Hamad International Airport (HIA) has been voted as the “Best Airport for Layovers” at the Global Traveler’s (GT) Leisure Lifestyle Awards in Los Angeles on May 10.
Now in its 6th year, the annual GT Leisure Lifestyle Awards celebrates the best in leisure travel and recognises the greatest airports, islands, cities, hotels, and cruise lines, as voted by its readers.
The award comes as another great accomplishment for the young and ambitious airport which, last year was voted as the “Best airport in the Middle East” at the Global Traveler’s GT Tested Reader Survey Awards in Los Angeles, which recognised outstanding performance and customer service displayed by airports across the world.
HIA took the lead among a list of 10 top international airports including Singapore’s Changi Airport and Germany’s Munich Airport ranking second and third respectively in the category for the “Best Airport for Layovers.”
Competing airports were ranked according to their ease of access, walk between terminals, signage, helpful staff, variety of food and beverages options, shopping experience and design among others. HIA has stood out from the rest, scoring high on all criteria by readers.
Commenting on the award, HIA chief operating officer Badr Mohamed al-Meer said, “We are honoured to receive the ’Best Airport for Layovers’ award, which recognises our state-of-the-art facilities and 5-star services. As we work hard towards our target to welcome 50mn passengers, HIA will continue to invest in cutting-edge innovative solutions to ensure a hassle-free and seamless journey for our passengers. Thank you to all the readers who trusted and voted for us.”
HIA has recently increased security screening capacity and reduced queuing time in its transfer areas. It has also further improved customer service in the transfer areas, now providing an industry-leading customer service promise.
With its latest initiative, HIA can now ensure that at least 95% of its transfer passengers queue for under five minutes, which is an industry-leading achievement.
HIA exceeded this mark during April, where out of the more than one million transfer passengers that were screened, 99.5% queued for under five minutes.
To further enhance customer satisfaction in the transfers’ areas, a new customer service and security training package has been introduced. The airport has had 500 of its staff undergo an extensive and challenging six-week training programme in order to ensure high safety and security standards are met while simultaneously providing exceptional customer service.
The screening is being conducted by the HIA Security team in close co-operation with the Ministry of Interior and Qatar’s Civil Aviation Authority.
“The state-of-the-art airport was designed as a destination on its to own to provide the ultimate passenger experience for modern travellers and scored highly based on the many services and facilities to make the passenger movements and layovers efficient and easier like the dual passenger train service that is designed to shuttle passengers across the terminal, the 23 parent rooms and 16 quiet rooms available.”
Also, the Oryx Airport Hotel offers premium hospitality and located at the passenger terminal, which boasts its unique ‘Vitality Wellbeing and Fitness Centre’.
In addition, HIA scored on its more than 40,000 square metres of combined retail, food and beverage facilities including Qatar Duty Free, which is committed to providing passengers with a memorable five-star experience and are the second largest duty free operator in the Middle East.
Arts & Culture plays a vital role in the airport for transit passengers as it houses work by international artists such as the newly installed art piece, ‘Small Lie’ by KAWS as well as more than 20 art pieces displayed at the airport from global artists such as Dia Azzawi, Ahmed al-Bahrani, Keith Haring, Damien Hirst, Tom Otterness, Anselm Reyle and Bill Viola.
In an effort to offer more options to transit passengers, HIA also launched the +Qatar Stopover Programme in partnership with Qatar Tourism Authority and Discover Qatar, an initiative to promote the country as a stopover destination.