So what do Gatwick, Manchester and Edinburgh airports all have in common? Answer. They’re all considered to be among the ten worst airports in the world. Well that’s according to data compiled by a flight delay compensation company called AirHelp. The company factored in things such as quality, punctuality and service to reach its conclusions, together with ‘social media sentiment’.
Admittedly, this last factor only accounted for 10% of the weightings but it did involve analysing 130,000 tweets over a three month period earlier this year. We were intrigued to see social media sentiment being used in this way and suspect we’ll be seeing it used on a more regular basis as a guide to gauging consumers’ attitudes and feelings towards their suppliers; be they airports, airlines or banks.
And why not? Most people will immediately turn to their social media accounts to tell their friends and ‘vent’ their frustration when told about a cancelled or delayed flight. And that post will probably be a very accurate record of their attitude at that time!
We can only imagine what it must be like for the researchers, though, who had to read these 130,000 tweets and score each one. Presumably, emoticons are quite easy to score. A smiley one can be recorded as a positive attitude and an angry face as a negative one. But what of messages such as “whats up man?”.
But we do have some sympathy for airports generally. Most of the things they get lambasted for are beyond their control, including things such as air traffic control in other air spaces (by that we mean France) and the weather. Clearly, what they can control are things like communications, facilities, catering and seating arrangements.
So it’s not surprising really that Singapore Changi Airport came out on top of this ranking as the world’s best airport. Those that have visited it will know what a tremendous advertisement it is for the country and how far other airports must go if they are to dislodge from the top spot next year.
Given that this is the fifth year in a row that the Airport has won the crown and that it’s just announced plans to invest a further $1.7 billion in building a mixed-use facility, then we thinks there’s a good chance they’ll keep the title for a while yet.
Not surprisingly, the airport authorities have called the new facility, ‘the Jewel’. The 1.4 million sq.-ft. complex will feature a series of forest-like gardens, an indoor waterfall, a hotel, as well as hundreds of dining and shop options. The free wifi will also give its visitors plenty of opportunities to tell their friends what a great place it is too.