06:45 AM

Two in A Row: DFW International Airport Repeats As “Best Airport in North America” for Customer Service

Airports Council International survey ranks DFW’s customer service second in the world among busiest airports

(DFW INTERNATIONAL AIRPORT, TX – February 25, 2008) DFW International Airport’s “Year of the International Traveler” continues to soar as DFW wins again the title of “Best Airport in North America” for customer service in a survey of passengers by Airport Council International (ACI). DFW ranked second in the world in customer service for airports with more than 40-million annual passengers, based on the results of ACI’s 2007 Air Service Quality program survey of more than 200,000 international passengers throughout the year. 

"DFW is truly honored to receive this prestigious award for a second straight year and we thank all of our international passengers who ranked us number one again, "said Jeff Fegan, DFW’s CEO. "Our International Terminal D continues to pay huge dividends for our community and bring more international business and tourism to North Texas. The 'halo effect' for the new terminal is over. We have a beautiful facility - but it also works. And that's a credit to our entire DFW team and airline partners who make sure our passengers have a positive travel experience even under occasionally challenging conditions." 

In addition to International Terminal D and Skylink, DFW has worked diligently to develop a globally-recognized group of volunteer Airport Ambassadors, a world-class art program, and diversified retail / restaurant offerings to appeal to domestic and international passengers. 

"Airports manage a total passenger experience, from the time a passenger first arrives at an airport through to when he or she boards the flight,” said Robert J. Aaronson, Director General of the Airports Council International. “Excellence in service is not a one-off, it is proven to be the result of continual effort and commitment to providing the best possible service. ASQ helps participants understand where to focus that financial and human effort and generate value for the airport and its stakeholders. 

“I congratulate DFW International Airport for their excellent results this year and for their on-going commitment to service excellence, which has been recognized by surveyed passengers throughout the year."

The Air Service Quality program survey covered a range of topics including airport access and connectivity, airport services and facilities, security and immigration, airport environment, arrival services, value for the money and overall satisfaction with the airport and airline services.

 DFW scored highly with international passengers for its restaurants, shopping facilities, the cleanliness of its terminals, the ambience of the airport, comfortable waiting and gate areas, and the cleanliness of its washrooms. The Airport is currently spending $45 million to further upgrade these facilities. DFW also received top comments for staff friendliness, the wide selection of concessions options and quick airline check-in. 

"Passengers are more and more making choices on where they connect and where they fly and we believe this type of recognition by our passengers will bring us even more international growth in the future," said Joe Lopano, executive vice president for marketing and terminal management at DFW. “And with the United States - European Union 'Open Skies' agreement taking effect next month, our Airport will see new international passengers from London Heathrow and Amsterdam Schiphol airports. We think they will like what they see and we will work hard to make their experiences great at of our Airport and in Texas." 

American Airlines and British Airways begin new service under Open Skies to London Heathrow on March 30. KLM Royal Dutch Airlines begins new international service from DFW to Amsterdam on the same day, dubbed "Super Sunday" by DFW. 

More than 100 airports worldwide take part in the ACI Airport Service Quality program, which surveys passengers on a quarterly basis. More than 200,000 passengers filled out survey forms in 2007, providing benchmarking of an airport’s service performance with airports of similar size, in the same region, over time, and on a worldwide basis. 

The ACI survey found that frequent flyers look for swift and hassle-free airport experiences with minimum of contact with staff. Conversely, leisure or infrequent flyers place considerable emphasis on friendly and courteous staff. Leading factors with regard to customer satisfaction are the ambience of the airport and the cleanliness of the terminal, followed by feeling safe and having comfortable waiting areas. 

"Satisfying customer needs and expectations by providing quality and cost-efficient services, is key in any business,” Craig Bradbrook, ASQ programme director as well as the ACI director of security and facilitation. “Service quality should not be viewed as a ‘nice to have’ feature in managing airport services; rather it should be viewed as a key discipline in the airport management process. 

International Terminal D By The Numbers

2,000: Passengers that can be ticketed per hour at Terminal D

2,500: People that can be screened through security per hour

2,800: International passengers that can be processed through Customs per hour

37,000: Total passengers International Terminal D can handle per day

12.8 million: Total passengers International Terminal D can handle per year

30,000: Pieces of luggage that can be processed per day

$47 million: Money spent on security upgrades post 9/11 

Skylink By The Numbers

Bidirectional high-speed people mover system at 35 MPH top speed

5,000 passengers per hour per direction – growing to 8,000 in future expansion

69 passengers and their carry-on can travel in each car of Skylink

4.81 miles of guideway elevated 50 feet above the ground

5-minute average ride time

9-minute longest point-to-point trip

18-minute round-trip

10 Skylink stations – 2 per terminal

For J.D. Power and Associates Award information, visit www.jdpower.com