A stress-free airport experience is the number one priority for travelers, with a clear 72 percent of global respondents to a new Amadeus study saying they thought the core passenger journey from check-in to boarding was currently inefficient. Sixty-nine percent of travelers are seeking improved security processes.
The Amadeus study, ‘Reinventing the Airport Ecosystem,’ identifies consumer frustrations with today’s airport experience and maps how airports will reinvent themselves by 2025, with new operating models, driving revenues beyond traditional aviation income.
The report is based on input from researchers, industry experts and airport stakeholders, Amadeus notes, and offers an extensive analysis and evaluation of all aspects of the airport landscape. It looks at how the evolution of new airport models will transform the travel experience for passengers.
Passengers also said they expect airports to give a sense of place that reflects local culture and makes the airport destination and flight part of their total trip experience (81 percent), Amadeus says.
Travelers view technology as increasingly important to their airport experience. Many want to control their entire airport journey through the use of mobile phones to navigate through key touch points (63 percent), use frequent flyer cards as permanent boarding passes (59 percent), benefit from permanent electronic bag tags (57 percent), and to automate the full range of airport processes including baggage drop (48 percent), the report notes.
Social media is also seen as a vital tool for the real-time exchange of ideas, information, and feedback with travelers while at the airport. Consumers want their improvement ideas to be heard (69 percent), to receive important information (66 percent), to provide real-time feedback (53 percent), and to be rewarded as frequent travelers/shoppers (51 percent), Amadeus says.
“A range of macro-trends including increasing traveler demands, new technologies, and the immediate requirement for the industry to create new revenue streams are driving the need for a fundamental rethink of the airport ecosystem,” said Julia Sattel, senior VP airline IT, Amadeus.
New airport models highlighted in the Amadeus report include:
- Mini-city: A self-sufficient entity offering unique retail, entertainment, dining, work spaces and accommodation. It may even grow its own food and generate its energy needs onsite
- City extension: Tightly integrated into the local city, the airport will reflect the best of local culture, history, and cuisine
- The shopping mall: Airport shopping, leisure, and entertainment facilities on par and even beyond those found in destinations and available to non-flying customers; 15 percent of travelers surveyed thought this model would be predominant by 2025
- The walkway concept: In this scenario, many of the current airport processes are performed remotely by the passenger, at home or in a separate virtual terminal
- Bus station concept: At the low-cost end of the spectrum lies the 'bus station' model, a no-frills atmosphere where speed and efficiency are key
The report provides an overview of the most advanced developments at airports today with 11 airport case studies including Incheon, Singapore Changi, London Gatwick, Berlin Tegel and New York JFK.
‘Reinventing the Airport Ecosystem’ was developed through primary field research and supplemented with over 70 interviews with industry experts from airports, airlines, and suppliers, including technology providers and airport designers. As well, a global passenger survey of 838 respondents from a range of markets was conducted.