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The 10 Best (and Worst) Airports in the World, Ranked

AirHelp, the online service that files complaints against airlines on behalf of passengers entitled to compensation for air delays or cancellations, knows a thing or two about air travel. Because it’s hard for the average person to understand air passenger rights and pursue a legal claim when they’ve been wronged, AirHelp is always going toe-to-toe with airlines and airports—and reveals once a year which ones that treat their passengers for the better (or worse).

AirHelp’s Worldwide Airport Ranking for 2018 named some surprising stand-outs for the world’s best and worst airports. It turns out the most glamorous airports aren’t always the most consumer-friendly ones. AirHelp determined the best airports by scoring them with consideration to on-time performance, quality of customer service, and (to a lesser-degree) passenger sentiment on Twitter, where unsatisfied passengers often take their ignored air-travel complaints public.

Here are the world’s best airports according to the passenger-rights experts at AirHelp.

The Best Airports in the World, According to AirHelp

  1. Hamad International Airport (Qatar)
  2. Athens International Airport (Greece)
  3. Tokyo Haneda International Airport (Japan)
  4. Cologne Bonn Airport (Germany)
  5. Singapore Changi Airport (Singapore)
  6. Nagoya Chubu Centrair Airport (Japan)
  7. Viracopos International Airport (Brazil)
  8. Amman Queen Alia Airport (Jordan)
  9. Recife/Guararapes-Gilberto Freyre Airport (Brazil)
  10. Quito International Airport (Ecuador)

Lower on the list this year are some of the world’s often best-ranked airports for amenities and technology, like Munich, Zurich, and Hong Kong International, suggesting that airport glitz and glam doesn’t quite mean you’ll get the best on-time flights or customer service. The worst airport in AirHelp’s ranking is Kuwait International Airport, preceded by London Stansted, Lyon, Paris Orly, Stockholm, Manchester (U.K.), Boryspil (Ukraine), Edinburgh, Bordeaux Merignac, and Eindhoven (Netherlands).

AirHelp also ranked the best airlines in the world for timeliness and customer service, with less-surprising results, asserting that “airlines who focus on passengers come out on top.”

The Best Airlines in the World, According to AirHelp

  1. Qatar Airways
  2. Lufthansa
  3. Etihad Airways
  4. Singapore Airlines
  5. South African Airways
  6. Austrian Airlines
  7. Aegean Airlines
  8. Qantas
  9. Air Malta
  10. Virgin Atlantic

The worst airline in AirHelp’s rankings is low-cost carrier WOW Air, preceded by Royal Jordanian, Pakistan International, easyJet, Air Mauritius, Ryanair, Korean Air, Iberia, Aerolineas Argentinas, and Jet Airways. No U.S. airlines ranked in the top 20, perhaps unsurprisingly, which AirHelp CEO Henrik Zillmer says shows that it’s “more important than ever for consumers to fight for their air passenger rights.”

“It is clear the U.S. is in need of significant improvement, with overbooked flights and cancellations making national headlines month after month, and the consistent mistreatment of U.S. consumers,” Zillmer said in a press release. “It is no wonder most U.S.-based airlines and airports received poor ratings on the AirHelp Score.”

Unsure if you know your consumer rights? Download our air-passenger rights fold-up guide or search your flight problem on AirHelp to see if you might be entitled to compensation.

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SmarterTravel Editor Shannon McMahon writes about all things travel. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram.

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