Things appear to be looking up at George Bush Intercontinental Airport. It's been named one of the most improved airports in the world and among the best for airport dining, according to a survey of nearly 14 million airline customers conducted by Skytrax, a leading global air transport organization.
The Skytrax World Airport Awards — also known as the Passengers Choice Awards —were announced at the 2017 Skytrax World Airport Awards at Passenger Terminal EXPO in Amsterdam.
Bush came in at No. 3 among the most improved airports in the world and the No. 9 airport in the world — and the best in North America — for dining.
That ranking largely is due to new outposts of such well-regarded Houston restaurants as Hubcap Grill, Pink's Pizza, The Breakfast Klub, Ray's Real Pit BBQ and a new concept from James Beard Award finalist Hugo Ortega called Hugo’s Concina that have opened at Bush, along with such other popular restaurants as Kat Cora's Kitchen, Landry's Seafood House, El Real, Pappasito's Cantina, Pappadeaux Seafood Kitchen, and Urban Crave, which CNN picked in a story on Best Eats at the 20 Busiest U.S. Airports.
Also in the mix are 3rd Bar Eating House from famed chef Bryan Caswell and Tony's Wine Cellar & Bistro from noted restaurateur Tony Vallone.
The dining scene at IAH is expected to get even better later this month with the opening of five new restaurants inspired by some of Houston's most notable chefs, including Ryan Pera, Roland Laurenzo, John Nguyen, Monica Pope and Chris Shepherd.
And eight additional restaurants plan to open by the end of the year at Terminals C-South and E, all inspired by Houston chefs, including The Pass & Provisions creators Seth Siegel-Gardner and Terrence Gallivan, Tacos A Go Go founder Sharon Haynes, barbecue whiz Greg Gatlin, Lucille's co-founder Christopher Williams, and top chefs Antoine Ware, Chris Kinjo, Mike Tran, and Pera.
The results came from13.82 million airline customers of 105 different nationalities at 550 airports who completed airport survey questionnaires on their experiences from July 2016 to February 2017. The surveys included their views on check-in, arrivals, transfers, shopping, dining, security and immigration through to departure at the gate.
According to Skytrax, the award for the "World's Most Improved Airport" is based on the relative year-on-year quality performance by all airports featured in the survey, and takes into account the change in rating together with performance changes across the different product and service categories in the awards. Soekarno-Hatta International Airport which serves Jakarta, Indonesia, was named the World’s Most Improved Airport in 2017.
A full list of winners in all categories can be found here.
Overall, Bush Airport was ranked No. 54 in the world in the Top 100 airport ratings for 2017, an improvement from the 2016 ranking of No. 71. A complete list of the Top 100 airports can be found here.