New research from Airports Council International (ACI) has revealed that the comfort of waiting areas at airport gates is a crucial overall driver of customer satisfaction.
The research was carried out as part of a new best practice report through ACI’s Airport Service Quality program. The report provides a detailed view of the passenger experience through their comfort levels at the gate areas. To develop the report, ACI surveyed the airports that are delivering the best comfort of waiting at the gate areas and investigated the variables associated with their success.
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. There are a number of things that can improve comfort, according to the report. The most obvious elements are seats and basic services, such as wi-fi access, access to power, and clean washrooms. However, the best airports are sensitive to intangible variables that have a direct impact on comfort, such as smell, light, noise and temperature.
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.”
The report also found architectural features such as the terminal envelope, space of seating areas, walking paths, floors, and ornaments will also affect passengers’ perception of the environment.