Soliciting consumer feedback is a critical practice for any business or organization, regardless of the industry in which they operate. Key elements of branding include understanding how you are perceived by the people you are trying to reach, what parts of your strategy succeed, and which could use improvement.
Even the world’s airports are not exempt from this type of visitor input. The annual World Airport Awards survey travelers from 160 countries about their levels of passenger satisfaction as it relates to airports. There are 12 categories including the best domestic airport, the airport of the year and the top 100 airports, to name a few.
A word about the survey’s methodology. Per the World Airport Award’s website, the distinctions are based on “12.1 million survey questionnaires completed by 108 different nationalities of airline customers during the nine month survey period in 2012 and 2013, covering more than 395 airports worldwide. This established, industry survey is totally independent and evaluates traveler experiences across 39 different airport service and product key performance indicators – from check-in, arrivals, transfers, shopping, security and immigration through to departure at the gate.”
There are thirty-nine product and service-related criterion included in the survey. The data is physically collected from a variety of input sources, which include online and email passenger questionnaires, research groups, corporate travel questionnaires as well as interviews, telephone interviews and selective passenger interviews.
The results are telling, as not a single U.S. airport was ranked in the top 25 in the World’s Top 100 category. The top airports were geographically concentrated, according to Washington Post and included “lots of Northeast Asian airports, a few in Northern Europe, and transit hubs like Abu Dhabi, Cape Town and Kuala Lumpur.” The first American airport to appear is Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International, which ranks 30.
Other results? Singapore’s Changi Airport was voted the world’s best airport, Tokyo International Airport was named the world’s best domestic airport, Frankfurt Airport was selected as the world’s most improved, Amsterdam’s Schiphol Airport was awarded with the best airport in Europe title and Vancouver International received the honors for best airport in North America.
The results of this survey will be used in a numerous ways, from influencing funding to political pleas for infrastructure. The complete results can be found on the World Airport Awards website, which can be accessed here.