Where are Europe’s best airports? Passenger survey reveals some surprising results

Tallinn, Belgrade, Budapest and Athens are home to some of Europe’s best airports, a new survey reveals.

Since 2006, Airports Council International has been surveying passengers on their experiences at almost 400 airports in 95 countries. The results are shared in the annual ASQ (Airport Service Quality) Awards.

Here’s how Europe’s airports shaped up in the recently released 2022 rankings.

How do the Airport Service Quality Awards work?

The ASQ Awards are broken down by airport size and region. Survey questions cover staff dedication, cleanliness and the ease and enjoyability of customers’ airport journeys.

Airports that score within the top 20 per cent on the overall satisfaction score make the final cut.

The results are shared with airports to help them improve their customer experience.

What are the best airports in Europe?

Spain has the most top-rated airports that welcome under two million passengers per year. El Hierro in Valverde, Pamplona, Reus, Murcia and Asturias all made the cut. The only non-Spanish airport to join them is Inverness in Scotland.

In the two to five million passenger category, eastern European countries shine with Skopje in North Macedonia, Tallinn in Estonia and Zagreb in Croatia sharing the top spot.

Among airports welcoming between five and 15 million passengers per year, the winners are more spread out. They include Ankara Esenboga in Turkey, Belgrade in Serbia, Keflavik in Iceland, Malta International Airport, Milan Bergamo in Italy, Porto in Portugal and Thessaloniki in Greece.

In the 15 to 25 million passengers category, Alicante in Spain, Budapest in Hungary and Helsinki in Finland share first place.

Among airports that serve 25 to 40 million people annually, Athens in Greece, Palma in Spain and Zurich in Switzerland are the best for customer experience.

Of the largest airports – those serving over 40 million people per year – Rome in Italy and Istanbul in Turkey share the crown.

Where are you less likely to have an enjoyable airport experience?

While the ASQ Awards doesn’t cover Europe’s worst airports, various other rankings reveal the places you’re less likely to have an enjoyable journey.

In the UK, Leeds Bradford Airport has the worst queues according to a survey released in November by consumer champion Which?.

Data released by European air traffic management body Eurocontrol earlier this year revealed the worst airports for delays.

Among Europe’s biggest airports, Lisbon in Portugal and Frankfurt in Germany saw the worst delays, both with fewer than 60 per cent of flights departing punctually. Paris CDG was third worst for delays.

Will this summer see a repeat of last year’s airport chaos?

With this summer set to be the busiest travel season since 2019, you might be worried about more queues and cancellations in the pipeline.

Unfortunately, there’s a good chance that the problems passengers faced last year could follow them into 2023. Staff shortages, strikes, rising demand for flights and lack of airspace availability could all play into this.

With this in mind, take care when selecting your destination airport.


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