Airport ACI Rankings


Over the past few years, as passenger counts at U.S. airports have increased to record levels, airports must continually re-evaluate themselves to remain competitive and increase capacity to avoid overcrowding. A well-maintained airport can drive additional revenue for the communities it serves through increased demand for airline terminal space rentals, airline landing fees, and usage fees for terminals, gates, services, and passenger counts. While price is often the primary factor in selecting a flight, airports can gain a competitive advantage over regional competitors by concentrating on service fundamentals and aggressively marketing themselves to the communities they serve.

Customer Satisfaction Surveys

More than 400 airports worldwide quantify their performance by participating in ACI’s Airport Service Quality (ASQ) program, which is based on a series of customer satisfaction surveys that measure passengers’ opinion on 34 key performance indicators (KPIs) on the day they travel. Like other survey-based ratings such as the J.D. Power Awards, these results provide key benchmarks for airports to measure their performance within their peer group and suggest best practices for the future. They also help key decision-makers prioritize future spending based on potential return on investment.

ACI and ASQ Airport Logos

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Key Economic Drivers

Airports are key economic drivers of the regional areas they serve and function as small communities within themselves. With the increasing number of layovers and the need for customers to allow extra time to get through security, commercial revenues often exceed 50% of total revenues. Localized food, beverage, and merchandise options enable airports to more closely reflect their communities and give local businesses the chance to expand their operations. Passengers also expect relaxing amenities such as nursing lounges for mothers, therapy animals, and massage stations. For longer layovers, airports have also added destination facilities such as museums, nature walks, and movie theaters.


Airport Line Graph

Increase Rankings

So how can an airport increase its rankings in ASQ and other surveys? One of the airports that Flagship services recently underwent a two-year effort to improve its customer satisfaction ratings. They began by concentrating on the basics, making sure the terminal is always clean and well maintained and ground transportation to and from the airport is well organized and convenient. Keeping busy facilities such as restrooms clean can be a challenge unless services are calibrated to the flight schedules at each gate. The condition of carpeting and decorative floors such as terrazzo also provide visual clues as to whether the airport is well maintained. If the airport comes up short in those areas, passengers immediately report what they’ve seen on social media.


Airports with an excessive number of video screens and public address announcements can seem frenetic to passengers who may already be stressed out by having to go through security and wait for their flight. Some terminals are painted with soothing colors to provide a more serene atmosphere.


Happy Airport-Passengers

Passengers’ impressions of the airport are also shaped by every human interaction. This includes not just airport staff, but also many non-airport employees such as concessionaires, TSA staff, airline employees, taxi/rideshare drivers, and vendors such as janitorial staff. The goal is to treat passengers like guests in a fine hotel and encourage every person providing a service at the airport to listen to passengers and provide them with the answers they need. Everyone who interacts with passengers is part of the overall customer service team and must take responsibility for creating positive impressions.

Many travelers prefer to minimize the number of human interactions while being processed through the airport, so airports are working to automate the check-in process as much as possible, as well as moving TSA checkpoints in order to decrease lines. Automation will also have a major impact on the passenger experience in the future, from automated baggage handling to self-driving buses.

Ultimately, every aspect of the customer experience matters. Upon completion of their two-year customer experience enhancement program, the airport mentioned above achieved a significant increase in its customer satisfaction rankings, as well as significant increases in aviation and non-aviation related revenues.


New Award: Best Hygiene Measures by Region

As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, travelers are demanding new services and procedures based on their specific needs, requirements, and concerns. Airports are also seeking to adapt their infrastructure, adopt new technology, and streamline their processes to best match what customers want. The Best Hygiene Measures Award recognizes those airports that best listen to their customers and respond in a way that meets their changing expectations to provide a hygienic and safe airport environment. This award is based on the score of three safety and hygiene questions that were added to the tablet version of the ASQ Departure Survey.

View ASQ Awards Winners