Austin airport ranks in top five for service quality

Sarah White

The Austin-Bergstrom International Airport was ranked as a top-five airport in service quality for the fifth year in a row by Airport Council International and received the new Director General’s Roll of Excellence award.

Jason Zielinski, spokesman for the Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, said the airport was one of 14 international airports to be placed on the Director General’s Roll of Excellence by Airport Council International.

“Austin-Bergstrom is to receive this new honor, and we join DFW as the only two airports in the U.S. to be recognized on the Director General’s Role of Excellence,” he said.

Zielinski said that to be recognized an airport must have had a top-five ranking in the Airport Quality Service Survey for five years.

Cheryl Marcell, spokesperson for Airport Council International, said the ACI council has been providing and conducting Airport Service Quality Surveys for five years at more than 200 airports worldwide.

“The surveys are conducted every quarter and include questions about things like the availability and convenience of retail stores, restaurants and parking, the cleanliness of rest rooms and the friendliness of employees,” Marcell said.

Journalism professor Robert Jensen said he is a “frequent flyer” at Austin-Bergstrom and has few complaints about services, despite the airport’s lack of free wireless Internet.

“I fly five to 10 times a semester for speaking engagements and Austin[-Bergstrom] is fairly comfortable,” Jensen said. “The lines are always manageable, the service has been good and there are multiple electrical outlets.”

He said it is small things such as easily accessible electrical outlets that give an airport convenience and make it easy for UT professors and other passengers to work while they are waiting for their flights.

Marcell said it is a tremendous honor for an airport in such a comparatively small city to be mentioned in the Director General’s Roll of Excellence, as it shows the airport’s commitment to customers.

Austin-Bergstrom International Airport will be 13 years old next year and, although new airports open every year, ABIA works to stay updated, clean, friendly and convenient, said Zielinski.

“It is very important to us that Austin-Bergstrom is reflective of Austin and Central Texas,” Zielinski said. “We are constantly looking for ways to improve the cleanliness and convenience [of the airport] and to add new flights and airlines and nonstop destinations.”

Zielinski said additionally, the airport has a $2.2 billion impact on Austin industry.

“Austin is high in education. Austin is high in business. Austin is high in government,” Zielinski said. “We think of ourselves as a gateway not only to Austin but to Central Texas.”

Printed on Wednesday, November 23, 2011 as: Austin-Bergstrom gains recognition as excellent airport