SOUTH KOREA. Airports Council International (ACI) World today announced a new level in its Airport Customer Experience Accreditation programme and revealed the first airport to reach it: Incheon International in South Korea.

Since ACI launched the world’s first Airport Customer Experience Accreditation programme in 2019, 45 airports around the world have joined the programme to improve their customer experience management.

Incheon Airport President & CEO Kyung Wook Kim: Pledges to adopt new and advanced technologies to lift the consumer experience further at the Korean hub

Incheon – one of a few Level 3-accredited airports in 2020 – joined the piloting phase of Level 4 accreditation to contribute to its development. Accreditation included site verification which starts from Level 4 – this was conducted virtually due to the constraints of the pandemic – leading to Incheon being recognised as the first level 4 accredited airport in the world.

“Incheon already has a strong record in customer experience management, and we were grateful for their participation in the pilot of Level 4 of the Airport Customer Experience Accreditation programme,” said ACI World Director General Luis Felipe de Oliveira. “As the aviation industry continues to navigate the COVID-19 pandemic and prepares to support a sustained recovery, meeting the changing needs and expectations of customers will be ever more important and we congratulate Incheon on being the first airport in the world to achieve this level of accreditation.”

Incheon International has ranked highly in the ACI Airport Service Quality rankings over many years (T2 pictured)

Incheon Airport President & CEO Kyung Wook Kim said: “We are proud to be recognised as the first Level 4 accredited airport in the world, and it is our honour to participate and contribute to the development of the Level 4 – Airport Customer Experience Accreditation programme. The programme provides a true 360° view of airport customer experience management. Incheon will continue to improve its best-in-class customer experience by providing a new and pleasant experience to customers and by adopting advanced technologies in all areas of airport operations based on innovative thinking.”

The accreditation programme offers a common definition and framework for customer experience management. ACI said that it helps airports to assess and improve their management of the traveller experience and to identify new practices that can be developed to progress through the levels of accreditation. Accreditation at each level also serves as a marketing tool for airports to show their commitment to improving customer experience.

The programme is designed with five levels of accreditation and the pilot phase of the final level – Level 5 – is expected in 2022.