Abstract

Airports accommodate passengers with a range of prior experience, from frequent flyers, to passengers who fly every couple of years, to those who have never flown before. Passengers with varying levels of prior experience may use different visual elements when navigating the airport. Ensuring all passengers can navigate to the processing activities intuitively is important for passengers, airports and airlines. This paper examines how participants with Low, Medium and High airport familiarity navigate through the departures area at an Australian international airport. Three navigation activities are investigated (i) navigating to the check-in row, (ii) navigating through the Liquids, Aerosols and Gels (LAGs) preparation area before security screening, and (iii) navigating to either the boarding gate first or to a discretionary activity first, after exiting customs. In the three activities, differences were observed between the familiarity groups. These differences include the use of different information to locate the check-in desk, different actions when navigating through the LAG preparation area, and evidence that Low familiarity passengers have a desire to locate the boarding gate as soon as possible once through customs. This research provides evidence based design reccomendations for airports to benefit from intuitive passenger navigation.

Keywords:

Wayfinding; Navigation; Intuition; Airports; Design

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Jun 16th, 12:00 AM

Examining Intuitive Navigation in Airports

Airports accommodate passengers with a range of prior experience, from frequent flyers, to passengers who fly every couple of years, to those who have never flown before. Passengers with varying levels of prior experience may use different visual elements when navigating the airport. Ensuring all passengers can navigate to the processing activities intuitively is important for passengers, airports and airlines. This paper examines how participants with Low, Medium and High airport familiarity navigate through the departures area at an Australian international airport. Three navigation activities are investigated (i) navigating to the check-in row, (ii) navigating through the Liquids, Aerosols and Gels (LAGs) preparation area before security screening, and (iii) navigating to either the boarding gate first or to a discretionary activity first, after exiting customs. In the three activities, differences were observed between the familiarity groups. These differences include the use of different information to locate the check-in desk, different actions when navigating through the LAG preparation area, and evidence that Low familiarity passengers have a desire to locate the boarding gate as soon as possible once through customs. This research provides evidence based design reccomendations for airports to benefit from intuitive passenger navigation.

 

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