Destinations

Australia’s Best and Worst Airports Revealed

Amy Bryant

Cheapflights research shows Brisbane and Canberra lead the nation while Hobart ranks last!

As more than a million Aussies get set to experience the best and worst of Australian airports this Christmas, new #AirportLife research from Cheapflights.com.au reveals the rankings of our transit hubs nationwide.

Reviewing the main departure points across Australia, the survey found Brisbane and Canberra are home to our favourite terminals, each receiving the highest marks (7.4 out of 10 on average) for general cleanliness, the range of bars and restaurants, and the all-important state of the bathrooms.

"Sydney, Australia - September 30, 2012: A man and two children towing luggage bags walk towards the departure area at Sydney (Kingsford Smith) Airport."

Hobart International Airport was left languishing in bottom spot (6.9 out of 10), behind Sydney Kingsford-Smith International Airport and Darwin International Airport (both 7.1 out of 10), with the check-in process, speed and ease of passing through security and Wi-Fi access failing to take-off with travellers.

“December is consistently the busiest month for travel and airports are set to feel the pressure of the silly season. More than half of Aussies are looking to depart the week before Christmas, with Sydney (40 per cent), Melbourne (28 per cent), Brisbane (14 per cent) and Perth (11 per cent) to see the most numbers,” Regional Sales Manager at Cheapflights ANZ, Nathan Graham said.

“Overall, travellers are generally content with the big terminals across the country, which scored 7.2 out of 10 on average. The majority (66 per cent) have a positive airport experience, with 51 per cent of respondents saying their most recent visit was ‘pleasant enough’.”

Aussies are most impressed by the general cleanliness (7.8 out of 10) of local airports, however there is definitely room for improvement when it comes to shopping facilities (6.7 out of 10). And with one in five (20 per cent) people admitting that visiting duty free is a favourite way to pass the time before boarding, expectations are high.

Along with shopping, the most enjoyable airport activities are reading (23 per cent) and getting a bite to eat (40 per cent), although a third of respondents said terminal food and drink is overpriced.

“Having recently undergone upgrades to provide fresh facilities and easy-to-navigate layouts, it’s no wonder Brisbane and Canberra’s airports are impressing travellers. And with a raft of site improvements underway across Sydney, Melbourne and Hobart, it’s clear airports are realising that they need to create an environment where people – even those not flying – want to spend time.

Sydney, Australia - November 18, 2015: An unrecognisable male person is waiting for a flight in an empty gate at Sydney Kingsford Smith Airport departures terminal. He is the only person at the gate.

“Beyond physical upgrades, we expect to see a strong focus on streamlining boarding and check-in processes to improve the end-to-end visitor experience. Competition for the consumer traffic and spend is definitely heating up,” Mr Graham said.

Queues (27 per cent) and unruly kids (21 per cent) are the least favourite parts of #AirportLife. Parking is also a major pain point at Sydney Kingsford-Smith International Airport (27 per cent) and Melbourne International Airport (26 per cent), and flight delays are most likely to impact Sydney Domestic Airport fliers (30 per cent).

 

Additional findings from the #AirportLife survey include:

  • Five per cent of travellers are looking for love in airports, with Adelaide Airport (10 per cent) and Hobart International Airport (8 per cent) where they are most likely to search for it.
  • Plane spotting is a favourite way to pass the time at Adelaide Airport (16 per cent), Cairns Airport (22 per cent), Hobart International Airport (26 per cent) and Darwin international Airport (21 per cent).
  • Fliers passing through Adelaide Airport and Canberra Airport are the most likely to lap up the luxury of a premium airport lounge (16 per cent and 20 per cent respectively).
  • Some of the first to complain about Wi-Fi connections, it’s those from Sydney Kingsford- Smith International Airport (24 per cent), Melbourne International Airport (23 per cent), Brisbane Airport (18 per cent) and Gold Coast Airport (20 per cent) who insist on browsing the internet before take-off.

SEE WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

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