Results from a survey of nearly 14 million airline customers cited George Bush Intercontinental Airport as one of the most improved airports in the world, and among the best in the world for airport dining.

Bush Airport was ranked No. 3 among the most improved airports in the world and the No. 9 airport in the world for dining, according to an annual survey conducted by Skytrax, recognized as a leading global air transport rating organization.

“We have worked incredibly hard to ensure that George Bush Intercontinental Airport properly reflects Houston as a dynamic and diverse global gateway city,” said Houston Mayor Sylvester Turner. “This recognition is the direct result of those efforts and I am certain that it will inspire the entire airport team to reach for even greater heights moving forward.”

The Skytrax World Airport Awards — a global benchmark of airport excellence, and widely known as the Passengers Choice Awards — are among the most prestigious accolades for the airport industry, and are compiled through the largest, annual global airport customer satisfaction survey. The results of the survey were announced at the 2017 Skytrax World Airport Awards at Passenger Terminal EXPO in Amsterdam on March 14, 2017.

The 2017 awards are based on 13.82 million airport survey questionnaires completed by 105 different nationalities of airline customers from July 2016 to February 2017. The surveys were offered in 550 airports worldwide and evaluated traveler experiences across different airport service and product key performance indicators — from check-in, arrivals, transfers, shopping, security and immigration through to departure at the gate.

According to Skytrax, the award for the “World’s Most Improved Airport” is based on the relative year-on-year quality performance by all airports featured in the World Airport Survey, and takes into account the change in rating together with performance changes across the different product and service categories in the awards.

“Our drive to improve was not limited to one single area and as a result, the list of enhancements at George Bush Intercontinental Airport virtually covers the entire airport operation,” said Mario Diaz, Director of Aviation for the Houston Airport System. “Our goal is to create a complete experience for our customers and that involves modern facilities, a wide range of dining and shopping options and special amenities that help minimize the level of stress that potentially accompanies air travel. It is all part of our vision to establish Houston as a five-star global air service gateway where the magic of flight is celebrated.”

Bush Airport was the highest rated airport for dining in North America. The Houston Airport System recently completed an upgrade of concessions choices at both Bush Airport and William P. Hobby Airport. Earlier this month, ranked Bush Airport No. 5 overall in its 2017 Airport Dining Scorecard, and ranked tops among the top 20 most trafficked airports for vegetarian and vegan dining options.

Overall, Bush Airport was ranked No. 54 in the world in the Top 100 airport ratings for 2017, an improvement from the 2016 ranking of No. 71. A complete list of the Top 100 airports can be found at this link.

Skytrax awarded William P. Hobby Airport a 4-star rating in 2016, making it one of just three airports in the United States to earn a 4-star rating, while adding that “this is an airport with potential to build on the existing facilities to offer an experience that is truly special and closer to a 5-star quality level.”

Bush Airport maintained its 3-star rating from Skytrax in 2016, but the audit report noted that “the actual customer experience is in fact meeting a 3.5-star quality level when the rating results are assessed across the broad spectrum of audit criteria,” and that several areas “meet (or exceed) 4-star standards.”

World Airport Rating is the international airport quality ranking program operated by Skytrax. Ratings are determined through direct and professional analysis of industry quality standards. The Airport Star Ratings are recognized as a global benchmark of airport standards.

The World Airport Awards began in 1999, when Skytrax launched its first global, airport customer satisfaction survey. The focus is to deliver a customer survey and airport awards process that is independent, impartial and global, and this ethos remains essential to all aspects in the present day. The survey and awards process is funded by Skytrax, and is not a profit-generating operation. A complete list of the category winners can be found at this link.

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