Airports, airlines, passengers, civil aviation organizations and governments have long understood the urgency of security in air transport. The 9/11 attacks woke us up to the need for more effective security measures. Since then, international civil aviation organizations and governments have continually evolved security measures that airports need to comply with.
Unfortunately, increased security often comes at the expense of a quality passenger experience. While technology has made inroads in some of the processes like check-in, bag drop, boarding and border control, security is one area that is still hugely dependent on manual processes. Passenger screening can lead to long queues and wait times that inconvenience passengers and cause them considerable anxiety about missing their flights. The problem is compounded when passengers must provide documents, such as passports, identity documents and boarding passes at multiple checkpoints. And when security screening backlogs force airlines to hold flights, the negative impacts snowball. Congestion at gates grows. Passengers become annoyed at delays. Airline schedules can be impacted nationwide and beyond. Ultimately, airports experience poor publicity.
Why Airports Must Step Up Passenger Experience Efforts
While customer experience has always been one way businesses could differentiate themselves, over the past five to ten years, it has become increasingly critical. In a 2018 customer experience report, PwC found that 73% of global respondents say a positive experience is an important factor in their purchasing decisions, and customers are willing to pay as much as 16% more for a better customer experience. Nearly 80% of PwC’s respondents indicate that speed and convenience are among the most important elements of a positive customer experience.
Like any other customer, airline passengers are looking for a great customer experience. Airports owe them a relaxing and hassle-free travel experience that makes them want to come back for their next trip. In addition to making passengers happier, airports that deliver a greater experience stand to benefit from:
Airports can no longer consider security alone if it comes at the expense of the passenger experience. As passenger expectations of the customer experience continue to rise, airports must find ways to better balance safe and reliable travel and providing the experience customers expect. The reward for this effort is worth it: a great passenger experience, delighted travelers and more opportunity for growth.
For more details on how you can ensure passenger and airport security without impacting passenger experience, please visit our page Smart and Secure Airports for the Modern Traveler