An online YouGov poll commissioned by leading entertainment and passenger engagement company Spafax and published today reveals that 57% of UK adults who have been in an airport lounge find them boring, with 49% agreeing that lounges need to change to become more interesting.
YouGov surveyed 2,131 respondents (general UK adult population aged 18+) asking those who had visited an airport lounge how they spent their time, what experiences they would be interested in while in the lounge and what they would consider purchasing in them.
According to the survey, 39% eat or drink the food provided by the lounge, 38% read, and 33% browse the internet on a personal device.
When asked what they would like to be offered while in the lounge – 39% of respondents selected free samples of exclusive products such as mini pots of luxury jam or a centenary ale from a craft brewery.
“The data in this poll makes a strong argument for revamping and zipping up airport lounges with a whopping 57% of adults agreeing that they’re boring,” said Charles Vine, head of brand alliances at Spafax.
“The issue is dead simple – we need to make airport lounges worthwhile places to be in, places where you discover things. This presents a strong opportunity for brands to develop new experiences.
“You have the most sought-after consumers in the world, effectively captive in airport lounges. With sophisticated tastes and busy lives, these passengers are usually inundated with information overload, but in airport lounges, they are reporting downtime, where they are receptive.”
When asked what they would consider purchasing while in the lounge, with options ranging from alcohol to health and beauty products to clothing, shoes and watches and transportation and entertainment tickets, respondents showed enthusiasm for: alcohol (28%); health and beauty products (27%); and transportation tickets for their destination (21%).
“There is a huge opportunity with high dwell time to take advantage of the moment of repose that passengers have in lounges,” added Vine. “The survey showed strong showings for pop-up stores and innovative brand experiences. The space is ripe for clever, relevant creative thinking. A lounge can be the first time you tried a gin, worked out on a Peloton cycle, bought some West End tickets or bought yourself a centenary whisky cask. Both the airline and the brand get to benefit and gain wow factor.”
The survey showed that the most significant differences between male and female respondents arose when asked what they would like to be offered in the lounge and what they would consider purchasing.
While men are interested in free exclusive product sampling with 34% selecting the option, this figure was ever higher for women, 43% choosing the option. Women and men were similarly interested in purchasing alcohol, transportation tickets, electronics and watches.
However, women were significantly more interested in purchasing health and beauty products, jewelry, clothes, shoes and entertainment tickets compared to men.