So you gave yourself plenty of time to get to the airport. Traffic was light and you made it through TSA checkpoints in record time. After checking to make sure you haven’t slipped into the Twilight Zone, what do you do next? Your flight isn’t scheduled to board for another two hours.
A recent survey issued by NCR Travel set out to find what idle travelers do at the airport, and more importantly, what they would like to do in the future. According to the group’s research, 57% of respondents would like to pass the time in a bar or restaurant, 39% would be likely to take advantage of available WiFi, and 32% would be open to doing a little shopping. Pretty standard responses.
But what else would passengers like to see more of at the airport (besides cheap flights)? 44% said they would be interested in checking out an art or history exhibit, 16 percent would be likely to unwind with spa treatments, and 12 percent would like to see playground equipment available for their children.
Why is research like this so important? Tyler Craig, President of NCR Travel said it’s important to remember that idle travelers aren’t just passengers, they’re purchasers. Recent reports show that many airports now rely on non-aviation services to bring in up to half of their annual income.
Craig predicts that many airports will need to adapt the old model of airport services to entice modern travelers. Along with physical changes at the hubs, we should expect to see more airports embrace direct marketing techniques through smartphones and travel apps.
What do you do with your airport down time? Let us know with a comment.