A new study from Priority Pass, which surveyed almost 3,000 respondents in the UK, the UAE, the USA, Germany, France, Singapore and Hong Kong, has revealed that more than half (53%) of frequent travelers enjoy their airport experience and 56% would be encouraged to arrive at the airport early to take advantage of duty free and shopping discounts.
The Priority Pass Airport Experience Survey sheds new light on the behavior of consumers at the airport, and showed that 64% agreed that they like to find a bargain at the airport, with 35% looking for something luxurious that they would not ordinarily buy.
Stephen Simpson, global marketing director for Priority Pass, part of Collinson Group, commented, “We are witnessing an important shift in mind-set when it comes to the airport experience and it is clear that today’s frequent flyers no longer view themselves as passengers merely transiting the airport, but as consumers seeking more rewarding travel journeys.”
According to the report, business flyers view the airport as a sanctuary ahead of a long flight thanks to the convenience of the airport lounge, with 59% of frequent business flyers considering access to a premium airport lounge to be an ‘important’ or ‘very important’ factor when selecting an airport; 40% said they go straight to the lounge and avoid the shops altogether.
Simpson added, “An increasing number of organizations are starting to recognize the value that can be gained if the experience of flying for business is not unduly stressful. Our research found that 51% of frequent business flyers actively enjoy the airport experience. This is a high percentage when you consider the fact that the business flyer is traveling for work and does not have the relaxation of a typical leisure trip to look forward to on arrival. The airport lounge clearly has an important role to play here, offering a rare moment of tranquility or the ability to stay connected in a peaceful and convenient environment.”
Separate research carried out by Priority Pass surveyed the world’s most affluent consumers and confirmed the rise of the ‘digital’ flyer. Fifty percent of European travelers believe that digital boarding passes and e-tickets make the airport experience much easier, with 24% of travelers using airport mobile apps. That figure rises to 41% for frequent business flyers.