Reshaping Airport Customer Experience through the Lens of Traveler’s Perspective

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Figure 51. ICN Culture Center (Image source: socoolkorea.com)

Airports are dynamic communities that continue to evolve as they provide essential modes of transportation to a large traveling public. The airport is the gateway representing the community, whether it is considered a regional, city, county, state or federal airport. While U.S. airports strive to redesign the airport experience through terminal expansion, architectural renovation, and amenity improvements, it is also critically important to take a customer-centered approach and rethink the airport experience through the customers’ perspectives.

The recently published ACRP Report 231 (Evaluating the Traveler’s Perspective to Improve the Airport Customer Experience | Blurbs New | Blurbs | ACRP (trb.org)), along with the multimedia tool (Airport (strdemo.org)), which were developed by the IOS Partners’ research team along with its partners, Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University, and Institute for Cross Cultural Management at Florida Institute of Technology, examines the travelers’ perspective of improving customer experiences and addresses current and evolving customer experiences and expectations. The research also captured the unique perspectives of the nine traveler segments allowing airports to distinguish between the needs of different travelers that journey through their airports.  

Figure 52. DEN Paradise for Paws
(Image source: DEN)

Airports throughout the world are engaged in trying to understand the motivation and perspectives of their travelers. It takes an entire village to complete the customer journey from prior to arrival at the airport to arrival at the airport through various points, and the journey back to the point of origin or any other destination, all of which are influenced by not only the airport operator, but the business partners/ service providers, federal agencies, and the airport community. Any experience inside or outside the airport operator’s control may diminish the positive experience of the customer travelling through the airport to his/her destination. The unique findings presented in the ACRP guidebook and the tools offered for assessing and understanding the travelers’ perspective will assist airport operators to identify the most salient issues their travelers experience when journeying through their airports. The ACRP 231 Report was published in July, 2021 and has already been downloaded more than three thousand times, which is a testament to its usefulness and value to the airport community.

Katty Metreveli
Katty Metreveli
Director of Project Management, International Development at IOS Partners, Inc.
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