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Hongqiao airport food ranked 15th in world

(Shanghai Daily)

08:13, December 11, 2012

(File Photo/Xinhua)

Shanghai's Hongqiao International Airport ranks 15th in restaurants and food service among airports worldwide, up from 16th last year, according to a customer satisfaction survey in the third quarter released yesterday by the Airport Council International (ACI).

Some passengers still complain, however, that the Hongqiao airport needs a bigger variety of restaurants, saying that some food is still more expensive than in downtown eateries despite improvements in the past year.

The airport, the city's major hub for domestic flights, was criticized in the past for high food prices - in one case a bowl of noodles cost more than 50 yuan (US$8).

The operator, the Shanghai Airport Authority, has signed agreements with business owners to lower food prices after reducing the rent.

"Improved restaurants, lower food prices, upgraded toilets and the availability of Wi-Fi pushed the ranking forward," one airport official said yesterday.

ACI's survey found customers were happy to see the changes. The ACI ranking is considered the key performance indicator of airports' service.

Some travelers, however, said yesterday that they still expect better.

"The types of foods lag behind," said a traveler, surnamed Bao. In comparison, travelers have more choices and a public space for eating at the Hong Kong airport, Bao said.

Officials said Hongqiao airport mainly relies on major national and international chain stores with some other popular brands that target different customers.

Many Christmas-related business promotions and discounts will be introduced soon at the airport, the airport authority said.

"Santa Claus will deliver coupons and small gifts to air travelers from December 18 to 26," the authority said. Such promotions are common during festivals and holidays.

The Hongqiao airport is in the world's top 30 airports based on customer satisfaction, according to the ACI, while Pudong International Airport rated among the world's top 10 airports. The two airports handled more than 70 million passengers last year.

Shanghai's two airports ranked as the top two on the Chinese mainland based on customer satisfaction, said a recent airport survey organized by a China civil aviation website.

Passengers said Shanghai's airports had sufficient parking spaces, good signage, along with clean toilets.

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