Intangible variables have a direct impact on comfort
Airports Council International (ACI) World has published a new research report which shows that the comfort of waiting areas at airport gates is a crucial overall driver of customer satisfaction.
The report has been produced through ACI’s ASQ programme which provides a detailed view of the passenger experience through their comfort levels at the gate areas.
According to ASQ, infrastructure is the most important driver of overall passenger satisfaction and the perception of comfort of waiting at the gate areas is a key component of this.
Using an exploratory survey among the airports that are delivering the best comfort of waiting at the gate areas, as well as the airports that have recorded the most significant increase in passenger satisfaction, this new report investigates the variables associated with their success.
Offering an optimal comfort experience is the sum of several efforts. The most obvious elements are seats and basic services – such as Wi-Fi access, access to power, and clean washrooms – but the best airports are sensitive to intangible variables that have a direct impact on comfort, such as smell, light, noise and temperature.
The key, however, is that passengers must be in the right mood to get the most out of the experiences that are offered and how they will perceive and react to their environment. Some passengers are more sensitive to the environment than others.
ACI World Director General Angela Gittens said: “Providing a comfortable experience for passengers waiting in gate areas is a priority for airports as waiting, even for very short periods, is an inevitable part of the passenger journey.
“Defining comfort of waiting at the gate areas is complex as there are a number of variables involved and this report assists airports by exploring which aspects of the passenger experience impact this.
“The airport can provide a comfortable experience by reassuring, calming and relaxing the passengers and a comfortable environment can be achieved with both tangible and intangible elements.
“Noise, lighting, air quality, and crowd level all contribute to the ambiance. The most successful airports in providing comfort in waiting areas provide soothing environments, such as smaller lounges and quiet zones”.
The report also found architectural features such as the terminal envelope, space of seating areas, walking paths, floors, and ornaments will also have a role of the passenger’s perception of the environment.
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