The National Academies

ACRP 01-40 [Final]

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

  Project Data
Funds: $500,000
Research Agency: IOS Partners, Inc.
Principal Investigator: Patricia Ryan
Effective Date: 5/1/2019
Completion Date: 9/30/2020

ACRP Research Report 231 provides guidance for the airport operator using a customer-centered approach and rethinks the airport experience through the customers' perspectives.  The guidance follows the customer's entire journey starting with the pre-trip activities through the airports ad back to the point of origin. It addresses current and evolving experiences and expectations and identifies emerging trends and developments likely to affect customer experiences in the future.
In addition, a multi-media tool is available that envisions the journey of different traveler segments and includes summary guidance on how airports may address the varying needs of different segments to deliver a seamless customer experience. It also includes firsthand accounts from travelers on their airport journey experience and captures the emotions travelers may experience at different journey points.  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.  
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.  

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