Earlier this month, AirHelp released its World Airport Ranking for 2019, ranking 133 of the world’s airports. According to the AirHelp methodology PDF, they chose these airports because they were able to secure good and clear data on them for the three categories they use to rank them: “On-Time Performance”, “Service Quality” and “Food and Shops”. Airhelp then attributes a score out of 10 for each of these factors, and weighs them in at 60%, 20% and 20% respectively for the final score.
With this in mind, their results put Hamad International Airport and Tokyo International Airport tied at 8.39 at number 1 and 2 respectively, followed by Athens International, Afonso Pena International, Gdansk Lech Watesa Airport, Moscow Sheremetyevo, Singapore Changi Airport, Hyderabad Rajiv Gandhi International Aiport, Tenerife North Airport and Viracopos/Campinas International Airport, for the top 10. Each of these scored a total above 8.25/10.
On the other hand, the top ten worst airports comprised, in order: Lisbon Portela, Kuwait International, Eindhoven Airport, Henri Coanda International Airport, Malta International, Machester Airport, Paris Orly, Porto Airport, Billy Bishop Toronto City Airport and London Gatwick.
So, what can we take from all this? Well firstly I believe that this rating must be considered within the spectrum of operations, even the AirHelp’s Team was surprised at the scores for airports like Athens International, but considering things like the sunny weather, meaning fewer delays, it adds up in the final score.
When asked about the airport, Scott Mayerowitz, the executive editorial director at travel website “The Points Guy”, said to Bloomberg: “It’s a good efficient Airport, there are a lot of things I like about it”. But he noted that there is nothing inspiring about that specific airport, when compared to airports like Singapore Changi, which has butterfly gardens and ‘rain vortexes’.
In the end, you don’t really pick your travel destination based on the airport, however, if you have a long layover, and multiple airports to pick from, you might want to take the rankings into consideration. A perfect example of this are the airports within the NYC metropolitan area.
Between JFK, LaGuardia and Newark, you might want to fly to JFK as it proves to be more efficient, while if you’re going to Australia from the EU, and have no preferences on Airlines, you might want to chose either the Singapore Airlines or British Airways flights that stop over at Changi International to enjoy the beauty of the Airport.
Finally, it’s curious to see that most of the world’s major hubs, have not performed well in the ranking, with Heathrow landing with a score of 7.39, JFK a 7.31, Atlanta a 7.81, Los Angeles a 7.46, Dubai a 6.49, Abu Dhabi International a 7.85, among many others. These scores could mostly be attributed to the fact that with so much traffic, delays are common, and with so many passengers, it can be hard to please everyone that goes through the airport.