Every year, Airport Service Quality (ASQ) awards are given out to the top European terminals and, in the case of the one serving the Costa Blanca, it was competing against some of the best-known on the continent.
Alicante-Elche beat Birmingham, Bristol, Glasgow, Edinburgh, Rome Ciampino, Milan Bergamo, Gothenburg, and Budapest.
It won the award once before, in 2018 – five years after signing up to the ACI’s service quality programme.
The ASQ is stringent and demanding, and to meet its standards, an exceptionally high level of service offered is required in order to achieve or exceed 34 specific criteria.
Those who achieve it can legitimately claim to be on a par with the world’s best airports of a similar size in terms of passenger traffic.
To help it in its bid to meet ASQ criteria, Alicante-Elche worked hard over 2019 to add extra benefits for travellers.
Increasing and restructuring security gates, so passengers could get to their boarding gates quicker without having to queue, a complete new range of restaurants, a free personal shopper service, improved rest areas – more comfortable seating, a relaxation and reading zone, and an increased number of seats – are some of the steps taken last year to remove the hassle from flying.
Airport manager Laura Navarro says ASQ surveys are carried out regularly at the terminal throughout the year to find out what passengers want in an ‘increasingly demanding climate’, and to help the airport adapt to suit the needs of different traveller profiles.
Distinctions were granted to other airports in Spain which, although they did not win ASQ awards, received special mentions.
Those in the category for fewer than two million annual passengers were the airports in San Sebastián (Basque Country), El Hierro (Canary Islands), and the coastal enclave of Melilla attached to northern Morocco.
Menorca airport received a distinction in the category for terminals with between two and five million annual passengers.
The prestigious ACI has 668 corporate and State members operating 1,979 airports in 176 countries – in fact, last year, over half the world’s 8.8 billion passengers flew to, from, or via an ASQ airport.
Award-winning airports will send representatives to the prizegiving this coming September in Krakow (Poland).
Alicante-Elche airport is used by travellers to and from the entire province of Alicante, especially its coast, known as the Costa Blanca, and is also an alternative option for passengers closer to Murcia-Cervera and Valencia-Manises airports, potentially giving them a wider choice of flights.
Most of the key low-cost airlines fly to the London airports from Alicante-Elche.