Airport Business

FEB-MAR 2018

The airport professional's source for airport industry news, articles, events, and careers.

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NEW REVENUES 42 airportbusiness February/March 2018 By Nancy Knipp How Changing Consumer Expectations are Causing Shifts in Airport Lounge Usage Even in the midst of these changes, what remains the same is the expectation of an elevated airport experience upon entering a lounge. Here's how airport lounge access is shifting, the demands of consumers are changing and why offering pre- mium experiences results in the largest ROI when it comes to customer satisfaction: THE DEMOCRATIZATION OF AIRPORT LOUNGE ACCESS Lounge access was once reserved for only the most elite travelers, those flying first class or who flew enough to have accumulated an elite status. Nowadays, that's no longer the case. Even as air- lines make it more challenging to achieve elite sta- tus, more travelers than ever are being introduced to the airport lounge experience. This is thanks to, for example, credit card perks like membership in the world's largest lounge access program, Priority Pass and consumers purchasing lounge day pass- es directly at the airport. RISING EXPECTATIONS FOR A DIGITAL LOUNGE EXPERIENCE The entire airport experience is becoming dig- itized and today's frequent flyers have a strong desire for a seamless digital experience at the airport that caters to the "digital flyer." From the moment a passenger enters the terminal doors, digital tools and technologies are playing an important role. This comes in the form of every- thing from biometric enabled self-service check-in facilities to mobile phone applications designed to help navigate through airport processes. A FOCUS ON CUSTOMER PERSONALIZATION Airport lounges are looking to change the ways they interact with travelers based on traveler demand for an individualized consumer experi- ence. Research by ICLP found there is an opportu- nity to increase personalization of communication between airports and travelers. Airports are giving passengers free public Wi-Fi, but only 48 percent are collecting data from the passengers using it. Eighty-six percent of passengers are willing to share personal information, but only 27 percent of airports are using customer data to personalize their communications. Customers expect companies to know their preferences. Business travelers expect a seamless experience at airport lounges. They depend on the work stations, satellite TV, free newspapers and magazines, meeting rooms and conference phones that lounges offer in order to make sure they can still complete a full workday whilst traveling. Airport lounges should personalize communi- cations with guests and remember their individual preferences. Read more: 12369315 I n the first six months of 2017 the airline indus- try experienced a 12-year high in global passen- ger traffic growth (7.9 percent) according to the International Air Transport Association (IATA). As airports grow busier, the way travelers are using airport lounges is changing. An increasing number of passengers are seeking out the calm haven of an airport lounge. For example, in just the first two months of 2017, the Airport Lounge Development (ALD) network of lounges has experienced an over 70 percent increase in guest volumes year over year. Guests can enjoy a variety of all-inclusive food options The Club at San Jose International Airport ABOUT THE AUTHOR Nancy Knipp is the Senior Vice President at Airport Lounge Devel- opment. Nancy Knipp Airport Lounge Development Airport Lounge Development

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