edward Plaisted. “Incheon is an airport that has been in the global top 5 ranking for the World Airport Awards during the past 5-6 years, and it is a great achievement for them to secure this premier mark of customer satisfaction. Over the last 10 years, the Skytrax World Airport Awards have become recognised as the trusted, global symbol of quality for airports. Our survey participants represent the most experienced, diverse and discerning travellers in the marketplace. Airports throughout the world recognize the inherent value that comes with the World Airline Awards endorsement.”
“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. 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,” pointed out Plaisted.
Mr C W Lee (President & CEO) of Incheon International Airport Corporation) responded to the result by saying: “It is a great honour and privilege to be the winner of 2009 World’s Best Airport. Incheon International Airport will strive to provide an outstanding safety, convenience and service excellence with elegant cultural touches for our airport customers. In addition, as an airport benchmarked by airports around the world, we will offer a different level of experience and excellence to our customers.”
The Top 10 Airports in the 2009 World Airport Awards are:
2 Hong Kong
3 Singapore Changi
7 Kuala Lumpur
9 Centrair Nagoya
Zurich Airport ranks 4th worldwide, this year it took the title as best Airport Europe – before 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 drifting from 4th to 7th in 2009.
Amsterdam Schiphol returns to the global Top 10 airports, ranking 8th, with Centrair Nagoya entering the top 10 list for the first time, in 9th position before Auckland International Airport in 10th place.
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
Peter Miller (Skytrax, VP Marketing) said “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. Skytrax 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.
“Our primary interest is to determine how truly satisfied passengers are with airport standards and processes – and these levels of satisfaction can be measured much more accurately when asking a customer to reflect back on their personal airport experience and perceptions. It is the customer’s ‘post-travel’ sentiments that determine their longer term loyalty to an airline, airport etc, and on-the-spot interviews can be too restricted and skewed by perhaps just one good or bad experience.”