Almost three quarters of airline passengers complain that the process of passing through airports is inefficient, according to new research.
The study by Amadeus identified ‘a stress-free airport experience’ as the number one priority for travellers, with 72% of global respondents saying they thought the core passenger journey from check-in to boarding was inefficient.
The research found that 69% of travellers are seeking improved security processes.
Passengers also expect airports to give a sense of place which reflects local culture and makes the airport destination and flight part of their total trip experience (81%).
Travellers view technology as increasingly important to their airport experience.
Many want to control their entire airport journey through the use of mobile phones to navigate through key touch points (63%), use frequent flyer cards as permanent boarding passes (59%), benefit from permanent electronic bag tags (57%), and to automate the full range of airport processes including baggage drop (48%).
Social media is also seen as a vital tool for the real-time exchange of ideas, information and feedback with travellers while at the airport. Consumers want their ideas for improvements to be heard (69%), to receive important information (66%), to provide real-time feedback (53%) and to be rewarded as frequent travellers/shoppers (51%).
The Reinventing the Airport Ecosystem report maps out how airports could re-invent themselves up to 2025, with new operating models, driving revenues beyond traditional aviation income.
It suggests that airports of the future become self-sufficient mini cities generating their own energy on site with many of the current processes performed remotely by passengers at home or via a separate virtual terminal.
At the low-cost end of the spectrum it forecasts adoption of a ‘bus station’ model, a no-frills atmosphere where speed and efficiency are key.
Amadeus airline IT senior vice president Julia Sattel said: “A range of macro-trends including increasing traveller demands, new technologies and the immediate requirement for the industry to create new revenue streams are driving the need for a fundamental rethink of the airport ecosystem.
“Imagine an airport where the retail experience is so impressive you choose to shop there without even flying; or using an in-flight app to make purchases you can pick up once you’ve landed.
“It’s an exciting future but airports, airlines and the whole eco-system need to make co-operative decisions to unlock this potential.”