Heading out to a new international destination for work? As a professional globetrotter, you’ve most likely seen airports that span the quality spectrum — from the new and sparkling to the old and decrepit.
But there’s more to an airport than just its age and appearance. And AirHelp is now quantifying airport quality based on 3 factors: on-time performance, quality of service, and passenger sentiment.
Here’s a look at the 10 best airports in the world as ranked by AirHelp, as well as the rankings of major American airports:
1. Singapore Changi Airport (9.07 overall)
Singapore’s Changi Airport was one of just 3 airports worldwide to earn a perfect 10 for quality of service (along with Hong Kong and Munich). Singapore is an emerging market with a thriving economy, and there’s plenty of reason for American businesses to send employees there. The most direct routes from the United States to Changi Airport are from Los Angles and San Francisco on United Airlines or from Houston, Los Angeles, New York or San Francisco on Singapore Airlines.
2. Munich International Airport (8.66)
A hub in Central Europe, Munich International Airport is yet another that excels at quality of service — earning a perfect 10. American passengers can find direct flights to Munich on a number of U.S.-based carriers, including Delta, American and United.
3. Hong Kong International Airport (8.42)
The only 3 airports to earn a perfect 10 for quality of service are also the top 3 airports in the world as ranked by AirHelp — with Hong Kong International Airport coming in third. This is another popular airport for American businesses needing to access Asia’s emerging markets. Find direct flights to Hong Kong on American, Delta and United.
4. Copenhagen Kastrup Airport (8.04)
Copenhagen’s Kastrup Airport first opened in 1925, making it one of the oldest passenger airports in the world. Kastrup earns fourth place largely based on its on-time performance rating of 8.6. Business travelers are much more likely to see Copenhagen as a destination rather than a connection. Few U.S. carriers offer direct flights. For example, Delta offers only seasonal service to Copenhagen.
4. Helsinki-Vantaa Airport (8.03)
Another Scandinavian destination, Finland’s Helsinki-Vantaa Airport ranks fifth with well-rounded scores in all 3 categories: 8 in on-time performance, 8 in quality of service and a stellar 8.4 in passenger sentiment. Like Copenhagen, Helsinki is typically a final destination for business travelers rather than a connection. It’s hard to find direct flights from the U.S.
6. Cincinnati Northern Kentucky International Airport (7.94)
The only American airport among the top 10 in the world, the Cincinnati Northern Kentucky International Airport comes in sixth largely on the strength of its 8.6 rating for on-time performance. An 8 for quality of service helped Cincinnati Northern Kentucky overcome a 4.8 passenger sentiment score. This airport is a hub for Delta. You can find plenty of domestic destinations, as well as limited international service — including flights to Paris and Toronto.
7. Barcelona-El Prat Airport (7.90)
The first of 2 Spanish airports among the top 10, Barcelona-El Prat scored evenly across all 3 categories: 7.9 for on-time performance, 8 for quality of service, and 7.6 for passenger sentiment. Find plenty of direct flights to Barcelona on U.S.-based carriers, including flights to and from Atlanta, Charlotte, Chicago, Miami, New York, Philadelphia and Washington.
8. Madrid Adolfo Suraez-Barajas Airport (7.81)
Just behind its neighbor Barcelona, Madrid Adolfor Suarez-Barajas Airport comes in at eighth on the list. Its 8.7 rating for on-time performance is what sets it apart from others. Business travelers can find direct flights on U.S.-based carriers from many of the same cities that connect to Barcelona.
9. Auckland International Airport (7.80)
New Zealand’s Auckland International Airport earned a unique blend of scores: high for on-time performance (8.6) and quality of service (8) but abysmal on passenger sentiment (3.3). Auckland is much more of a tourist destination than a business destination, though business travelers can connect to Auckland through Honolulu, Houston, Los Angeles and San Francisco.
10. Frankfurt International Airport (7.76)
Germany’s Frankfurt International Airport is another that ranks highly for on-time performance (8.4) and quality of service (8) but that struggles with passenger sentiment (3.8). Given its location in Central Europe, Frankfurt serves as a major hub for Lufthansa, as well as a significant international destination for United, which connects directly to Frankfurt from Chicago, Houston, Newark, San Francisco and Washington.
Other Superlative Airports Worldwide
The best overall airports are listed above, as well as the 3 best airports for quality of service. But other destinations earned high marks in single categories — but couldn’t overcome low ratings in other categories to earn a spot in the top 10.
Athens International Airport in the Greek capital was best for on-time performance at 9.1, followed closely by two U.K. airports: Birmingham (9) and Bristol (9). Brazil’s Sao Paulo Guarulhos International Airport topped the passenger sentiment category with a 9.4 mark.
The Lowest Ranked Airports Worldwide
AirHelp provided rankings for a total of 76 airports — which means some destination had to come in last. That destination in 2017 was Kuwait Airport in the Middle East. Here’s a look at AirHelp’s bottom 10, including 4 airports located in the United Kingdom:
- Kuwait Airport (5.02)
- London Gatwick Airport (5.38)
- Manchester Airport (5.43)
- Newark Liberty International Airport (5.92)
- London Stansted Airport (6.07)
- Edinburgh Airport (6.10)
- Mumbai Airport (6.21)
- Dubai International Airport (6.24)
- Bangkok Suvamabhumi International Airport (6.30)
- Delhi Airport (6.31)
Where Do American Airports Rank?
You won’t find many U.S. destinations among either the top or bottom 10. So, where do American airports rank on AirHelp’s list? Mostly in the middle. Here’s a look at American airports and their rankings:
- Cincinnati Northern Kentucky International Airport (7.94)
- San Francisco Airport (7.54)
- Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (7.06)
- Miami International Airport (6.96)
- Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport (6.80)
- New York J.F.K. International Airport (6.76)
- Las Vegas McCarran International Airport (6.75)
- Atlanta Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport (6.73)
- Chicago O’Hare International Airport (6.69)
- Denver International Airport (6.64)
- Boston Edward L. Logan International Airport (6.51)
- Los Angeles International Airport (6.38)
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We know that the small things matter, which is why we can help ensure that travelers are spending more time flying into and connecting through the best airports rather than the worst. When you’re ready for a common sense approach to business travel, we can be your corporate travel agency.
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