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Pictured: Singapore's Changi Airport

Airport quality survey shows varied picture

Airports Council International reveals a new global barometer’s results for airport passenger satisfaction in 2018.

Overall global passenger satisfaction with the quality of airports increased slightly during 2018, but with certain variations, according to the latest findings of Airports Council International’s latest World Airport Service Quality barometer.

Airline check-in and passport/ID control generated the highest levels of satisfaction in 2018, while airport facilities are the points of contact that have improved the most.

However, “value for money of restaurants and shopping facilities is the main challenge for airports”, the survey says.

Overall, passenger satisfaction on a global level rose to 4.21 from 4.19, a result that “reflects the importance placed on customer experience and satisfaction by airports around the world”, ACI claims.

“Airports are placing ever-increasing importance on improving the passenger experience, as passengers are demanding higher levels of service and regulators pay close attention to airport service delivery,” says Angela Gittens, director general of ACI World.

Split personality
Among other measurements, the barometer splits airport users into six different personas – though it is not explained exactly how. Here, the satisfaction level of the ‘sun-lounge tourist’, who ACI says represents a quarter of all airport visitors, was raised to 82.7%.

But an exception among the personas who expressed less satisfaction than in 2017 was the ‘airport enthusiast’, who is characterised by ‘standing out for his eagerness to enjoy the airport experience’. His/her satisfaction fell two percentage points to 84.6%.

By region, Asia-Pacific and the Middle East maintain the highest scores, at 4.63 and 4.32 respectively out of a five-point scale.

Europe is the second-most dissatisfied region at 3.99, with only Africa faring worse at 3.83. North America scores 4.15 and Latin America and the Caribbean 4.08, the latter being the only region with a decrease.

By airport size, it is the biggest airports, with more than 40 million passengers a year, that tend to give the most satisfying experiences according to ACI. But there is a slight decrease in satisfaction in the 5-15 million category.

Over 380 airports across 91 countries participated in the survey, which Gittens says “provides the research tools and management information to help airports better understand passengers’ views and what they value in an airport’s products and services”.

At the second ACI Customer Experience Global Summit 2019, due to take place in Bali in early September, “we will explore and celebrate best practice by leading airports in all of these categories”, she promises.

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