Passenger Experience – Why is it Important for Airports?

With record-breaking passenger numbers moving through airports and high expectations from today’s passengers, their journey experience is a very important development area for AiQ Consulting’s work with airports throughout the world.

As global experts in constrained and saturated airports, we place immense focus on passenger experience in airports. When we approach operational efficiency and capacity planning, we do so with not only a scientific approach to big data and innovation, but also a strong emphasis on the passenger journey.

IATA Standards

Passenger Experience can be captured and quantified. Optimum passenger Levels of Service have been defined by IATA for over 40 years with their Airport Development Reference Manual (ADRM), and are standards that all airports should strive to achieve, not just large hubs.

We work with airports to find out, for example, how large their check in area should be, whether their passengers are travelling through departures in an acceptable amount of time, and if their arrivals procedure is up to scratch. These areas are those which significantly impact in passenger experience and our software, experience and knowledge of airports, passengers flows and baggage handling systems allows us to be able to assist all airports to reaching these gold standards.

Passenger Movement

The flow of passengers is critical to the success of an airport. This flow interconnects with other points in airport operational efficiency and management, such as realising capacity, improving check in processes, and developing hold baggage systems.

Of course, without passengers, there would be no airport, and their wants and needs shape the way airports are constructed and managed. When we provide simulations to recreate a problem or offer solutions for clients, the data we use conveys typical human behaviour in all passengers. There always needs to be a focus on how passengers are moving through an airport so we can understand how they move and therefore how to improve their experience.

New Technology

New Technology also has its part to play in improving passenger experience.  For example, the introduction of biometric security can reduce congestion and improve passenger flow. At biometric boarding gates, passengers can scan their own boarding pass at the gate and then walk through to the aircraft. A digital facial scan of the customer is recorded when they pass through security and when they arrive at the gate their face is matched, allowing them to board. Self service bag drop and early bag stores also allow passengers more flexibility about when and where they check in, with robotic bag builds both improving this service and also reducing the amount of baggage in the airport, further improving congestion and passenger flow.

To find out more about the impact of new technology in airports, read our blogs, part one  and part two.

Improving Passenger Experience in Airports

We have worked with many airports to improve their passenger experience. For example, we worked with Leeds Bradford Airport to undertake a capacity assessment to understand the impact of CUTE (Common Use Terminal Equipment) and SSBD (Self Service Bag Drops) implementation in a highly constrained and saturated airport environment. Our solutions improved passenger flows and reduced crowds at this constrained check in, decreasing the security risk and queuing. These measures reduced passenger stress and increased passenger experience.

Manchester Airport asked us to look at how to improve capacity before their ambitious £1 billion Manchester Airport Transformation Programme began. We provided cost-efficient options for how Manchester Airport can manage growth, new entrants and expansion of airlines, including solutions that relocated their Make Up Points (MUPs) and Early Bag Storage, as well as improving stakeholder management allowing all suppliers and contractors to be engaged in new methods of working. These efficiencies can all impact positively on passenger experience, decreasing wait times, queues and issues at Check In.

How AiQ Consulting can help you improve passenger experience

We work with airports worldwide to increase their capacity and operation efficiency, services that go hand in hand with improving the passenger experience. When your airport is working well, without congestion, technical difficulties and poor layouts, then the satisfaction levels of your passengers increase, and with that, your airport performs better commercially with a great competitive advantage.

If you’d like to improve passenger experience at your airport, contact us today