The award was for ‘Best Airport in category for Customer Experience’…

OK, so admittedly 2020 wasn’t a landmark year for world travel numbers, but it was one where ‘customer experience’ was all the more important for those that were travelling.

And it’s for that (apologies for the terminology) turbulent year that Abu Dhabi Airport (AUH) was awarded the ‘Best Airport for Customer Experience’ in the Middle East for the 15 to 25 million passenger category.

It puts AUH in the same category as its European counterpart, Helsinki Airport, as well as Austin, Texas in the US.

The award was handed out by Airports Council International (ACI) as part of their Airport Service Quality commendations.

The honours were dished out according to customer satisfaction surveys compiled by the ACI, which very much took the year’s challenges into account.

ACI World Director General Luis Felipe de Oliveira said: “This year more than any other, the awards recognize those airports that have listened to their customers and adapted the services and experiences they offer to meet changing needs and expectations under very trying circumstances.”

“ACI’s Airport Service Quality awards represent the highest possible accolade for airport operators around the world.”

Flying high, despite it all

Abu Dhabi’s success is partly down to its stubborn commitment to innovation. Recently we learned of the region’s first in-airport rapid PCR lab, which can give inbound passengers results to their free tests in 90 minutes.

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AUH has become a hub to two new low cost airlines that have set up operations in the past 12 months — Wizz Air Abu Dhabi and Air Arabia Abu Dhabi.

It’s pioneered a new AI-Powered smart travel system to help manage passenger flows through the terminals.

AUH was one of the first major travel hubs to introduce contactless elevators; smart thermal screening; and robots to help with deep clean sterilisations.

We all hope that the travel industry will make a comeback this year, and with airports like Abu Dhabi, we can be sure that we’re checking-in safely.

And if you’d like to kick your travel diary off with a quarantine free, cut price trip to Morocco, check out the details of Etihad’s 24 hour sale, on now.

Images: Unsplash