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Sabrina Guerrieri reports on the decision to enhance ACI’s market leading Airport Service Quality (ASQ) programme to make it even better and more relevant.

ACI has announced an evolution of its world-leading Airport Service Quality (ASQ) Awards programme, which it is confident reflects the increasingly dynamic airports industry.

ASQ is the world’s leading airport passenger service and benchmarking programme, measuring passenger satisfaction levels while people travel through an airport.

Some 400 airports across 90 countries currently participate in the programme, which provides the research tools and management information to help airports better understand passengers’ views and what they want from an airport’s products and services.

ACI World director general, Angela Gittens, said: “Our industry is growing and evolving, and airports are now sophisticated businesses that increasingly prioritise delivering a high quality of customer experience as a means of boosting their competitiveness.

“To ensure that the ASQ programme keeps pace with the changes we see in the airports industry, we have made improvements to the existing ASQ Awards and have launched new awards.”

This is being done so that high-scoring airports will be recognised; with so many airports achieving very high scores from their customers, the previously-used system is no longer fit for purpose.

As well, some airports that excel in important segments of customer experience but may not be able to deliver in all areas; especially airports that have outdated or insufficient infrastructure.

ACI has now added awards for airports whose customers tell them that they are providing excellent service in a major category. The award categories in 2019 are:

  • Top 20% of Africa per size and region
  • Top 20% Asia-Pacific per size and region
  • Top 20% Europe per size and region
  • Top 20% Latin America and Caribbean per size and region
  • Top 20% Middle East per size and region
  • Top 20% North America per size and region

There is no change to the size categories.

ACI World is also introducing three new awards to the Departures Survey. These awards will represent the top 5% across the world:

  • Top 5% of airports rated highest in ambience
  • Top 5% of airports rated highest in customer care based on the quality of the customer service received by those surveyed, and
  • Top 5% of airports rated highest in customer facilities – this category measures more than customer service and is based on the range of shops, restaurants and other facilities offered to passengers as they travel through the airport.

The fourth and final change is the addition of a new ASQ Arrivals Award, based on the ASQ Arrivals Survey programme. For this award, there will only be one airport winner which will be awarded based on the overall satisfaction score.

The success of the 2018 ASQ Award winning airports will be celebrated at the second ACI Customer Experience Global Summit, which this year is being held in Bali, Indonesia, on September 2-5 in partnership with PT Angkasa Pura I (Persero).

The Summit, expected to attract more than 400 delegates, will comprise three main elements: an international Airport Service Quality (ASQ) Forum, a Customer Excellence Global Summit, and the prestigious annual ASQ Awards Ceremony.

“The ACI Customer Experience Global Summit is dedicated to helping airport operators understand and meet the ever-changing needs of their customers by exploring trends in passenger experience,” adds Gittens.

“Airports are taking a leading role in improving passenger experience and the ASQ programme helps them to meet the higher levels of service passengers are demanding.”

In 2018, overall passenger satisfaction on a global level increased to 4.21 from 4.19 year-on-year, according to the latest ASQ barometer, and reflect the importance placed on customer experience and satisfaction by airports around the world.

Airline check-in and passport/ID control processes generated the highest levels of satisfaction in 2018, while airport facilities are the points of contact that have improved the most. Value for money of restaurants and shopping facilities is one of the main challenges.

The quarterly barometer reports, based on objective measurements derived from the ASQ Departures survey, enable airports around the world to gain valuable insights to excel in the crucial arena of customer experience, increasingly a competitive driver.


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