New Study by Airport Dimensions Reveals Rise in Overall Traveler Satisfaction with Airport Experience

Oct. 19, 2021
Research highlights a major differences in satisfaction levels between different regions and age brackets.

A comprehensive study of more than 6,000 travelers conducted by global airport lounge and travel experience leader Airport Dimensions has found that more passengers were satisfied with their experience at the airport, in spite of the challenges presented by the COVID pandemic.

In its "Tomorrow’s Traveler, Tomorrow’s Airport Experience" research, Airport Dimensions surveyed travelers about their current journey through the airport and asked what changes they would like to introduce in order to improve their experience.

The study revealed that 62% of travelers considered the airport an important and enjoyable part of their journey, up 2% from figures recorded in 2019. The number of dissatisfied airport travelers also fell from 14% to 12% in the same period, suggesting that while there is less travel, people making journeys are having a better overall experience despite the challenges of COVID-19.

However, the research also highlighted a major gulf in satisfaction levels between different regions and age brackets. For example, 86% of travelers from Singapore were satisfied with their overall airport experience compared to just 48% of Spanish travelers. More work was also needed to meet the needs of older passengers, with millennial and Gen Z passengers almost twice as likely to enjoy the airport experience compared to those aged 76 and over.

Of the elements that would help enhance their journey through the airport, more comfortable seating areas was the most popular choice among all respondents (80%), followed by the option to have a queue-free airport journey from arrival to departure (78%) and more public transportation options (73%).

While satisfaction levels for airport services were higher at landside (72%) and at gate (73%), there was room to improve the passenger experience during the middle of the airport journey – with satisfaction levels lower at departures (64%) and around facilities (52%). Respondents were also generally dissatisfied with value for money in retail and dining establishments (24%), Wi-Fi speed and reliability (14%) and entertainment options (14%). Airports were advised to address these issues in order to maximize revenue opportunities and offer more incentives for passengers to spend.

Stephen Hay, Global Strategy Director at Airport Dimensions, said; “For five years now, Airport Dimensions has been researching and tracking how travelers feel about the airport experience and looking closely at their behaviors, needs and aspirations. With the green shoots of recovery beginning to show following the pandemic, we’re very keen to understand how this has influenced those needs and behaviors and, in turn, how these will shape the airport of tomorrow. We hope this research will offer a glimpse into the future trends that will create new revenue opportunities for airports and fresh experiences that will leave travelers happy, satisfied and looking forward to their journey.”

The study also covered key issues relating to pre-booking of airports services, attitudes towards travel retail, and the level of communication between airports and travelers. More detail on the findings around these and other crucial elements of the airport passenger experience will be shared soon.