Nielsen Airports Study reveals effectiveness of airport advertising on frequent flyers

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Market researcher Nielsen has unveiled the results of a comprehensive consumer insights study commissioned by outdoor advertising specialist Clear Channel Airports (CCA).

The report provides an insight into frequent flyer responsiveness to airport advertising, the types of activities travelers engage in while waiting for their flights, and what actions consumers take after being exposed to airport advertisements such as in-store retail shopping, social media and e-commerce activity.

According to the study, frequent flyers are highly responsive to airport advertising, with 80% noticing the media and 42% taking action that includes visiting a website, going to a store or learning more about a product, brand or service. Nineteen percent of frequent flyers actually bought a product they saw advertised at the airport.

More specifically, airport campaigns are a significant driver of foot traffic, with 84% of frequent fliers likely to visit a restaurant, 50% likely to visit a clothing/accessories/jewelry store and 41% likely to visit a consumer electronics store.

The research report also confirms that active dwell time increases advertising exposure, with 74% of frequent flyers arriving at the airport over an hour before boarding. Seventy-nine percent of frequent flyers shopped for food and beverages, 67% dined at a restaurant, 51% shopped for travel accessories/technology products/entertainment and 29% shopped duty-free. Additionally, 87% of frequent flyers spend time on their mobile devices while waiting for their flight, with 36% visiting a website to find out more about products or services seen in an airport advertisement.

Morten Gotterup, president of CCA, said, “This study confirms that airport advertising creates significant brand awareness and sales by helping advertisers reach highly coveted audiences such as the affluent frequent flyer and the key business decision makers around the world.”

Additional key survey findings show that 90% of frequent flyers are likely to dine/shop/visit brick and mortar locations after learning about them at the airport. Thirty-six percent are interested in signing up for/learning about e-commerce services while at the airport. Almost half (48%) are interested in learning about travel rewards programs and one-third are interested in signing up for travel rewards credit cards while at the airport.

The proprietary Nielsen Airports Study, conducted from August 8-18, consisted of 1,526 online survey respondents and was carried out on behalf of CCA.


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Dan originally joined Passenger Terminal World in 2014 having spent the early years of his career in the recruitment industry. As online editor, he now produces daily content for the website and supports the editor with the publication of each exciting new issue. When he’s not reporting on the latest aviation news, Dan can be found on the golf course or apprehensively planning his next DIY project.

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