These Airports Offer Winning Customer Service

Great airports not only make it easy to get from here to there, but they also make sure passengers enjoy the time they spend inside the terminals.

Which airports do it best?

That can be hard to measure. But the Air Service Quality Awards, handed out by Airports Council International (ACI) since 2006, do a good job of recognizing excellence in airport customer experience and in a variety of other categories.

To pick the winners, ACI and Amadeus, a travel technology company, interview travelers while they are in airports. The surveys include questions about wayfinding, check-in, shopping and dining offerings, as well as cleanliness, staffing, and other performance indicators.

The Winners

For 2022, 144 awards are being awarded to 75 airports around the world. Categories include Best Airports by size and region, as well as Airport with the Most Dedicated Staff, Easiest Airport Journey, Most Enjoyable Airport, and Cleanest Airport.

You can see the full list of winning airports here, but we’ve picked out some highlights.

Cleanest Airports

In North America, the cleanest airport awards go to Fort McMurray International Airport (YMM) in Alberta, Canada; Gerald R. Ford International Airport (GRR) in Grand Rapids, MN; and Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport (GSP) in South Carolina.

Most Enjoyable Airports

ACI says this award recognizes the top surveyed airports for their offerings (restaurants, shops, entertainment) and for their efforts to make the waiting time enjoyable and comfortable.

Fort MacMurray International Airport (YMM) and Gerald Ford International Airport (GRR) – winners in the cleanest airports category – picked up awards in this category as well, along with Willian Hobby Aiport (HOU) in Houston.

Best Airports

DFW ART in Terminal D

The Best Airport awards go to airports with the top 20% overall satisfaction score by size and region.

Here are the winners in North America:

Over 40 million passengers per year: Dallas Fort Worth International Airport (DFW) and San Francisco International Airport (SFO);

25 to 40 million passengers: Detroit Metropolitan Wayne County Airport (DTW) and Minneapolis/St Paul International Airport (MSP);

15 to 25 million passengers: San Jose Mineta International Airport (SJC);

5 to 15 million passengers: Indianapolis International Airport (IND), Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY), and Milwaukee Mitchell International Airport (MKE);

2 to 5 million passengers:

Gerald R. Ford International Airport (GRR) and Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport (GSP):

Under 2 million passengers: Fort McMurray International Airport (YMM).

Stuck at The Airport: Friday Round-Up

Happy Friday. Here are some of the airport adventures we spotted on Twitter this week at airports around the country.

And in New Orleans

Mardi Gras is underway in New Orleans and on Thursday, Louis Armstrong New Orleans International Airport (MSY) hosted its 10th annual Krewe de Louis Parade in the terminal.

We’re waiting for the airport’s official video of the event. But here are some of the tweets we spotted late Thursday. One included a local dancing group, the 610 Stompers, which joined the parade to welcome another dance troop, the Milwaukee Dancing Grannies. 

Here’s MYS’s video of the Krewe Du Louis Parade from 2022.

Rebrand for San Jose Mineta Int’l Airport

Soda companies do it. Toothpaste companies do it. Car companies do it.

And airports do it too.

Since 2001 you have known it as Norman Y. Mineta San José International Airport (SJC).

But, thanks to a rebrand, from now on the San José airport will be going by a slightly different name: San José Mineta International Airport.

The name change may seem slight. But it is part of the airport’s goal to become more of a key player in the Bay Area and strengthen the airport’s geographical association with San José.

In addition to the new name, the rebrand includes a new logo, a new color scheme, and a new tagline: Fly Simple.

SJC’s first incorporated the name of US Secretary of Transportation Norman Y. Mineta in 2001. And, while many airports are named for people, San José was one of the few airports in the world to be named after a living person. Secretary Mineta passed away on May 3, 2022.

We’re fine with the name change. Just as long as the airport doesn’t mess with the cool public art. And with the charming topiary bear at the entrance.

San Jose Airport "Space Observer" sculpture
Space Observer – by  Bjorn Schulke

Best Airport Amenities 2022

From a first-place win for “America’s Best Restroom” to free miniature golf and ice skating, in 2022 airports around the country did a great job of offering passengers some great new amenities.

We did a full round-up of some of our favorites for The Points Guy site.

But here are some of the highlights of the Best Airport Amenities from 2022.

Award-winning loos

Airports were on a roll in 2022, with two finalists in the running in the contest for America’s Best Restroom.

Newark Liberty International (EWR) was nominated for an innovative all-gender restroom suite. But Tampa International Airport (TPA) cleaned up as the winner, for its new, locally themed loos.

Tampa International Airport also won our hearts for the ‘adoption’ of an impossible-to-miss 21-foot-tall sculpture of a pink flamingo in the terminal. The artwork by Matthew Mazzotta is titled “Home.” But after a community-wide vote, the flamingo was named Phoebe.

The Return of Marriage Licenses & Free Ice-Skating

Some ‘best airport amenities’ from 2022 were actually the welcome return of amenities that were set aside during the pandemic.

Jacksonville International Airport (JAX), Philadelphia International Airport (PHL), and several others celebrated Valentine’s Day with free carnations for travelers. And in Las Vegas, the Marriage Capital of the World, the Clark County Clerk’s Office brought back its pop-up marriage license bureau to Harry Reid International Airport (LAS).

And Denver International Airport (DEN) brought back free programming to the outdoor public space between the Jeppesen Terminal and the Westin Hotel.

Free miniature golf was offered in the summer and free ice-skating in the winter.

See the rest of our picks for Best Airport Amenities of 2022 here.

What to look for in airports this week

So many new things are popping up at airports for the holiday season. Here are just some of the items we spotted over the weekend.

Toy Planes at St. Louis Lambert Int’l Airport

Toys Take Flight is a new exhibit by the Field House Museum now in the Lambert Gallery at St. Louis Lambert International Airport (STL). In addition to toy airplanes and model plane kits, the exhibit includes some great photographs.

Avatar at Sinagpore Changi Airport

Little Free Libraries Filling Up at Seattle-Tacoma Int’l Airport

You may have noticed Little Free Libraries in your neighborhood encouraging people to leave books and take books. Some airports around the country host Little Free Libraries too, and Seattle-Tacoma International Airport (SEA) is the newest addition. Look for two artist-painted Little Free Libraries at SEA. One is at the top of the escalator leading down to the SEA Underground train at Concourse A and the other is in front of the Children’s Play Area in Concourse A.

Last time we passed through the airport we were pleased to see that the Free Little Library by the play area was chock full of kids books.