Internationally recognized, safe, clean - most Hungarians are satisfied with Budapest Airport
Press release Budapest Airport
Reliable, modern, well-organized, continuously developing – this is what the majority of Hungarians think of Ferenc Liszt International Airport, according to surveys conducted by independent market research agency GfK Hungary. Three-quarters of respondents believe the Hungarian airport is clean, safe and easy to navigate, and a similar proportion of Hungarians regard staff as being professional and friendly. In contrast, road and rail access to the airport from the city center and parking are considered areas that clearly require development.
Upon Budapest Airport’s request, GfK carried out a representative survey in March and, for a deeper understanding, focus group research in September, to assess people’s impressions of Ferenc Liszt International Airport. Within the framework of the representative survey, opinions about the airport were evaluated using a sample of 1000 people (Hungarians aged 16-69, including passengers of Budapest Airport), whilst in the focus group research, nearby residents and travelers of various ages and purposes were asked important questions about the airport.
According to the results of the representative survey, the majority of respondents associated positive experiences, sentiments and memories with Budapest Airport. Most Hungarians agree that the airport functions as a gateway for Hungary, it is internationally recognized, provides well-organized and professional services and implements continuous developments, to improve the passenger experience. This outcome was confirmed by the participants of the focus group, who characterized the building as a high-quality facility, even by European standards.
Seven or eight respondents out of ten believe that the building is spacious, bright and clean, whilst two-thirds of participants said the airport is modern, stylish and has a practical configuration for passengers, thanks primarily to its logical internal layout, as well as to wayfinding signs and monitors. In addition to wayfinding signage and screens, which now also display walking distance, Budapest Airport aids orientation at the terminal with information staff. Approximately three-quarters of respondents highlighted the helpful, friendly and professional staff as an important characteristic of the airport.
The majority of respondents agreed that recent developments contribute significantly to a better passenger experience. For example, it is attributable to continuous technical innovation that large electronic items do not have to be removed from hand baggage since last year, and that Budapest Airport increased the number of screening lanes to 18 with the handover of two new channels this year. The new lanes are equipped with state-of-the-art technology, an automatic system which further accelerates passage through security screening.
Most people critiqued access to the airport and parking. The majority of participants in group discussions regarded road access to the airport, the lack of a direct railway connection and the bad condition of the airport express road leading to Terminal 2 as the biggest problem. It is a general view that accessing the airport is stressful, due to the absence of a railway connection and the bad quality of public roads. Budapest Airport’s long-term development plans include the construction of a multimodal hub and a multistory car park, to make up for the multistory car park project commenced two years ago, which was stopped by the government. Many people also highlighted concerning public transport that the various different options are difficult to understand and that purchasing bus tickets is complicated.
Nearly one-fifth of respondents in the March survey underlined the low number of comfortable seats at the terminals; since then, Budapest Airport handed over the new Pier 1 in the summer, where more than 1000 seats are available, to serve passengers in convenience during the traffic recovery.
83% of participants consider it important that environmental impacts from the operation of the airport should be compensated, which is a priority for the operator. Carbon dioxide emissions per passenger were reduced by 49% and drinking water consumption per passenger by 30% at the airport during the last 5 years, and Budapest Airport also has an outstanding waste recycling ratio of 70%, as compared to 15% amongst residents. Partly on account of these initiatives, Budapest Airport received ACI’s carbon accreditation for the third time this year and joined ACI’s NetZero by 2050 initiative. The operator has been offering participation in its window insulation program to nearby residents for several years, and has provided window insulation or window replacements for more than 1500 households.
70% of visitors to Budapest Airport’s website and Facebook page like its online channels, and eight or nine respondents out of ten generally agree that the airport is honest, open and communicates well.
During the focus group research conducted in the fall, the airport paid special attention to exploring passengers’ expectations in connection with the coronavirus. Participants believe measures relating to the global pandemic must conform to domestic and international rules. In their experience, Budapest Airport performed well in this respect; i.e. it manages hygiene requirements appropriately. Thanks to regular disinfectant cleaning, cleanliness at the terminals and the hand sanitizers placed throughout the buildings provide a feeling of safety for passengers. The participants of the groups welcomed developments minimizing personal contact at the airport, which was a key focus area for Budapest Airport this year. The number of selfservice baggage drop-off machines was increased to 16 in 2020, and the airport operator continuously promotes self-check in amongst passengers.
“We are very grateful to our passengers and to the Hungarians who participated in the survey for the detailed feedback. Respondents confirmed Budapest Airport’s recently implemented developments of a hundred million euros. This research is another verification that service quality and the passenger experience are continuously increasing at Ferenc Liszt International Airport, and further enhances the significance of the best airport in the region award, which we managed to win again in 2020,” emphasized Dr. Rolf Schnitzler, the CEO of Budapest Airport. Regarding the results of the research on the accessibility of the airport, he added: “Budapest Airport Zrt. fully supports the construction of the railway connection to the airport; agreement with the government was reached on that already at the beginning of the summer. The draft agreement on the developments at the airport is ready to be signed; we are hopeful that the government will be able to speed up the design of the project and provide the necessary financing. As respondents indicated, the express road and a railway connection to the inner city would provide a significant boost to the strengthening of the country image.”