The Houston airport is the first airport in North America to be awarded a 5-star rating.
In a recent rating conducted by Skytrax assessing the professional quality of airports across the world, Houston’s William P. Hobby airport scored a prestigious 5-star rating, becoming one of only 16 5-star airports across the globe, and the sole 5-star-scored airport in the United States.
Started in 1999, Skytrax is a UK-based company that conducts detailed reviews and analyses of airlines and airports across the world. Since then, its rating program based on onboard and airport environment product and service standards has become the premiere international rating system. Its most coveted rating is that of a 5-Star Airline Rating:
“The 5-Star Airline Rating is a prestigious and unique mark of Quality Achievement and a global benchmark of Airline Excellence,” the company writes on its website, “awarded following the professional audit analysis and assessment of airline produce and frontline service standards.”
For its ratings, Skytrax takes into account the following product features: design, comfort, terminal layout, cleanliness, maintenance, WiFi, shopping, and food and beverages.
Service assessment examines consistency, hospitality, language skills, efficiency, and service attitudes. Features taken into account include: service ambassadors, help counters, vendor staff, and uniformed police, security, and custom staff.
In December of 2021, Skytrax carried out their most recent audit of the airport. Before then, Hobby had cruised at an altitude of four stars before undergoing a major quality change in the past four years, particularly the past two.
“This is a truly remarkable achievement for us, and we have been very intentional in working toward and finally achieving this goal,” said Mario Diaz, Director of Aviation at Houston Airport System.
“There are well over 41,000 airports in the world; Hobby Airport is among the sixteen that are recognized as Skytrax 5-star airports. That’s elite and it speaks to the tireless work and dedication of our staff and partners to ensure a world-class, safe customer experience for every single passenger. I couldn’t be more grateful and proud of our Houston Airports team.”
Hobby’s recent renovations and upgrades that lead to its rating boost include the aesthetic terminal flooring replacement South Concourse and increased charging point facilities in seating areas. Additionally, added nursery rooms and children’s play areas, renovated animal relief area, terminal lighting enhancements, and terminal signage helped the airport land a soaring 5-star rating.
“This is a truly fabulous achievement for William P Hobby Airport, becoming the first airport in North America to achieve the 5-Star Airport Rating,” said Edward Plaisted of Skytrax.
“This rating is a testament to the significant efforts by the airport to improve the guest experience, and this delivers in several core areas such as terminal décor, restrooms, and family facilities, but also on the nice-to-have factors such as the art and music programme, comfortable seating upgrades, and gardens and landscaping. Allied to this is the efficient performance of TSA and CBP processing, for which waiting times are typically below 10 minutes during regular operations, all of which form part of the 5-Star assessment.”
Meanwhile, the Houston George Bush Intercontinental Airport is certified at a 4-Star Airport Rating.