London City Airport profiles passengers based on packing habits

London City Airport has identified five passenger profiles based on their packing habits when planning for a trip – ranging from the ones who return with half their baggage untouched to those who miss out on packing essentials.

Accordingly, the airport has found five categories of passengers – the World On Their Shoulders (WOTS), Kitchen Sink, Pants & Polos, My Case or Yours and the Last Minute packers – set on a pleasure or business trip. The airport describes the general traits of the different categories as:

World On Their Shoulders (WOTS) – the ones who struggle to stay upright under the weight of their hand luggage. To avoid an overweight hold luggage, they carry stuff in shoulder bags.

Kitchen Sink – Fearing the thought of being caught short, they stuff everything in their suitcase they can think of even for a one night trip. This group suffers from the packing equivalent to FOMO – FOLO, Fear of Leaving Out.

Pants & Polos – A well-honed and planned style amongst business travellers, this category simply packs the bare essentials to ensure their bag will fit in the overhead lockers, saving time at check-in and arrivals. They are not keen on changing a plan.

My Case or Yours – This category refers to families travelling together who start by packing individual cases for each member but end up putting things wherever they’ll fit. Hence they are always searching where, in which case, the items are.

Last Minute – Carrying a suitcase of mismatched outfits, odd shoes, no swimwear, but excess woollens, this category is the most unorganised when it comes to planning a trip.

Commenting on traveller profiles and advising people planning their holidays, a London City Airport spokesperson said, ‘We advise passengers to check their luggage allowance with their airline in advance so they have plenty of time to pack and avoid additional charges at check-in.’

‘We see a lot of Pants & Polos with our business travellers, who travel regularly and have packing down to a fine art. However, weekend breakers’ and holidaymakers’ luggage comes in all shapes and sizes and we get a broad mix of WOTS, Kitchen Sinkers and My Case or Yours. The beauty of a Last Minute packer is that to the outside world they appear organised, it’s only when they’re sitting around the swimming pool in jeans and cowboy boots that they get found out.’


Heathrow set to reduce domestic passenger charge to improve connectivity

London Heathrow, the UK’s hub airport, has announced plans to reduce the domestic passenger charge for airlines flying from Heathrow by a third, effective January 1, 2016.

A part of the commitments made in response to the National Connectivity Taskforce’s recommendations, the proposed discount – from £29.59 presently to £19.59 – is designed to connect the UK’s regions with growth markets globally. The GBP10 discount for passengers departing Heathrow is expected to make domestic flights more affordable for passengers, though the charges are levied on airlines rather than customers.

While the total airport charges are restricted by the Civil Aviation Authority, the airport said that it will make up for the discount by increasing the airport landing charges related to noise and emissions. The move will also encourage airlines to fly cleaner and quieter planes, it said.

Environmental charges on the dirtiest, noisiest aircraft will increase from 21 percent to 28 percent of total airport charges, with a doubling of the tariff attached to nitrogen oxide (NOx) emissions – from £8.57 per kg of NOx to £16.51 per kg of NOx. The noisiest planes will face a trebling in charges to £9,000 per landing, although less than one percent of flights fall into this category.

Heathrow will also cut charges for passengers departing to European destinations by £5.00. This reduction is expected to encourage fuller planes, making more efficient use of constrained hub capacity.

Heathrow CEO John Holland-Kaye said: ‘We’re serious when we say Heathrow is committed to making sure that businesses across Britain can benefit from the connections to growth markets that only the UK’s hub can provide, whilst incentivising only the quietest and cleanest planes to operate from Heathrow.

Our proposal to cut passenger charges by a third for domestic services will help us continue to drive the tourism, exports, inbound tourism and foreign direct investment that supports economic growth across the whole of the UK.’

The airport said that it will also maintain a 25 percent discount on departing passenger charges for passengers transferring through Heathrow to retain its role as the nation’s only hub airport – the UK’s gateway to the world and the world’s gateway to the UK.


Edinburgh Airport asks for earlier reduction of APD

Edinburgh Airport has urged the Scottish Government to act immediately and set a timetable for the reduction of Air Passenger Duty (APD), so that airlines and the tourism industry may plan for the change.

The push comes after a new report by the airport said that the promised 50% reduction in APD will create 3,800 jobs by 2020 and stimulate £200m of economic benefits each year. The report, produced in partnership with independent consultancy firm York Aviation, confirms the findings of previous studies that APD is a significant barrier to growth.

The airport’s chief executive, Gordon Dewar said: ‘We’ve long argued that APD is a tax on Scotland’s ability to compete with European airport of or size, and our economy is footing the bill in lost jobs and lost opportunities. It’s also damaging the ability for our passengers to travel and to take advantage of the amazing connectivity we have from Edinburgh.

‘Our report shows that the economic benefit of a reduction will outweigh any lost tax revenues. It’s therefore reasonable for passengers, airlines and the tourism industry to have some certainty on when this regressive tax will be reduced, and to know whether it will eventually be scrapped.’

The new report also claims that if APD is not reduced, Scotland will lose out on one million passengers a year and would cost the Scottish economy up to £68 million in lost tourism expenditure every year.

Mike Cantlay, Chairman of VisitScotland, said: ‘Scotland is a must-visit tourism destination and, every year, we welcome millions of visitors from all over the world.

‘There is no doubt, however, that Air Passenger Duty is acting as a major deterrent to many potential visitors. Few other EU countries levy APD, so this places Scottish tourism at a competitive disadvantage.

‘We are pleased that, as of May, APD will no longer apply to under 12s and that fiscal authority for APD will ultimately be transferred to the Scottish Government, as recommended by the Smith Commission.’