Which airports have the happiest passengers?

Story highlights

  • The Airport Service Quality Awards measure passenger satisfaction
  • More than 550,000 passenger surveys were carried out in 300-plus countries
  • Service indicators including airport access, check-in, security, and facilities
  • Incheon, South Korea, and Singapore Changi are world's biggest and best

(CNN)A great air travel experience doesn't just begin at take-off.

The industry is increasingly realizing it needs to keep passengers happy on the ground as well as in the air.
    The Airport Service Quality Awards, whose 2015 winners have just been revealed, measure which airports are doing the best job of putting a smile on travelers' faces.
    Incheon Airport, South Korea, and Singapore Changi Airport tied in first place in Best Airports by Size: Over 40 Million Passengers per Year.

    Crowd-pleasing innovations

    It's yet another award these two can add to the shelf, having secured first and second place in travel website Sleeping in Airports' survey of the world's best airports last October.
    It's the fifth year in a row that Changi has topped the ASQ Awards, thanks to crowd-pleasing innovations such as two 24-hour movie theaters screening the latest blockbusters free of charge.
    The ASQ awards, organized by the Montreal-based Airports Council International, are the result of more than 550,000 in-depth passenger satisfactions surveys carried out last year at more than 300 airports across 80 countries worldwide.
    Passengers are asked for their views on 34 key service indicators, including airport access, check-in, security, airport facilities, food and beverage and retail.

    Stellar passenger experience

    "Airports' increasing concentration on ensuring a stellar passenger experience is part of a larger trend," says Angela Gittens, ACI World's director general.
    "Airports have evolved into complex, customer-focused businesses that in many cases are in competition with each other for passenger traffic.
    "From duty-free and restaurants to ambience, cleanliness, courtesy of staff, amenities, efficiency and more, air travelers are expecting big things from the airports through which they travel."
    London Heathrow triumphed in Best Airports by Size and Region: Europe -- a new category for 2015.
    That's despite not scratching the top 10 in travel analysts OAG's list of the world's most punctual airports -- something OAG's senior analyst John Grant blames on capacity strains.
    Indianapolis Airport was the top airport in North America, followed by Grand Rapids.
    The following five airports were singled out as showing the most improvement: Nairobi; Denpasar, Indonesia; Istanbul; Kingston, Jamaica; Damman, Saudi Arabia; Saskatoon, Canada.
    Best Airport by Region (over 2 million passengers per year)
    Africa
    First place: Mauritius
    Second place (tie): Cape Town (South Africa); Durban (South Africa)
    Third place: Johannesburg
    Asia-Pacific
    First place (tie): Seoul Incheon; Singapore Changi
    Second place (tie): Beijing; Mumbai; New Delhi; Sanya Phoenix (China); Shanghai Pudong
    Third place (tie): Guangzhou Baiyun (China); Taiwan Taoyuan; Tianjin Binhai (China)
    Europe
    First place (tie): Moscow Sheremetyevo; Pulkovo St. Petersburg (Russia); Sochi (Russia)
    Second place (tie): Dublin; Malta; Prague; Zurich
    Third place (tie): Copenhagen; Keflavik (Iceland); London Heathrow; Porto (Portugal); Vienna
    Middle East
    First place: Amman
    Second place (tie): Abu Dhabi; Doha
    Third place (tie): Dammam (Saudi Arabia); Dubai; Tel Aviv
    North America
    First place: Indianapolis
    Second place (tie): Dallas Love Field; Grand Rapids (Michigan); Jacksonville (Florida); Ottawa; Tampa (Florida)
    Third place (tie): Austin; Detroit; Sacramento; San Antonio (Texas); Toronto Billy Bishop
    Latin America-Caribbean
    First place: Guayaquil (Ecuador)
    Second place: Quito
    Third place: Punta Cana (Dominican Republic)
    Best Airport by Size
    2--5 million passengers per year
    First place: Jaipur (India)
    Second place: Lucknow (India)
    Third place: Guayaquil (Ecuador)
    5--15 million passengers per year
    First place: Sanya Phoenix (China)
    Second place: Tianjin Binhai (China)
    Third place: Hyderabad (India)
    15--25 million passengers per year
    First place: Seoul Gimpo
    Second place: Wuhan (China)
    Third place: Denpasar
    25--40 million passengers per year
    First place (tie): Mumbai; New Delhi
    Second place: Taiwan Taoyuan
    Third place: Shanghai Hongqiao
    Over 40 million passengers per year
    First place (tie): Seoul Incheon; Singapore
    Second place (tie): Beijing; Shanghai Pudong
    Third place: Guangzhou Baiyun (China)
    Best Airport by Region (under 2 million passengers per year)
    Africa: Upington (South Africa)
    Europe: Skopje (Macedonia)
    North America: Portland
    Latin America-Caribbean: Culiacan (Mexico)
    Best Airport by Size and Region
    Asia-Pacific
    2--5 million passengers per year: Jaipur (India)
    5--15 million passengers per year: Sanya Phoenix (China)
    15--25 million passengers per year: Seoul Gimpo
    25--40 million passengers per year: New Delhi
    Over 40 million passengers per year: Seoul Incheon
    Europe
    2--5 million passengers per year: Sochi (Russia)
    5--15 million passengers per year: Pulkovo St Petersburg (Russia)
    15--25 million passengers per year: Dublin
    25--40 million passengers per year: Moscow Sheremetyevo
    Over 40 million passengers per year: London Heathrow
    North America
    2--5 million passengers per year: Grand Rapids (Michigan)
    5--15 million passengers per year: Indianapolis
    Most Improved Airport
    Africa: Nairobi
    Asia-Pacific: Denpasar (Indonesia)
    Europe: Istanbul
    Latin America-Caribbean: Kingston
    Middle East: Dammam (Saudi Arabia)
    North America: Saskatoon (Canada)