Research Looks at How Airports Can Boost Revenue

July 5, 2016

A new study commissioned by global loyalty experts ICLP reveals how airports can encourage passengers to engage and share information in a way that benefits both the airport and the passengers it serves. With nearly two in three passengers (64 percent) already actively trying to connect with the airport and only 5 percent of travellers stating that they do not want a relationship with the airport, there is a great opportunity for airports to develop their understanding of travellers and build personal relationships with them as individuals in order to boost airport revenue.

When connecting with airports, travellers tend to turn to the airport website to find practical information. This is most commonly: departure and arrival times (79 percent), traffic news (52 percent), how to get to/from airport (46 percent) and airport parking (35 percent), with a smaller minority looking for less essential information around shopping (21 percent) and food and drink options (25 percent). This demand for information provides an opportunity for airports to engage with passengers, developing a relationship with them and targeting them as individual customers.

When it comes to opening a dialogue with customers, it’s important for airports to understand the triggers that will encourage passengers to share their information. Over half of respondents would be willing to share their personal details in return for free wifi (58 percent) or flight notifications (51 percent). Just under half would be happy to share their personal information in exchange for financial incentives such as pre-flight vouchers (43 percent) and shopping vouchers (42 percent). A third of respondents would register their personal data in return for road traffic information (35 percent) or a loyalty card (31 percent).

Overall, only 12 percent of passengers say that nothing would encourage them to share information. Millennials are the most open to sharing their personal details, and baby boomers are the most hesitant (22 percent). Airports therefore need to get the offer right so that passengers can balance their desire to protect their privacy with receiving benefits that are relevant to their individual needs.

Commenting on the findings, Mignon Buckingham, managing director of ICLP said, “This survey highlights the need for airports to take a sophisticated approach to understanding their passengers, giving customers compelling reasons to share their personal information. This is key to providing traveller memberships, services and loyalty programmes that are purpose-built to fit their needs and therefore are more successful.”

Buckingham continued, “Our study revealed that a quarter of passengers feel they have a better relationship with the airline than the airport. There is undoubtedly an untapped opportunity for airports to drive sales by motivating customers to share information about themselves, collecting and using the right data and insight to better understand their customers. With over 25 years’ experience delivering loyalty strategies for the travel and retail sectors, we are the ideal partner to help airports adapt their approach to using customer data in order to drive revenue.”

The survey was conducted by independent research agency SSI. A sample of just under 3,000 travellers were questioned.