Abstract

The effect of passenger satisfaction on airport profitability has been widely acknowledged in the aviation industry. As a result, there has been much attention directed towards developing a deeper understanding of the factors that influence the passenger experience. In this paper, we explore passenger experience from a novel perspective - that of the activities expected to be undertaken by passengers while in the airport terminal building. Using the Taxonomy of Passenger Experience (TOPA) as our framework, we look at the pre-travel interview data of 48 participants. The results of our analysis are used to construct an activity-centred account of the expected passenger experience for international departures. Our exploration of the expected passenger experienced revealed that not all of the TOPA activities have an equal impact on the passengers’ expected experience. The processing, consumptive, preparatory and queuing activity groups featured most prominently in passengers’ accounts of their upcoming airport experiences. Of these, the preparatory category was found to have the most direct impact on passenger satisfaction. Additionally, our analysis indicated that utilising queue time to prepare passengers for upcoming processing activities could have a positive effect on both satisfaction and processing efficiency. A further outcome of this research was the observation that “shopping” did not form a part of the expected experience of any of the interviewed participants. The outcomes of this study can be used by airports to assist in the management of passengers’ expected experience in the terminal building. As passenger expectations and passenger satisfaction are intrinsically linked, understanding which activities have the most impact on satisfaction provides a basis from which alternate design choices can be evaluated when constructing, or fine-tuning, airport terminal designs.

Keywords:

Passenger Experience; Conceptual Model; Taxonomy; Activities; Airport

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Jun 16th, 12:00 AM

Deconstructing Expected Passenger Experience in Aiports

The effect of passenger satisfaction on airport profitability has been widely acknowledged in the aviation industry. As a result, there has been much attention directed towards developing a deeper understanding of the factors that influence the passenger experience. In this paper, we explore passenger experience from a novel perspective - that of the activities expected to be undertaken by passengers while in the airport terminal building. Using the Taxonomy of Passenger Experience (TOPA) as our framework, we look at the pre-travel interview data of 48 participants. The results of our analysis are used to construct an activity-centred account of the expected passenger experience for international departures. Our exploration of the expected passenger experienced revealed that not all of the TOPA activities have an equal impact on the passengers’ expected experience. The processing, consumptive, preparatory and queuing activity groups featured most prominently in passengers’ accounts of their upcoming airport experiences. Of these, the preparatory category was found to have the most direct impact on passenger satisfaction. Additionally, our analysis indicated that utilising queue time to prepare passengers for upcoming processing activities could have a positive effect on both satisfaction and processing efficiency. A further outcome of this research was the observation that “shopping” did not form a part of the expected experience of any of the interviewed participants. The outcomes of this study can be used by airports to assist in the management of passengers’ expected experience in the terminal building. As passenger expectations and passenger satisfaction are intrinsically linked, understanding which activities have the most impact on satisfaction provides a basis from which alternate design choices can be evaluated when constructing, or fine-tuning, airport terminal designs.

 

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