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Airports are failing to communicate effectively with passengers, new study finds

A new study commissioned by airport loyalty specialist ICLP has found that passengers are unhappy with communications from airports, which in turn affects their loyalty to the them.

The 2017 ICLP research, which surveyed both airports and passengers, discovered there is a lack of personalized and relevant communication between the two parties. This is negatively impacting airports’ ability to engage with passengers, and increase both their dwell time and spend.

The research highlights a significant gap between the number of airports that are sending passengers timely communications, and the number of passengers that want to receive them.

Currently 83% of passengers actively seek updates on flight arrival and departure times from the airport prior to transit, however only 58% of airports are sharing this information.

Nearly a quarter (23%) of passengers surveyed said that they do not receive any communications from the airports they use, with 65% of those passengers declaring they have never been given the option to sign up or subscribe.

However, 45% of surveyed passengers stated that receiving communications that contained airport offers and discounts prior to traveling would encourage them to spend more.

Despite the fact that a high proportion of passengers (86%) are willing to share their personal information with airports, only 27% of airports are using customer data to personalize their communications.

Mignon Buckingham, managing director, ICLP, commented, “It is great that many airports are starting to build communication with passengers, but there is a misalignment between the information that airports are communicating and what passengers want to receive. For example,
details of airport parking are sent by 88% of airports while just 31% of passengers want to receive this information.

“There is also misdirection around the frequency and timing with which passengers receive information. Furthermore, with the research flagging up the positive news that passengers are open to receiving airport communications, it is worth noting that although 100% of the airports taking part in this study provide free access to public wi-fi, less than half (only 48%) are collecting data from the passengers using this service.

“When airports do collect data, they rarely use it to maximum effect, with just 45% of airports saying they use the information they collect in their marketing campaigns, and an alarming 23% confessing that they don’t use it at all.”

Written by Kirstie Pickering

July 14, 2017


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