File photograph of the airport on Spain’s Costa del Sol. SUR
Flight of fancy

Flight of fancy


Malaga now has one of the best one hundred airports in the world according to a list based on customer satisfaction


Friday, 24 June 2022, 20:25


It's official. Malaga now has one of the best one hundred airports in the world according to a list based on customer satisfaction. It's in with a bullet at number ninety-seven, squished between Sanya Phoenix in China at nineteen-six and Alicante just up the road at ninety-eight. The overall winner is Doha Hamad Airport in Qatar. Nothing fishy there, then.

Anyway, all of this begs the question "What makes an airport good?" Here are a few things:

First, clear signs. Passengers famously leave all common sense behind whenever they find themselves in an airport and need all the help they can get moving from A to B. Everything from bathrooms to runways needs to be identified in humungous lettering and arrows that point unambiguously in the right direction (not vaguely towards a hallway that splits into three different directions after five yards).

Next, friendly staff. No matter how well signposted everything is, passengers will still ask for constant guidance from passing cleaners/pilots/small children and anyone working in an airport needs the patience of Job to be able to answer the same five questions in a polite manner. Occasionally, someone will throw a curve ball; my own favourite off-the-wall passenger question from the time I worked at Gatwick eminated from a middle-aged American man who yelled "Excuse me, sir, have you seen my brother?"

Any airport that sells a bacon sandwich for less than three thousand euros would clearly get many customer satisfaction votes. Unfortunately, none does. The only place which should be exorbitantly expensive is the airport bar in a bid to reduce the number of drunken miscreants boarding the plane. Or a breathalyser at the gate - either would be a jolly good idea.

Another must is easy access to public transport. By the time you've reached the train station/bus stop at some airports, you might just as well have gone the whole hog and walked all the way to your destination. Those moving walkways would be good in this regard, gliding you towards your platform until you have to do that funny little salsa dance step thing at the end in order to transition from a moving floor to a stationary floor. Other waiting passengers could maybe applaud or give points out of ten or something. Well, I hope that helps. Perhaps a big cheese from Malaga airport will read this and be inspired to take up some of these humble suggestions in a bid to steam up the top 100 list towards the top spot. Don't hold your breath with regard to overtaking Doha Hamad, though.


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