Today’s airport experience – do we enjoy it?

Priority-Pass-3020Today’s airport experience – do we enjoy it?

Forget about queues, delayed flights and lost luggage, nearly two thirds of frequent flyers from Singapore (67%) and more than half from Hong Kong (53%), agree that the airport is something to be enjoyed, according to a study, published today by Priority Pass, the world’s largest independent airport lounge access program.

Frequent flyers from Singapore enjoy the airport experience more than any other country, with a further 74% of from Singapore and 56% from Hong Kong even admitting that they would be encouraged to arrive at the airport early to take advantage of duty free and shopping discounts. The study of almost 3,000 respondents in Singapore, Hong Kong, UAE, USA, the UK, Germany and France reveals unusually positive attitudes when it comes to the airport experience.

Retail Therapy at the Airport

The Priority Pass Airport Experience Survey sheds new light on the behaviours of consumers at the airport. Nearly three quarters of respondents (72%) from Singapore, and two thirds from Hong Kong (66%) agree that they like to access a bargain at the airport with 33% and 35% respectively looking for something luxurious that they would not ordinarily buy. The latter reinforces the previous identification of an emerging group of travelers, ‘The Conspicuous Consumer’, keen to show their status, seeking luxury at affordable prices and keen to share their exclusive experiences with friends.

Stephen Simpson, Global Marketing Director for Priority Pass, part of Collinson Group commented: “We are witnessing an important shift in mind-set when it comes to the airport experience and it is clear that today’s frequent flyers, particularly those in Hong Kong and Singapore, no longer view themselves as passengers merely transiting the airport but as consumers seeking more rewarding travel journeys. In order to address this, Priority Pass has developed a range of offers which extends its lounge access program to include other benefits to improve the airport experience. We are working to extend these benefits further to make every aspect of the airport experience easier and more enjoyable for our Members.”

The Airport Lounge as a Sanctuary

The airport does not simply provide an opportune moment for last minute shopping; for business flyers it has become a sanctuary ahead of a long flight thanks to the convenience of the airport lounge. Nearly two thirds (59%) of global frequent business flyers consider access to a premium airport lounge to be an ‘important’ or ‘very important’ factor when selecting an airport, with 40% admitting to going straight to the lounge and avoiding the shops altogether.

Simpson adds: “An increasing number of organisations are starting to recognise the value that can be gained if the experience of flying for business is not unduly stressful. Our research found that 67% of frequent business flyers actively enjoy the airport experience in Singapore, well ahead of the global average of 53%. This is a high percentage when you consider the fact that the business flyer is traveling for work purposes and does not have the relaxation of a typical leisure trip to look forward to on arrival. The airport lounge clearly has an important role to play here, with those in Hong Kong and Singapore clearly leading the way, offering a rare moment of tranquillity or the ability to stay connected in a peaceful and convenient environment.”

The Rise of the Digital Flyer

The study also shed insight into the rise of the ‘digital’ flyer with nearly three quarters of frequent flyers from Hong Kong (73%) and over half from Singapore (53%) wanting to receive information from an airport over a mobile app, in contrast to the global average of 51%. There is clearly a growing impetus to provide a seamless digital experience at airports, driving new levels of customer service, while reducing the stress of travel and providing a more personalized and intuitive passenger experience. Last October, as part of its brand refresh, Priority Pass unveiled a Digital Membership Card for simple, speedy access to most lounges in the program using their smartphone or tablet, in order to meet the needs of this audience. The Conspicuous Consumer also expects to be ‘always on’ and able to take advantage of offers, exclusive benefits and share their travel experiences via social media.

Source = Priority Pass
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