Meeting The Needs Of The Connected Traveler (And The Bottom Line)

Delivering customer satisfaction, meaningful engagement, and airport revenue via cost-per-engagement advertising


The captive environment that is present at the start of a public Wi-Fi session is extremely rare on the Web at large, where users are often exposed to hundreds of ads during a typical 60-minute Internet session. The fast pace of Internet surfing means that on average, only 1/1000 people exposed to a banner ad will actually interact with it. Not so with Wi-Fi sponsorship, with click-through rates often exceeding 1/10 or even 1/5.

The higher level of performance driven by the CPE model translates to higher rates and more revenue for airports. Even better, airport patrons are able to connect quickly and easily, giving just 30 seconds of attention and avoiding a barrage of untargeted ads.

So what do Wi-Fi users do during this 30 seconds of time? Some advertisers prompt their audience to answer a survey, watch a short video, or explore an advertiser’s site before getting online. Advertisers are assured of a solid return on investment, since they pay only for engagement — or the users who complete the process.

One recent Wi-Fi sponsorship took unique advantage of this captive and highly-engaging advertising format. Last spring, Google launched its “Google a day” daily puzzle challenge and leveraged airport Wi-Fi sponsorship to educate the tech-savvy business traveler audience about the promotion. A short video explained the “Google a day” search-and-discover contest, then directed them to a branded landing page encouraging them to “play now.”

The “Google a day” advertising campaign saw 100 percent video completion by all participants, as well as a strong click-through-rate and hundreds of thousands of sponsored sessions delivered over the course of the summer promotion.

A Wi-Fi sponsorship in an airport is a win-win-win for all parties. Advertisers have the opportunity for a positive, sustained customer engagement in a brand-safe, captive setting, all while delivering the number one most-wanted amenity to travelers — Wi-Fi — through a brief exchange process that travelers do not perceive as intrusive.

Airports benefit through a guaranteed revenue share provided by their Wi-Fi partner that keeps Wi-Fi as a revenue concession instead of as an operating expense.

Through partnerships with multiple airports, advertising network operators like Boingo, using its Cloud Nine media platform, can deliver advertisers the scale that they require by creating a network of locations. This increases the opportunities for smaller airports to get a piece of the sponsorship pie and the best possible customer experience for their travelers.

Mobile devices are now travelers’ favorite companions. Through CPE advertising and careful network maintenance, airports can turn mobile devices into vehicles for customer loyalty, satisfaction, and new sources of revenue.

We Recommend