Airports Council International (ACI) World has today announced changes to its world-renowned Airport Service Quality (ASQ) awards to reflect the changing landscape in customer experience introduced in response to COVID-19.
The impact and effects of the COVID-19 pandemic have brought the global airport industry to a standstill with an estimated reduction in passenger traffic of 5.6 billion by year’s end. As airports begin to restart operations, understanding the changing needs and expectations of passengers will be crucial in reassuring them that their health and safety remain the top priority.
The pandemic’s effects vary significantly between regions therefore ACI has adapted its global ASQ programme for the collection and measurement of data this year which informs the awards to be presented in 2021.
ACI has amended some categories and temporarily removed the following awards: Most Improved, Best Airport Customer Service, Best Airport Environment and Ambiance, Best Airport Infrastructure and Facilitation, and the Arrivals Award. The Best Airports by Region and Size will remain.
A new category will be introduced – called the Hygiene Award – which will be based on the score of three new safety and hygiene questions that will be added to the tablet version of the ASQ Departure Survey in the fourth quarter of this year.
“As airports around the world begin to restart, it is clear that the health and welfare of travellers, staff, and the public will be of primary importance in fostering confidence in air travel,” ACI World Director General Luis Felipe de Oliveira said. “As a result of the COVID-19 pandemic, travellers are demanding new services and procedures based on their specific needs, requirements, and concerns and airports are seeking to adapt their infrastructure, adopt new technology, and streamline their processes to best match what customers want.
“The new ASQ Awards will recognize those airports that best listen to their customers and respond in a way that meets their changing expectations to provide a hygienic and safe airport environment.
“Airports that respond to the evolving needs of passengers to provide the best customer experience considering the context will not only deliver an award-winning performance, they will also be an example to their partners in the aviation ecosystem.
“ACI recently announced a new strategic partnership with Amadeus to deliver the ASQ Awards this year. The awards show the commitment of airports to continuously improving the passenger experience and represent the highest possible customer experience accolade for airport operators around the world.”
ACI is also introducing a new form of recognition called the Voice of the Customer. This new recognition is separate to the Awards and will recognize airports which demonstrate significant efforts in gathering passenger feedback to help them better understand their customers during the pandemic.
“ACI’s ASQ is the only globally-established programme that provides objective measurement and benchmarking for airports to help drive their performance,” Luis Felipe de Oliveira said.