21 Feb

Shorter Queues Top Air Passengers’ Priority List

As airports discuss price charges ABTA reveals what passengers really want

As airports review new investments and proposed changes to their landing charges and fees, ABTA research* shows that the top two improvements consumers would most like to see at airports are speeding up check-in and speeding up security. 

More than half (52%) of consumers said speeding up check-in would significantly improve their journey through the airport while 48% said speeding up security would do the same.  Cutting queues is seen as more important than a range of other services such as the quality of food, retail offering or access to Wi-Fi facilities. In fact, a third (34%) said improvements to the quality and variety of retail outlets would make no difference to their experience and four in ten (40%) passengers said the same about access to Wi-Fi facilities. Good service however, appears to be considered a priority for passengers, with many agreeing that communication of flight changes, comfort of lounges and friendliness of airport staff are factors where changes could significantly improve their experience in the airport.

Mark Tanzer, CEO ABTA said: “This research confirms that for many passengers, the airport experience is the first part of their holiday or trip abroad and they don’t want to spend it in a queue. Improvements to check-in and security times would allow them to plan their journeys better, shorten door-to-door journey times and help avoid a stressful last-minute rush through the airport. As airports are reviewing their landing charges and fees, they must ensure that these can be justified and that they invest in areas that will deliver benefits that passengers will value. It’s clear from this research that British passengers value efficiency, convenience and good service and want to see their airports deliver this.”

The factors that would most improve passengers’ journeys through the airport are:

Factor % saying it would significantly improve their journey through the airport
Speed of check in process 52%
Speed of security process 48%

Quality of communication of flight changes or delays
Quality and comfort of lounges (e.g. departure/gate lounges) 35%
Friendliness of airport staff 33%
Quality and variety of Food/Catering offering 29%
Quality/availability of public transport access to the airport 29%
Quality of airport parking facilities 27%
Facilities available for families/children 25%
Access to Wi-Fi facilities 20%
Quality and variety of retail offering 19%

*Consumer research was conducted by Arkenford Ltd (www.arkenford.co.uk) who specialise in tourism and leisure market research. The ABTA Consumer Trends survey generated response from a nationally representative sample of 2008 consumers using an online research methodology and related to holiday booking habits in the 12 months to September 2012. Fieldwork was conducted in September 2012.