Passenger Experience - 5 tips to Design Seamless Airport Experience


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  • airport experience in COVID times

    Airport Experience – Are You Letting Down Your Precious 2021 Travelers?

    A month and a half ago, as part of our ongoing conversation about airport experience, we introduced the concept of revenge travel. We pleaded with the public to trust us aviation professionals and airport experience designers and fly again… SOON.


    Now is the Time

    Last month, 44% of the attendees at our Aviation for Americas webinar told us they would travel in the next 3 months. Now is the time to welcome those travelers with the care and empathy they deserve.

    From the feedback we got last night on our IG Live with Spike about CX at Airports and Impact of Covid19, the care and empathy do not seem to be happening. Why are airports silent, we were asked. Really. Why are you silent?

    My answer, of course, was that the relationship between airports and airlines is complicated. But then I remembered our partner Bebot, and their recent deal with Tampa Airport and I realized we need to talk about this today. So, here is our take on the four urgent passenger experience solutions airports need to put in place immediately.

    Two-Way Communication Across the Airport Experience

    Similar to Tampa, you need to publish DAILY UPDATES on your flight plans, changes in procedures, travel restrictions, and any other pertinent travel information. You can either get your volunteers to do this manually, or reach out to us and install Bebot.

    Your passengers need all the information you can give them. So make that pertinent information the first thing they see on your website. Spoiler Alert: that means it’s time to redesign your landing page.

    Creative Airport Experience Solutions to Alleviate Anxiety

    You know your passengers’ state of mind; they are experiencing new heights in anxiety related to travel and social interaction. You need to address that with small, kind gestures along the travel journey.

    Extra masks at prominent places, live musicians (we can hook you up with some!), or tools like short story dispensers to take people’s minds off the lines of faceless figures around them. Bring back your volunteers to distribute beautiful, delicious individually wrapped cookies.

    Most of all, have fun taking care of your precious passengers! These are the individuals who support our industry. Thank them with pleasant, empathetic, and fun customer experience design.

    Proactive Queue Management

    There is no excuse for any airport to be surprised by the long lines that will be forming in their spaces. We all know they are coming. Because travelers are coming. And procedures are changing.

    Design your airport experience with this in mind. Meet with local TSA teams and discuss innovative ways to speed up queues. Facial recognition is a proven solution. Push for it. Include facial recognition at check in. And at boarding.

    Start queue management before your passengers even get to the airport. Design a way to send passengers alerts to leave their homes earlier and factor in long waits. Plan for what you will do with babies, dogs, wheelchairs, and all the variables that come with travel. We have been there before. We know what is coming. Do NOT be surprised.
    Be ready!


    Helpful Signage

    Last but not least, put up signage EVERYWHERE throughout your airports. It is your responsibility to inform travelers about what is expected of them every step of the way. If you introduce ANYTHING NEW: a new check point, or a new procedure, explain briefly and clearly why this is happening and how to navigate it.

    Remember, all of this creates an essential opportunity for you to alleviate the natural worry about the unknown. And that is the perfect encapsulation of the empathy and care that our travelers need from us right now.

    Let’s get to work and serve our travelers with all we’ve got!

    Get Customer Experience Basics Right and You Don’t Need to Invest in Wow Moments

    Wow Moments are a Customer Experience hot topic. Customer experience professionals ideate how to build, prioritize, finance, and measure these Wow Moments. Chip and Dan Heath wrote a whole book on the topic: The Power of Moments. No Wow Moment saves you from negative word of mouth if your brand fails to get the customer experience basics right or to deliver the expected brand experience consistently.

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    How a Personal Interaction builds Repeat Customers

    A customer-centric methodology is key to the successful outcome of my interaction with Hello Spud. It is the reason this story appears here, and not among the CX Big Fails! The company did not send an automated response. It did not deliver a message stating “sorry we couldn’t help you, would you like something else.” Instead, the company co-founder reached out to me personally across multiple channels (a handwritten note, followed by personal emails).

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    Organizational Culture and Access to Information

    By and large, people perceive culture as an HR discipline. The most common perception is that culture covers the soft side of performance. Culture is about how you do things, not so much about what you do. This approach to culture could not be more wrong. In fact, organizational culture is about so much more than a few words in a performance review sheet.  It is about leaders expressing values, and the action guidance their cultural behaviors provide.

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