Airport Dimensions has identified a number of new ‘tribes’ based on the type of experience they seek across the airport journey ranging from those seeking ‘utility and efficiency’ to ‘experience seekers’, following its new Airport Experience Research ‘The Transforming Airport Revenue Landscape’.
While traditional definitions that are applied to travelers - like the classic ‘business’ versus ‘leisure’, ‘millennial’ versus ‘boomer’ - remain useful, airports need to dissect and analyze who their customers are and what they really want from their airport experience in greater depth if they are to really understand them.
The tribe Airport Dimensions calls ‘Premiers’, which represent 21% of the airport travel community, are looking for the best the airport can provide, are happy to spend more, and 87% is satisfied with their airport experience. The tribe ‘Affluents’, who account for 18% of travelers, takes a balanced approach to what they spend and the experience they expect. They are also broadly happy with the airport experience, with 86% saying they were satisfied.
‘Streamliners’ (3% of travelers) want and are willing to pay for efficiency across their journey. 79% of this group reported they were satisfied. It is among the segments who are less willing to spend money where satisfaction is lowest. ‘Wayfinders’ (11%) look for low-cost utility and under half (47%) are happy. Only just over half (58%) of what we call ‘Aspiring’ (who make up 17% of travelers), say they are satisfied. This group seek a balance of utility and experience but are less ready to spend than their ‘Streamliner’ counterparts. Similarly, under two thirds (62%) of what we call ‘Explorers’ who seek low budget experience and make up 29% of travelers, say they are satisfied.
Time spent at the airport also varies with ‘Premiers’ spending on average 15% of their time shopping, compared with the 10% spent by Wayfinders. Wayfinders are much more likely to head to the gate, and pass 21% of their time there, compared to Premiers who cut it much more finely and are there for just 8% of their time. Interestingly, the amount of time spent in lounges is not dissimilar – 10% for Wayfinders and 12% for Premiers.
Stephen Hay, Global Strategy Director of Airport Dimensions, said; “Airports must be more adroit at capturing and analyzing data about their customers, in order to understand them and tailor the experience for the right customer at the right time. A business traveler on a Friday night may also be a traveler flying with their family on Saturday morning, so a sophisticated approach is required to understand their needs and wants.
“Differentiations based on age group or class of travel, for example, are of course still helpful. However, as norms continue to change post-pandemic, our definitions need to change too as boundaries blur. By really understanding the passenger’s motivation on the day, the modern airport can improve the experience of the contemporary traveler, whoever they are, and drive new revenue”
The Airport Dimensions Changing Airport Experience survey was conducted in partnership with leading market research agency Dynata. The research draws from the experiences of more than 8,500 air travelers covering a wide and representative cross-section of demographics and markets.