San Pedro: Best airports 2013

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By Arnel San Pedro

Check and Balance

Sunday, June 9, 2013


PUTTING passengers at the heart of what they do -- that is the spirit of Changi International Airport. And that is what all other airports in the world should strive for -- good service to passengers.

For the fourth time, the Singapore Changi Airport has been voted the World's Best Airport at the 2013 World Airport Awards held by Skytrax at the Passenger Terminal Expo in Geneva. Changi Airport, which boasts of six open-air gardens, gyms, spas, and other leisure amenities, has last won the accolade in 2010.

Voted second best airport is Incheon International Airport, which has a golf course, spa, casino, museum, and other attractions. The Airport Council International had chosen Incheon airport as best in the world for seven consecutive years. Coming in third spot is Amsterdam Schiphol Airport.

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The Skytrax World Airport Awards was based on 12.1 million passenger surveys at 385 airports all over the world with criteria ranging from terminal comfort, ease of access, staff language skills, wait times, and public transportation options. The Asian airports such as Changi in Singapore, Incheon in South Korea and Hong Kong International Airport have lorded it over the prestigious airport awards for a long time.

Skytrax chairman Edward Plaisted said: "In winning this prestigious accolade, Singapore Changi cements its place as one of the world's favorite airports and Skytrax offer their sincere congratulations on what has been a fantastic year of achievement. Changi airport continues to be a leader and innovator within the industry and this in our opinion, is a key reason why it has remained ranked amongst the top-3 airports for the last 14 years of the awards."

For his part, Mr. Lee Seow Hiang, Chief Executive Officer of the Changi Airport Group noted: “Winning the Skytrax World's Best Airport award again is an immense honor for Changi Airport. It is as much recognition of the passion of the 32,000-strong airport community that is the backbone of Changi's collaborative and a well-oiled operational process, as it is an affirmation of our mantra in putting our passengers at the heart of all that we do.”

"At Changi Airport, we believe in focusing on the needs of our passengers and providing them with only the best of airport experiences, with our exciting slew of offerings that have been introduced through the years that add a touch of delight for our passengers. Our success has been possible only with the contributions of our partners. We thank them for their fullest support and our passengers for their vote of confidence."

Plaisted added that "the vast array of leisure and entertainment facilities really standout at Changi and serve to highlight the extent to which the management has gone to ensure maximum levels of passenger satisfaction. We only have to look at the fact that Changi served more than 50 million passengers for the first time during 2012, to see that it continues to attract customers and maintain its place as one of the world's leading hub airports.”

The other top best airports in the world are:

4. Hong Kong International Airport
5. Beijing Capital International Airport
6. Munich Airport
7. Zurich Airport
8. Vancouver International Airport
9. Tokyo International Airport Haneda1
10. London Heathrow Airport

What to do now with the Ninoy Aquino International Airport as Terminals 1 and 3 crumble? Well, we should develop it further to make it more appealing and pleasurable to the eyes of foreign visitors. The airport is the “front of the house” of the country and it should serve the passengers well.

Says one foreign visitor named Drew who posted his comments on the Internet: “Why even mention about NAIA to be on the list? NAIA is and has been the worst airport in the world for many years. The Philippines brags so much about their economy, yet tourists experience the worst accommodation and treatment at the airport. From the porters to the immigration officers, most of them are very unprofessional. From the airport you'll encounter problems with some taxi driver/cheaters. Should you decide to walk around Manila and suburbs, you can easily be mug at broad daylight, robbers all around. They steal your luggage and gadgets, etc. I hate to visit Manila for many reasons.”

As we outperform other Asian economies, we should get things going with the development of our airports.

Published in the Sun.Star Pampanga newspaper on June 10, 2013.

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