Airport Dimensions reveals new opportunities for airports to foster new and meaningful customer relationships

posted on 8th February 2023 by Eddie Saunders
Airport Dimensions reveals new opportunities for airports to foster new and meaningful customer relationships

Airport Dimensions’ new Airport Experience Research ‘The Transforming Airport Revenue Landscape’ has revealed how customer loyalty in the airport has changed over the past few years.

Whilst customer relations across many industries has gone from strength to strength, travelers have become somewhat disenfranchised with their airport relationship. In our latest survey, 12% said they didn’t want a relationship with airports, a rise from 7% in 2021.

Effective communication that makes travelers’ lives easier is valued. A third (33%) visit airport websites for flight status updates, with 31% looking for other information relevant to their journeys. A quarter (25%) also access an airport’s site to purchase travel services such as parking or travel insurance.

As airports continue to invest in more structured loyalty there has also been an increase in the number of travelers joining airport loyalty programmes (which rose by 2% to 18%), and in the number opting to receive communications from the airport (rising by 5% to 19%).

Membership of airline frequent flyer programs continues its steady decline, with the number of travelers who were part of such programs dropping from 66% in 2019 to 53% in 2021, and falling further to 52% this year. Almost a fifth (18%) no longer have elite flyer status.

All-important younger generations are the ones most likely to reject these programs. Only 40% of Gen Z, and half (52%) of Millennials are members, compared with 60% of boomers and 75% of elders.

Appetite for paid-loyalty programs at a range of price points is growing across all traveler segments. Over half (53%) say they would be interested in entry-level loyalty offers that include one fast track pass, priority parking and one drop off as well as 5% discounts at the airport at a cost of $25.

Nearly a third (32%) say they would be interested in paying as much as $500 for a package that includes unlimited lounge access and fast-track as well as 10% discounts.

Stephen Hay, Global Strategy Director of Airport Dimensions, said; “In their day to day lives, consumers are no longer loyal in the same way to brands, products, and services.

“This shift in attitude can also be seen at the airport, which presents both a challenge and an opportunity.

“Passengers do want a relationship with the airport but that relationship needs to bring real benefit to them from the moment they begin planning their journey.

“Getting the proposition right at the lounge, and indeed the wider airport, as our classic passenger mix evolves will be key to success.”

The Airport Dimensions Changing Airport Experience survey was conducted in partnership with leading market research agency Dynata.

The research draws from the experiences of more than 8,500 air travelers covering a wide and representative cross-section of demographics.