The world’s best airports for customer experience, as selected by passengers, have been announced.
Abu Dhabi International Airport was named the best for its arrival experience during the annual Airport Service Quality Awards, alongside Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport in the US and Kempegowda International Airport in India.
The awards, run by the Airports Council International, are based on live surveys looking at the experience and overall satisfaction levels of travellers departing and arriving at airports.
“At Abu Dhabi Airports, we are committed to providing our passengers with the best possible travel experience,” said Jamal Salem Al Dhaheri, managing director and chief executive of Abu Dhabi Airports. "This award is a testament to the hard work and dedication of our team, who strive every day to make our airports a welcoming and comfortable space for all."
Among some of the most celebrated large airports globally is Rome-Fiumicino International Airport, which also earned accolades for overall quality, dedicated staff and cleanliness; and Singapore Changi Airport, which was recognised for its dedicated staff and for passenger ease in getting around the space.
Smaller hubs also joined the celebrations, as Indonesia's Sultan Hasanuddin International Airport won awards in five out of six categories, including Asia Pacific's best airport handling five to 15 million passengers, and the most enjoyable airport experience in the region.
The world’s best large airport — counted as hubs handling more than 40 million passengers per year — for customer service is Mumbai’s Chhatrapati Shivaji Maharaj International Airport, according to travellers surveyed for the ranking.
The awards do not nominate a singular winner in a region or airport size bracket; instead, recognition is given to the top 20 per cent of airports in each size and region category.
Dubai International Airport missing from Middle East's best airports list
In the Middle East, Muscat International Airport — which opened in 2018 — was named the best medium-sized airport handling up to 25 million passengers per year. Jordan’s Queen Alia International Airport ranked first for airports processing up to 15 million travellers.
Salalah Airport on Oman’s south coast — which handles about two million passengers per year — ranked first for small airports in the Middle East. The airport also picked up other accolades, including for having dedicated staff, the easiest in-airport journey and being the cleanest in the region.
Some of the biggest air hubs across the GCC, including Dubai International Airport and Doha's Hamad International Airport, were notable names missing from the awards shortlist. Rankings in the region appear to have taken airports handling up to 25 million passengers per year into consideration, despite multiple airports in the Middle East being able to handle more travellers than that.
The National has contacted Airports Council International for comment.
Running since 2006, the annual airport passenger satisfaction survey from the council is conducted at about 400 participating airports in 95 countries.
Last year, about 465,000 surveys were collected and awards were announced for 75 airports around the world.