Believe in better
Airport World editor, Joe Bates, considers the importance of customer service and the success of ACI’s Airport Service Quality (ASQ) customer satisfaction survey.
There was a time not so very long ago, when the idea of good customer service at an airport involved little more than a hassle free journey to your gate and an on time departure.
And these things are, of course, still important, but in today’s world of the savvy and connected traveller – the latter courtesy of a host of mobile devices that ensure we are never more than a click away from 24/7 information – airport customer service has had to go to a whole new level to satisfy demand.
As a result, nowadays you can do almost anything at an airport (i.e. go swimming, ice skating, visit the cinema, play a round of golf, visit butterfly gardens, shop ‘til you drop, enjoy fine dining or just sleep in your own personal pod) and nobody is that surprised!
Indeed, the desire to raise the bar and even go beyond passenger expectations – the motto of customer service king, Incheon International Airport – has led to the opening of some magnificent new passenger-friendly terminals across the world that wouldn’t have been deemed possible 30 years ago.
And as for airport staff, well, it’s true you will always get one or two that live in the Dark Ages and are unnecessarily rude or inhospitable – and I’m not just talking about security screeners – but, for the most part, frontline employees today are efficient and helpful.
Now this could be down to the individual, of course, but more than likely, it is the result of a customer service training programme and/or an airport’s new, more passenger focused business philosophy.
How should people be treated? Well, when I was a little boy, my mum told me to treat people how you’d like to be treated yourself, and I think anyone adopting this mantra cannot go far wrong.
You cannot talk about customer service at airports today, of course, without mentioning ACI World’s pioneering Airport Service Quality (ASQ) Survey, which, incidentally, is the theme of this issue.
It therefore seemed only right to visit the ASQ Hall of Fame and discover more about what makes Incheon, Indianapolis, Keflavík, Moscow Sheremetyevo and Singapore Changi so good at delivering top quality customer service.
We also hear from ACI World’s deputy director general, Craig Bradbrook, about the history, success and continued development of the ASQ programme.
And, the spotlight on customer service doesn’t end there, as elsewhere in this issue we have features on designing user friendly terminals; innovation in airport seating; and turn the spotlight on Heathrow’s new showpiece Terminal 2.
Our signature interview is with Ferrovial Aeropuertos CEO, Jorge Gil, and Istanbul’s Sabiha Gökçen comes under the microscope in our airport profile.
I hope you agree that we well and truly cover the world in this issue and l look forward to hearing your feedback, and possibly learning a bit more about your airport, in the future.
And, if you are going to be in Seoul this May for the ACI Asia-Pacific/ACI World Annual General Assembly, don’t forget to pop by and visit us at the Airport World booth on the exhibition floor.
View from the top
ACI World director general, Angela Gittens, reflects on the importance of knowledge sharing and what ACI is doing to help airports achieve operational excellence.
Jorge Gil, CEO of Ferrovial Aeropuertos, talks to Joe Bates about the company’s prize asset, London Heathrow, and its global development plans.
Istanbul’s Sabiha Gökçen Airport is planning to expand and remains unfazed by the thought of a new mega-hub on its doorstep, write Chris Beanland and Joe Bates.
ACI World’s deputy director general, Craig Bradbrook, reflects on the first decade of benchmarking passenger satisfaction levels at airports.
Nothing compares to you
Seven times winner of Best Airport Worldwide and the dominant performer in 25-40mppa category for nearly a decade, Incheon International Airport arguably sets the global standards for customer service excellence, writes Joe Bates.
Setting the pace
Executive director of Indianapolis Airport Authority, Robert Duncan, tells Airport World about the secrets of the Indiana gateway’s Airport Service Quality (ASQ) success.
Best in class
Stuart Bowden turns the spotlight on two of Europe’s top ASQ performers – Moscow Sheremetyevo and Keflavík Airport in Iceland.
Experience is everything
Sweeping up two ASQ awards for 2013, Singapore Changi’s formula for success puts customer experience at its core, writes Tina Milton.
The bigger picture
Form and function will be intertwined in Shanghai Pudong’s planned South Satellite Concourse to elevate the passenger experience, writes Corgan’s Jonathan Massey.
Investing in Africa
Airport development across Africa is beginning to gather pace with governments and investors looking at opportunities to enhance existing infrastructure, writes Joe Bates.
Heathrow is confident that its new Terminal 2 will enhance the passenger experience and set a new benchmark in airport design, writes Justin Burns.
It all ads up
Charles Hugill takes a closer look at the current trends and innovation in the global airport advertising market.
The bottom line
Airport World talks to two of the world’s leading airport seating companies to discover more about the latest innovations and industry trends.
Airport Marketing Exchange
In this age of increased connectivity and mobility, how exactly can airports tap into the connected travellers’ market?
The vital link
Project management is the key to the smooth execution and delivery of a successful baggage handling system, writes Vanderlande’s Ariane Schipper.
The art of noise
Sound can be a valuable tool for ensuring safety and comfort at airports, writes Graeme Harrison.
Dr Richard Plenty and Terri Morrissey provide their thoughts on: Courageous leadership.
Heydar Aliyev International Airport.
ACI’s World Business Partners
The last word
Airport World gets up close and personal with TIACA’s, Doug Brittin.