Exeter beats Rome and DFW to win top airport for Passenger Happiness - according to latest independent report

Highlighting the happier travel experience provided by smaller airports, a recent global report places Exeter Airport, a member of the Regional And Business Airports Group, as the happiest airport in the world. Exeter achieved a highly impressive satisfaction rating of 88.66%, 12% higher than the global average of 76.52%.

The research was carried out by Finnish company HappyOrNot, which exclusively shared its first airport report with CNN Travel. It reveals the airports with the highest customer satisfaction globally, measured by the percentage of people hitting different coloured buttons. The report is based on feedback from 158 million data-points from HappyOrNot smiley terminals in 160 airports across 36 countries, with data collected between November 2016 and November 2017.

And it turns out that the happiest airport in the world is RABA member, Exeter, handling fewer than a million passengers a year. "Exeter Airport is seeing increasing numbers of tourists from mainland Europe," says Stephen Ayres, the airport's communications manager.

RABA member London Southend Airport also achieved an impressive 6th place in the global table, with Cardiff Airport closely following them in7th position..

RABA Chairman, Neil Pakey says” Happiness is perhaps the best indicator of passenger satisfaction and we are pleased that CNN reports that Exeter Airport has the happiest passenger rating in the world, beating the likes of Rome and Dallas Fort Worth into 3rd and 4th places. Congratulations too to London Southend and Cardiff who both make it into the top 8.

A key message we can take from this, is that when it comes to the passenger experience, passengers place the most value on flying from their local airports."

RABA members also achieved outstanding results in the 2017 small airports survey carried out by Which? consumer group. The top five ranking airports were all RABA members, namely Doncaster Sheffield (1st ), London Southend (2nd ) and Norwich (3rd), Southampton (4th) and Exeter (5th). Cardiff Airport ranked number 7, placing 6 RABA members in the overall top 10.

RABA recognises the happier experience provided by smaller airports and is recommending Government explicitly recognises this in its policy statements.

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