Business Review Europe looks at the 10 highest-rated European airports of 2016 according to the World Airport Awards, the largest annual airport customer satisfaction survey.
10 – Vienna Airport, Austria
Ranked 29th globally by the World Airport Awards survey, which documented the views of some 13.25 million passengers from 550 airports, Vienna Airport has jumped up nine places from 2015. The new Austrian Star Alliance Terminal (Terminal 3) opened in 2012 and enables the airport to handle up to 30 million passengers per year.
9 – Barcelona Airport, Spain
One of the main advantages of Barcelona airport is that it is close to the centre of city, at just 7.46 miles away. Mainly serving other European locations, it handled a record 39.7 million passengers last year, up 5.7 percent from 2014. It is a main base for Spanish airlines such as Vueling and a hub for Iberia or Air Europa, as well as the Irish low-cost giant Ryanair and the Scandinavian carrier Norwegian Air Shuttle. It has been reviewed nearly 2,000 times on Google, with an averaging rating of four stars. Ranked 27th on the global list.
8 – Cologne Bonn Airport, Germany
The first of three German airports in the top 10, Cologne ranks 19th globally and served 10.3 million passengers in 2015. The airport has excellent rail connections - Cologne/Bonn Airport station is a four-track station on a loop off the Cologne–Frankfurt high-speed line that connects the airport to long-distance trains at least once an hour in each direction, most of them Deutsche Bahn ICE services.
7 – Copenhagen Airport, Denmark
Copenhagen has been widely praised for its efficient security and customs operations, securing it 4.3 stars as an average rating on Google. Denmark’s major transport hub is ranked 18th globally and handles more than 72,000 passengers a day. According to its own 2015 stats, the average satisfaction rating given by departing passengers was 86 out of 100. It has 900 free WiFi access points.
6 – Helsinki Airport, Finland
Ranked 15th for customer satisfaction globally, Helsinki is described by reviewers as small but modern, comfortable and clean, with free WiFi and easy rail connections to the city. The airport’s sleeping pods have also been praised highly, helping it score 4.3 stars from 720 reviews. Last year it served more than 16.4 million passengers.
5 – Amsterdam Schiphol Airport, Netherlands
At the other end of the airport size scale is Amsterdam Schiphol. An enormous yet extremely well built hub, it comes 13th in the global rankings. It has six runways and is the main base for national airline KLM, which along with other airlines helped to serve more than 58 million passengers at the airport. It originally opened in 1916 as a military base.
4 – Frankfurt Airport, Germany
More than 60 million people travel through Frankfurt Airport each year, making it the 12th busiest in the world. It is also the 12th most highly rated by customers, who praise the enormous array of shops and eateries as well as the ease at which passport control and customs can be cleared versus other EU airports. It is the main hub for national airline Lufthansa.
3 – London Heathrow Airport, UK
The UK’s most important airport and by far its largest, Heathrow has been subject to continuing rumours over what is widely acknowledged as a much needed extra runway for London. It ranks eighth in the world for customer satisfaction, helped by the ease of access via tube, train and coach from central London. The airport itself is also easy to navigate despite its size.
2 – Zurich Airport, Switzerland
Also known as Kloten Airport, Switzerland’s major aviation hub scores a hefty 4.5 stars from over 1,250 reviews on Google. It is praised for being stylish, full of trendy shops and having a robust free WiFi network. Last year it handled more than 26 million passengers, an increase of around three percent on 2014. Zurich is ranked seventh globally for customer satisfaction.
1 – Munich Airport, Germany
Only bettered by South Korea’s Incheon International and the amazing Singapore Changi airport, Munich Airport ranks as the third best in the world for customer satisfaction. Many reviewers have commented on the efficiency of service and usefulness of the S-Bahn connection which runs right underneath the terminal. It is less busy than Frankfurt, with around 40 million passengers passing through its gates annually.