Key Economic Drivers
Airports are key economic drivers of the regional areas they serve and function as small communities within themselves. With the increasing number of layovers and the need for customers to allow extra time to get through security, commercial revenues often exceed 50% of total revenues. Localized food, beverage, and merchandise options enable airports to more closely reflect their communities and give local businesses the chance to expand their operations. Passengers also expect relaxing amenities such as nursing lounges for mothers, therapy animals and massage stations. For longer layovers, airports have also added destination facilities such as museums, nature walks and movie theaters.
So how can an airport increase its rankings in ASQ and other surveys? One of the airports that Flagship services recently undertook a two-year effort to improve its customer satisfaction ratings. They began by concentrating on the basics, making sure the terminal is always be clean and well maintained, and ground transportation to and from the airport is well organized and convenient.
Keeping busy facilities such as restrooms clean can be a challenge unless services are calibrated to the flight schedules at each gate. The condition of carpeting and decorative floors such as terrazzo also provide visual clues as to whether the airport is well maintained. If the airport comes up short in those areas, passengers immediately report what they’ve seen on social media.
Airports with excessive numbers of video screens and public address announcements can seem frenetic to passengers who may already be stressed out by having to go through security and waiting for their flight. Some terminals are painted with soothing colors to provide a more serene atmosphere.
Many travelers prefer to minimize the number of human interactions while being processed through the airport, so airports are working to automate the check-in process as much as possible, as well as moving TSA checkpoints in order to decrease lines. Automation will also have a major impact on the passenger experience in the future, from automated baggage handling to self-driving buses.
Ultimately, every aspect of the customer experience matters. Upon completion of their two-year customer experience enhancement program, the airport mentioned above achieved a significant increase in its customer satisfaction rankings, as well as significant increases in aviation and non-aviation related revenues.