Zurich, Helsinki and Athens have some of Europe’s best airports, according to a new study.
A well-functioning airport does more than just getting people from A to B. The best airports make a virtue of making passengers’ journeys as convenient and pleasant as possible.
Annually since 2006, the European airport association Airports Council International (ACI) has investigated and awarded the world’s and Europe’s best and most well-functioning airports.
This year’s winners were announced on 6 March in the Airport Service Quality Awards (ASQ).
Airports Council International, in collaboration with the global travel technology company, Amadeus Airport Solutions, has collected data from over 465,000 reviews in 2022. The passenger survey includes data from almost 400 airports in 95 countries.
Valuable knowledge for airports
ASQ is divided according to the airport’s size and continent. The study is based on continuous measurement of the passenger’s experience on their journey at the airports in 2022.
The questionnaire survey covers 34 different parameters, including the infrastructure at the airport, security checks, dining and shopping etc.
ACI introduced four new categories this year: airports with the most dedicated staff, easiest airport travel, most pleasant airport and cleanest airport.
According to the general director of ACI World, Luis Felipe de Oliveira, the results are shared with airports, so they have the opportunity to continuously improve their customer experience and service offering.
Which airports are the best in Europe?
There is not a singular winner for each size and region category. In contrast, airports with the 20 percent highest score are recognized and awarded.
Spain’s airports have particularly excelled among European airports in the category that welcomes less than two million passengers per year.
In this category, 4 out of 5 airports are Spanish. These include El Hierro in Valverde, Pamplona, Reus, Murcia and Asturias. The only non-Spanish airport to join them is Inverness in Scotland.
In the category of two to five million passengers, the Eastern European countries shine with Skopje in North Macedonia, Tallinn in Estonia and Zagreb in Croatia, which together share first place.
Among airports that welcome between five and 15 million passengers a year, the winners range more widely. They include Ankara Esenboga in Turkey, Belgrade in Serbia, Keflavik in Iceland, Malta International Airport, Milan Bergamo in Italy, Porto in Portugal and Thessaloniki in Greece.
In the category of airports with 15 to 25 million passengers, Alicante-Elche Airport in Spain, Budapest Ferihegy Airport in Hungary and Helsinki Airport in Finland top the list of priorities.
Among airports serving 25 to 40 million passengers annually, Athens International Airport in Greece, Palma de Mallorca in Spain and Zurich Airport in Switzerland received the best passenger reviews.
Of the largest airports – those serving over 40 million people a year – Rome-Fiumicino Airport in Italy and Istanbul Airport in Turkey share the top spot.
Least punctual European airports
The ASQ Awards do not highlight Europe’s worst airports. However, there are other studies, which results indicate where you are less likely to have a comfortable travel experience.
Data published earlier this year by European air traffic control body Eurocontrol revealed the least punctual airports.
Among Europe’s largest airports, Lisbon Humberto Delgado Airport in Portugal and Frankfurt International Airport in Germany experienced the worst delays. At Lisbon-Portela, just over half (54 percent) of the flights departed on time, while flights from Frankfurt International Airport departed on time in 56 percent of the cases.
Paris CDG was the third least punctual airport. It was hit by a massive strike last summer. This resulted in only 56.8 percent of the flights departing on time.
Will European airports be hit by travel chaos again in the summer of 2023?
By all accounts, this summer is set to be the busiest since the summer of 2019. Therefore, there is a good chance that the problems passengers faced last year may repeat themselves in the summer of 2023.
Staff shortages, strikes, increasing demand for air travel and closed airspace will all have an impact on the busyness of the upcoming summer season.
With this in mind, be vigilant when choosing which airport to travel from for your upcoming flight.