Improving the Airport Customer Experience

Airports strive to continually improve customer service to meet the growing challenges of customer satisfaction. However, the stress of air travel has become a risk to customer satisfaction. Additionally, airports of different types and sizes face different challenges. Where options exist, travelers may avoid airports with a poor customer service reputation. Alternatively, good customer service may have a positive effect on the airport and its community. While data exists to help airports benchmark their customer service performance, there is no comprehensive guidance available on how to improve the overall experience. Research is needed to detail practices, methodologies, and technologies that airports can use to monitor and improve the customer experience within the airport's control. In addition, this research should detail proven methods to engage other airport stakeholders, including airlines, tenants, and governmental agencies, to work collaboratively to improve the customer experience and increase customer satisfaction. The objective of this research is to develop a guidebook that (1) provides best practices to modify airport customer service to increase customer satisfaction, recognizing the different types of customers (e.g., passengers, meeters and greeters, employees) and types and sizes of airports; and (2) beyond customer satisfaction, identifies what airports can do to further improve the customer experience. The elements of this guidance should include, at a minimum: (A) Key drivers of customer satisfaction including the top positive and negative influences for the customer experience; (B) Methods to engage airport stakeholders to improve customer satisfaction "from roadway to runway," including the use of innovative technologies; (C) A template to implement a strategy for a customer satisfaction improvement program for a variety of types and sizes of airports, including staffing and budget considerations; and (D) Guidance to develop performance indicators to measure customer satisfaction. The research plan should include appropriate interim deliverables that include at a minimum: (1) a white paper that describes the current body of knowledge of customer service strategies to increase customer satisfaction at airports, which may include relevant examples from other industries; (2) a data collection plan for airport surveys, including a list of airport, stakeholder, and other sources, for review and approval by the Aviation Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) panel; (3) a description of the criteria used to determine the best practices to be contained in the guidebook; and (4) an interim report that describes work done in early tasks including a draft outline of the guidebook, a description of the template(s) to be developed, and a draft sample chapter of the guidebook. The research plan should build in appropriate checkpoints with the ACRP panel, including at a minimum (1) a kick-off teleconference meeting to be held within 1 month of the Notice to Proceed; and (2) one face-to-face interim deliverable review meeting, as well as web-enabled teleconferences tied to the panel review and ACRP approval of other interim deliverables deemed appropriate. The final deliverables will include: (1) a guidebook, that also includes a summary of the research methodology; and (2) a contractor's final report that documents the complete research methodology and entire research effort, including any assumptions used and the research team's recommendation of research needs and priorities for additional related research.


  • English


  • Status: Active
  • Funding: $400000.00
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 01-26

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Federal Aviation Administration

    800 Independence Avenue, SW
    Washington, DC  United States  20591

    Airport Cooperative Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC    20001
  • Project Managers:

    Schatz, Theresia

  • Performing Organizations:

    Leigh Fisher

  • Principal Investigators:

    Boudreau, Bruce

  • Start Date: 20140711
  • Expected Completion Date: 0
  • Actual Completion Date: 20160111
  • Source Data: RiP Project 37687

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01545249
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 01-26
  • Files: TRB, RiP
  • Created Date: Nov 26 2014 1:00AM