Airport Business

DEC 2018-JAN 2019

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16 airportbusiness December 2018/January 2019 TECHNOLOGY Wi-Fi will lead to killer Yelp and TripAdvisor reviews. This one simple digital upgrade will greatly improve the user’s digital experience. And here is the least “revolutionary” of all best practices, but it must be said, supply an abundance of outlets (both USB and AC). Gone are the days where an important airport lounge amenity is a row of desktop computers. Both business and leisure airport travelers carry their own personal devices. And most times, they’re carrying two or even three digital devices. When you’re traveling with a work phone, personal cell phone and laptop, there’s no question that an outlet will be necessary at some point. Travelers are now at the point where they expect to have multiple outlets within reach. They don’t want to plug in their cell phone at the only outlet at the other end of the room and tediously monitor the phone from afar while it charges. They expect an outlet, or two or three, at every seat. The more people rely on their devices for travel (digital boarding pass, Apple Wallet, confirmation emails), the more important an outlet becomes. Those are just some of the best practices that can start seeing technology work for your airport lounge. But let’s look ahead to the future of technology and lounges. MAG USA believes that convenience will become more of a lifestyle service. Airports are cities in themselves so therefore you can extract an endless amount of service levels and needs and deliver them to travelers in creative ways. As lounge booking becomes more integrated into other distribution networks and different portions of airports, which were traditionally siloed, begin to work together to create a seamless experience, expect to see the delivery of goods to customers in new ways and for technology to be the driver in this airport travel revolution. There will be a day when airport travel is considered “easy” and “convenient” thanks to technology. It’s in the hands of US airports to make the important decision to dedicate the resources it takes to turn their airport and airport lounges into technologically savvy travel hubs. Develop a team of in-house digital experts or work with an agency who specializes in airport services and technology. These teams can develop an overall strategy to streamline your guest journey and analyze guest data to meet traveler expectations and strengthen bonds with travelers while improving performance. Most agencies will already hold tried and true methods that can be quickly implemented at your airport. ABOUT THE AUTHOR Sid Higgins – Vice President of Commercial for Escape Lounges After an extensive amount of years in the entertainment, event and hospitality industry, Sid Higgins joined the award-winning No. 1 Lounges, a UK based premium common-use lounge provider with lounges in London's Heathrow, Gatwick and Stansted airports, as well as Birmingham and Edinburgh airports. At No. 1, Sid was Head of Operations and later was appointed as Head of Projects, overseeing a £6m redevelopment of lounges at London's Gatwick airport. As Vice President of Commercial for Escape Lounges for MAG USA, Sid is responsible for the establishment, growth and operation of the Escape Lounges in the US, while maintaining the brand promise to our customers and our brand values through excellent customer service. Working with a team of digital specialists, an airport can pinpoint what part of the digital journey a guest would be most likely to add the purchase of access to an airport lounge. When a guest logs on to your lounge's complimentary Wi-Fi they should be greeted with speeds that are so fast that they can download their favorite Netflix shows and begin binge watching before they take their first sip of coffee. MAG USA

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