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PASSENGER SERVICES Last modified on July 2, 2018

Striving for excellence

ACI World’s manager for ASQ strategic marketing, Sevda Fevzi, tells us more about the launch of the first ever barometer on global airport service quality.

In April, ACI World launched the first ever Airport Service Quality (ASQ) barometer, which provides a global snapshot of airport customer experience satisfaction levels.

The barometer was put together from the overall satisfaction scores from a global and regional level, derived from the longstanding ASQ Departures programme.

ACI’s ASQ Departures programme is the only worldwide programme to survey passengers at the airport on their day of travel. It measures passengers’ views of 34 key performance indicators, including airport access, check-in, security screening, restrooms, stores and restaurants, additionally capturing passenger comments of their best and worst experience at the airport.

Each airport uses the same methodology, creating an industry database that allows airports to benchmark with other airports around the world.

In 2017, more than half of the world’s 7.1 billion travellers passed through an ASQ airport and this barometer was developed in response to airport demand for greater insight into customer need. As competition in the airport industry grows, continuous service improvement is key for business performance and airports are making the customer experience a high priority.

This barometer provides current data – based on objective measurements derived from the ASQ Departures survey – and the most relevant key performance indicators and categories for customers, including airport access, security, passport control and airport facilities.

Some of the key findings include:

  • Overall in 2017, airport customer experience has improved globally from 4.15 to 4.19 (out of a 5-point scale). Security screening has the strongest impact on the overall satisfaction of passengers, and satisfaction in this area has improved overall
  • In comparison of Q1 2017 and Q1 2018, overall satisfaction increased from 4.19 to 4.21
  • The most satisfied passengers are found in larger airports (>40mppa)
  • Asia-Pacific’s airports remain at the top of the charts in terms of customer experience satisfaction

"The development of the ASQ barometer was in direct response to feedback from our members telling us that they need to be proactive in measuring their efforts against sound and objective data,” reveals ACI World director general, Angela Gittens.

“Objective measurement and benchmarking are critical in driving performance in any business, especially in such a competitive and dynamic industry such as ours. These quarterly reports will go a long way in helping inform airports and, in turn, encouraging them to strive for continued customer excellence in tangible ways that resonate with their customers.”

ACI World will publish quarterly barometer reports which will enable airports around the world to measure up against their competition and gain invaluable insights to inform their approach to the increasingly competitive and crucial area of customer experience.

The barometer is the latest addition to the ASQ portfolio. In 2017, ACI also launched the ASQ Arrivals Survey which complements the findings from the ASQ’s Departures Survey.

This package offers airports a holistic picture of what passengers are thinking, doing and feeling as they move through the various stages of their airport journey. It collects their opinions on the day they travel when the experience is fresh in their minds.

The arrivals experience differs greatly, passengers having different states of mind and priorities. Thus, the methodological approach to conducting the Arrivals Survey has been adapted to offer a shorter survey time.

Like the ASQ main Departures Survey, the ASQ Arrivals Survey gives airports the tools they need to improve their passenger service initiatives and the flexibility to adapt the programme through optional services like additional sample plans, increased sample sizes and more.

Of course, to further gauge customer experience success, the ASQ Departures and Arrivals programmes are only one part of the story.


Customers are in constant contact with staff working in the airport: both those employed directly and those who work in the duty free, retail and food and beverage outlets. Their experience can also be affected by what might be going on behind the scenes, and by staff they have never met. Airports are complex operations with many business partners playing a role.

In response to the added dimension of improving customer experience, ACI also launched a new programme to help airports better understand the thoughts, actions and motivations of all staff in the airport.

The Employee Survey for Customer Experience (ECE) has been designed to provide invaluable data to airports so that they can better understand how airport staff interact with customers, and to help them evaluate whether customer experience enhancement projects are hitting the mark.

ECE is designed to help airports:

  • Understand the motivation and commitment of airport staff towards achieving the common goal of improving the customer experience, and assess their collective commitment to customer experience;
  • Identify areas which might be prioritised for improvement and develop action plans to enhance the overall customer experience; and to,
  • Benchmark customer experience initiatives and share best practice with other participating airports.

ECE has been developed with the same commitment to robust data gathering that has made the ASQ Survey an essential tool for the world’s best airports.

The ECE is easy to use and has been designed to be self-administered online and is packed with useful features such as a global index structured around 73 questions; search functions; strategic recommendations; and, year-end summaries. This programme also fits seamlessly with the ASQ toolkit of products and services, making it the ideal complement for existing ASQ members.

In 2018, in conjunction with Halifax Stanfield International Airport, ACI will host the inaugural Airports Council International Customer Excellence Global Summit, to be held in Halifax, Nova Scotia, Canada from September, 9-13, 2018.

This ACI conference will combine the traditional multiple ASQ Forums held throughout the year into one international annual ASQ Forum and Summit, providing the industry with a much-needed platform to exchange best-practice and lessons learned on providing the airport customer experience, challenges and trends, and how ever-evolving technology impacts customer experience management.

The one-day Forum and following two-day Summit will be open to ASQ subscribers as well as those airports who desire information about the ASQ programme, by invitation only.

In addition to the Forum and the Conference, the event will include a Gala dinner and the prestigious annual ASQ Awards Ceremony.

The tripartite event is expected to attract many delegates and provide Halifax Stanfield, the city and province, with international exposure and business development opportunities.

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