According to research carried out by ABTA, the Association of British Travel Agents, the average air traveller’s wish list is topped by a desire for shorter queues.
When asked what improvements they would like to see at airports, faster check-in and security checks were the two items that headed the list for the majority of respondents. In fact, more than half of those questioned, 52 percent, sited a speedier check-in, with faster security checks close behind at 48 percent.
Conversely, the quality of food and shopping outlets and the availability of wi-fi were all deemed to be of less importance, with more than a third of those questioned, 34 percent, saying that improving the number and variety of retail outlets would not improve their airport experience and, surprisingly in these days of electronic device addiction, 40 percent of respondents were equally unconcerned regarding improvements to wi-fi services.
Other factors that were considered important involved the quality of service, with more information on alterations to flights, comfortable lounges and friendliness of frontline airport employees all figuring highly.
Ranked in order, the factors that passengers most felt would improve their airport experience were:
Speed of check in process 52 percent
Speed of security process 48 percent
Quality of communication of flight changes or delays 40 percent
Quality and comfort of lounges (e.g. departure/gate lounges) 35 percent
Friendliness of airport staff 33 percent
Quality and variety of Food/Catering offering 29 percent
Quality/availability of public transport access to the airport 29 percent
Quality of airport parking facilities 27 percent
Facilities available for families/children 25 percent
Access to Wi-Fi facilities 20 percent
Quality and variety of retail offering 19 percent
The chief executive of Abta, Mark Tanzer, commenting on the study’s findings, said, ‘This research confirms that for many passengers, the airport experience is the first part of their holiday or trip abroad and they don’t want to spend it in a queue. Improvements to check-in and security times would allow them to plan their journeys better, shorten door-to-door journey times and help avoid a stressful last-minute rush through the airport.’