Answer: Hamad International Airport, Qatar (DOH)
If you’ve experienced long lines, delays, or any other travel related issues at U.S. airports this past year don’t worry – you’re not alone. Unfortunately, all three of these hurdles have become commonplace for domestic travelers and some airports are consistent offenders. One is Newark Liberty Airport located in the U.S. state of New Jersey. Situated between Downtown Newark and Manhattan, it is one of four major airports serving the New York City – Philadelphia Urban Area meaning that it sees a lot of foot traffic. The thing is, it doesn’t handle this traffic very well according to AirHelp, an organization that specializes in air traveler rights and seeks compensation in cases of delays or cancellations. Airhelp just released its seventh annual study of airports around the world, and not one U.S. airport ranked in the top 10.
The number one spot went to Hamad International Airport in Qatar, followed by Tokyo International Airport in Japan, and Athens International Airport in Greece. All three of these airports scored very well on three main factors that dictated an airport’s overall score. These were: on-time performance, service quality, and food and shopping options. The first accounts for 60% of the score and the other criteria each make up 20% according to Bloomberg. AirHelp’s data comes from multiple commercial vendors, along with its own database, plus 40,000 passenger surveys collected in 40 countries during 2018.
As for U.S. airports, the highest-rated Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport took the 34th place of 132 around the world. The United States has 13,513 airports, more than any other country in the world. While many of these airports offer limited regional service or are restricted to military use, there are several airports that serve a high volume of passengers. Some of the country’s largest cities have airports that see upwards of 10 million passengers every year according to World Atlas. Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, for example, saw over 100 million passengers last year. Newark held the lowest U.S. spot, at 116. A major reason is weather-related delays, says Henrik Zillmer, AirHelp’s chief executive officer; they are a huge problem for American airports, compared with European ones. Applying this logic to one of the top three performers, like Athens, it becomes obvious that sunny weather for longer parts of the year dramatically helps an airport increase its rankings.