The Skytrax consulting firm has just released its latest annual survey of the world’s best airports – and the results look dismal for U.S. travelers.
East Asia generally strengthened its domination of the higher reaches of the table.Japan alone scored four airports in the top 20 (Tokyo Haneda, Central Japan, Tokyo Narita, and Kansai), China scored three (Hong Kong International, Beijing Capital, and Shanghai Hongqiao). The only other nation to score more than one in the top 20 was Germany with Munich and Frankfurt.
As for the best airport of all that would be Singapore Changi, up from second place last year. This means it swapped positions with Seoul Incheon, which was top last year and ranks second this time.
Only four U.S. airports squeaked into the top 50 and the best scoring of them, Cincinnati/North Kentucky, merely made it to number 30. Even Cincinnati has reason to be crestfallen as its ranking fell precipitously from 24 last year. As for America’s other “high-scoring” airports, Denver ranked 36 this year, San Francisco 40, and Hartsfield 48.
For me a particularly pertinent observation is that the three U.S. airports I most often have to contend with — Dulles, Reagan, and LaGuardia — are nowhere in the top 100. Deservedly so.
Skytrax also published rankings for individual categories and, for international travelers, they make particularly interesting reading. Here are the top scorers.
Security processing: Copenhagen.
Baggage delivery: Zurich.
Immigration: Kuala Lumpur.
International transit: Seoul Incheon.
Shopping: London Heathrow.
Cleanliness: Tokyo Haneda.
Leisure activities: Singapore Changi.
Best domestic airport: Tokyo Haneda.
Most improved: Frankfurt.
A total of only fifteen U.S. airports made the top 100. Apart from those mentioned above, they included Dallas-Fort Worth, Seattle-Tacoma, JFK, Minneapolis-St. Paul, Detroit, O’Hare, Raleigh-Durham, Charlotte-Douglas, Boston Logan, Salt Lake City, and Pittsburgh.