Get to know the nine airports considered the world’s best

These airports excelled across all of the Airport Service Quality Awards’ five categories, which include cleanliness, customer service, easy access and overall enjoyment. 

Let’s take a break from all the unsavory news coming out of our country’s primary gateway to the world. Beyond our borders, there’s a whole world out there with airports that don’t make national headlines for the wrong reasons.

Case in point: This year’s Airport Service Quality (ASQ) Awards has already revealed its winning airports.

ASQ awardees are recognized by the Airports Council International (ACI) as leaders in customer satisfaction. Along with the World Airport Awards by Skytrax, this award is considered one of the most prestigious accolades in the industry.

World's best airport: Indonesia's Yogyakarta International Airport
Indonesia’s Yogyakarta International Airport is one of the Airport Service Quality (ASQ) awardees this year. Photo from

The ACI gives out the awards based on passenger satisfaction ratings in the ASQ Survey, which is a global survey based on interviews with passengers on the day of their travel.

The ACI surveys’ primary aim is to assess passenger satisfaction, identify their expectations, and benchmark airport performance against international ASQ program participants.

Only airports which have participated in all four quarters of the year and followed the sampling methodology of the ACI are eligible for an award. 

For this year’s awards, the ACI gathered nearly 600,000 surveys from travelers at more than 400 airports around the world. 

The ASQ Awards covers five categories: Best Airport per Region in Customer Service, Most Dedicated Airport Employees, Smoothest Airport Procedures, Most Pleasant Airports, and Cleanest Airports.

The surveys revealed nine outstanding airports which excelled across all the five categories. 

Let’s get to know them and a little bit about the cities or areas they serve. 

Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport, South Carolina

The airport is the second busiest in South Carolina after Charleston International Airport with about 2.61 million passengers in 2019.

World's best airport: Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport
Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport in South Carolina. Photo from the airport’s website

Though not as well known as a tourist destination as other parts of the United States, South Carolina has its own allure. 

Mention of it calls to mind moss-draped oaks and stately mansions, lively beaches and expansive plantations. Oh, the locals’ accents are noticeably thicker, too!

Gerald R. Ford International, Michigan

The airport lies approximately 13 miles (21 km) southeast of Grand Rapids, the second biggest city in Michigan.

It was renamed for Gerald R. Ford, the 40th Vice President and the 38th President of the United States, who represented the Grand Rapids area in the United States House of Representatives from 1949 to 1973.

World's best airport: Gerald R. Ford International Airport in Michigan
Gerald R. Ford International Airport in Michigan. Photo from the airport’s website

According to Lonely Planet, Grand Rapids is one of the best cities in the US to have a beer. It’s also blessed with Lake Michigan’s inviting 300-mile beach-strewn coast.

Rome Fiumicino, Italy

Also known as Leonardo da Vinci International Airport, it’s the first and busiest airport in Italy.

It is situated about 25 kilometers from Rome and getting to the Eternal City’s main transport hub, Roma Termini, only takes about 30 minutes via train.

World;s best airport: Rome Fiumicino Airport
Rome Fiumicino Airport. Photo from

After an 800 million–euro upgrade, Italy’s main international hub finally received a coveted Skytrax five-star airport rating.

Quite unsurprisingly, the airport has artworks and architectural objects on display, including ancient sculptures, frescoes, and mosaics from the nearby archaeological site Ostia Antica. 

Mohammed V International Airport, Morocco

This is the gateway to Casablanca, Morocco, and is the busiest airport in the country with about 7.6 million passengers passing through it in 2022. It is also among the top 10 busiest airports in Africa.

Though the name Casablanca sounds exotic and mysterious, it actually lacks the charm of other Moroccan cities like Marrakkesh and Fez.

World's best airport: Mohammed V International Airport in Morocco
Mohammed V International Airport in Morocco. Photo from

What it lacks in touristy appeal, though, it makes up for with its vibrant modernity.

With this nod from the ASQ, it looks like Morocco is even more prepared to host prestigious international events such as the 2025 Africa Cup of Nations and the 2030 World Cup.

Izmir Adnan Menderes Airport, Turkey

Named after former Turkish Prime Minister Adnan Menderes, this international airport serves İzmir, the entry point to the central parts of Aegean Turkey.

World's best airport: Izmir Adnan Menderes Airport in Turkey
Izmir Adnan Menderes Airport in Turkey. Photo from

Turkey’s third-largest city is more liberal than other cities in the country and is fiercely proud of its culture.

It hems in the stunning Bay of İzmir and has been a key Aegean port since ancient times.

Guayaquil International Airport, Ecuador

Known also as José Joaquin de Olmedo International Airport, it serves Guayaquil, the most populous city in Ecuador. The airport is also the second busiest in the country.

World's best airport: Guayaquil International Airport in Ecuador
Guayaquil International Airport in Ecuador. Photo from

The city sits on the Pacific coast making it a gateway to hundreds of miles of coastline. It’s also known for its frequent humpback whale sightings. 

Salalah International, Oman

It is the Sultanate of Oman’s secondary gateway after Muscat International Airport. It is about 5.5 kilometers from Salalah, the country’s third largest city.

Aside from being one of ACQ’s best airports, Salalah International recently won the Skytrax 5-Star Regional Rating for its excellence in management and service.

World's best airport: Salalah International Airport in Oman
Salalah International Airport in Oman. Photo from

If you’re thinking that Oman is a dry, arid place, Salalah will make you think again. It is known for its lush hills and pristine beaches that are ideal for snorkeling and diving. 

It is also rich in history and culture, peppered with beautiful mosques, forts, and souks. 

Sultan Hasanuddin International Airport, Indonesia

This is the gateway to the archipelago’s South Sulawesi province. The airport is located in Makassar, the provincial capital.

World's best airport: Sultan Hasanuddin International Airport in Indonesia
Sultan Hasanuddin International Airport in Indonesia.
Photo from

Though not as popular as Jakarta or Bali, Makassar has served as an important trading port throughout its history. It was also the center of the Gowa Sultanate and was once a Portuguese Naval Base.

Makassar became the capital of the State of East Indonesia for a short period after the independence of Indonesia.

Yogyakarta International Airport, Indonesia

This airport is located in Kulon Progo Regency in Java, Indonesia, and about 45 kms from Yogyakarta.

World's best airport: Yogyakarta International Airport in Indonesia
Yogyakarta International Airport in Indonesia. Photo from

Yogyakarta is the only Indonesian royal city still under a monarchy. It is known as an important center for Javanese culture such as batik and wayang puppetry.

The city is also your gateway to the temple complexes of Borobodur and Prambanan which are both Unesco World Heritage Sites.

Associate Editor

The new lifestyle.