A study of almost 14,000 arriving passengers over the past two years found them to be broadly satisfied but underwhelmed with airport services in the capital.
The passengers were asked to rate aspects of the airports they arrived at using a 10-point rating scale, with 1 being “very poor” and 10 being “very good”.
Average satisfaction scores commonly fell below 8 out of 10 – a score which generally indicates that the experience has matched or exceeded the expectation of the visitor.
London City airport was the only one to achieve scores above 8, while its rivals were often rated well below this threshold.
The lowest scores came in response to the perception of welcome at each airport, with Stansted identified as having the most ground to make up, being rated at 6.64 out of 10 – the lowest score for any airport evaluated in the research.
The London Visitor Opinion Survey also revealed that London’s airports are regularly failing in satisfying visitors’ expectations at immigration and customs controls, although London City was rated fairly positively at 8.12.
London City also received the highest average score for transport connections into the city, while Luton was considered the most inaccessible of the airports evaluated.
On a positive note, visitors’ overall satisfaction levels increased continuously albeit slowly over the period, with slight improvements being recorded in perceptions of welcome and transport connections.
LJ Research managing director Sean Morgan said: “London is keen to attract leisure and business tourism from around the world and is in fact very successful doing so.
“However, a destination’s airports are hugely important for setting the tone of the overall visitor experience. The latest scores indicate that London visitors are underwhelmed by the city’s airports and that more efforts should be put into improving customer service for visitors.
“Notably, visitors from Asia and Africa were most likely to state that the welcome they received was very poor. These are visitors from emerging markets that London and the UK as a whole are keen to attract more of.
“The research has highlighted a need for London airports to implement steps to improve customer service and the perception of ‘welcome’ which is an especially important consideration at this time as London considers its airport expansion options.”
Sourced from Travel Weekly