Evaluating the Traveler's Perspective to Improve the Airport Customer Experience

BACKGROUND   Improving the airport customer experience is emerging as a high priority goal for domestic and international airport travelers as their needs and expectations evolve in response to changing conditions, new and innovative services, processes, and technologies. It is a key driver of customer satisfaction, airport reputation, revenue, and the overall ranking of an airport.   Throughout the customer journey, there are several opportunities to improve the customer experience along numerous touch points—from planning the trip to traveling to, through, and from the airport.  Yet, airports often have limited influence on many of these touch points. ACRP Report 157: Improving the Airport Customer Experience offers comprehensive guidance to help airports address many topics related to improving and maintaining customer experience. Also, ACRP Research Report 161: Guidelines for Improving Airport Services for International Customers identifies key elements of the international customer experience that can influence satisfaction. However, since customers’ expectations continue to evolve, and new technologies and social issues emerge, the traveler’s perspective can provide additional insight on ways to improve the customer experience.       OBJECTIVES   The objectives of this research are to (1) provide guidance for the airport operator from the perspective of the airport traveler through his/her entire journey to (a) address current and evolving experiences and expectations and (b) identify future customer service-related trends and developments; and (2) generate tools to help airport operators collaborate with airport tenants and other service providers to deliver a seamless customer experience. The audience for this research is the airport operator who has already prioritized the customer experience as an important airport function and is implementing programs to improve it.     To create a seamless customer experience, the elements of this guidance should include:  - A description of how customer service needs and expectations by customer type have recently changed; - Considerations of travelers’ emotional, informational (e.g., language access plan), cultural, and physical needs and reactions; - Recommendations on airport training and hiring practices to ensure a knowledgeable workforce that will exceed standards of service, (e.g., advanced interpersonal skills, tenant/contractor coordination, service recovery); - Impacts of any regulatory requirements and changes (e.g., FAA Reauthorization, Act of 2018, etc.); - Best practices and methods from comparable industries; - New and innovative services, processes, and technologies;   - Strategies to manage the customer experience and expectations during disruptive events, (e.g., IROPS, technology outages and malfunctions, etc.); and - Consideration on how the customer experience changes based on where they are in the journey.               STATUS: IOS Partners has been completed the research. The publication process is underway and completion is anticipated end of April 2021.   


  • English


  • Status: Completed
  • Funding: $500,000
  • Contract Numbers:

    Project 01-40

  • Sponsor Organizations:

    Airport Cooperative Research Program

    Transportation Research Board
    500 Fifth Street, NW
    Washington, DC    20001

    Federal Aviation Administration

    800 Independence Avenue, SW
    Washington, DC  United States  20591
  • Project Managers:

    Schatz, Theresia

  • Performing Organizations:

    IOS Partners, Incorporated

    Coral Gables, FL  United States 
  • Principal Investigators:

    Ryan, Patricia

  • Start Date: 20190501
  • Expected Completion Date: 20200930
  • Actual Completion Date: 0

Subject/Index Terms

Filing Info

  • Accession Number: 01677206
  • Record Type: Research project
  • Source Agency: Transportation Research Board
  • Contract Numbers: Project 01-40
  • Files: TRB, RIP
  • Created Date: Jul 30 2018 3:03PM