Ottawa airport named best in North America

Second in world

Posted by Trevor Pritchard on Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Quite the accolade today for the Ottawa International Airport: the facility was named the best airport in North America in the annual Airport Service Quality awards.
The awards, first handed out in 2004, measure how satisfied passengers are with airports around the globe. The announcement of YOW’s victory points out some specific reasons why the local airport won:

Changes made due to customer feedback include offering free Wi-Fi service, improved queuing at domestic pre-board screening, 24-hour public transportation to the airport, improved wayfinding signage in the terminal and parking facilities, the addition of directory boards, street pricing by our concessionaires, and a major redesign in the US security and Customs areas including moving the Duty Free store downstream and implementing a pre-order programme. These changes, coupled with our partners’ efforts made the difference in 2011 as evidenced by our steady improvements in many survey categories and significant gains in others. We celebrate this wonderful achievement with all of them.

YOW was also named second best in the world for airports that serve between two and five million passengers annually. That’s actually a drop-off from 2011, when the airport was named best in the world for its size. Here’s airport authority president and CEO Paul Benoit’s spin on why taking home the North America prize is actually more noteworthy:

First in North America is even more special, because the airports included in the survey are the airports that our customers travel to most often – the ones we are most familiar with. This is a very special tribute to all of our employees and to the facility itself.

First or second, it’s nonetheless a nice Valentine for the Ottawa International Airport. And speaking of Feb. 14: if you do end up passing through YOW today, members of the airport authority will be handing out Valentine’s Day cards to “return the love” their customers have shown them—cards that are good for a free Tim Hortons coffee at the airport.
Photo by cfournie on Flickr

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