Technology to take the stress out of travel
Errol McGlothan Managing Director EMEA & APAC discusses:
As passengers continue to return to airports in ever-greater numbers, innovation is essential to meet the needs of a new generation of passenger. At Airport Dimensions, innovation is in our DNA. From developing new digital solutions to fostering exciting partnerships with tech-forward brands, we’ve seen that with careful planning and a willingness to innovate, brilliant opportunities are there for the taking.
The pace of increase in demand has been brisk to say the least. In the space of three to four months, passenger numbers across the industry have risen from 20-30% of pre-pandemic levels to 80-90%, with visitor numbers at our lounges now approaching 2019 levels. Meeting this increase in demand came, unsurprisingly, with considerable challenges in terms of recruitment, rebooting the supply chain and a shake-up of key players in the market. To get our business up and running again, our teams worked at 100 miles an hour and I’m delighted to say that availability for customers is now at its best since 2019.
Once we’d got the measure of these challenges, we took a long hard look at the new services we needed to provide to meet the needs of the post-pandemic passenger. Travellers are excited to return to travel, but they’re also uncertain. They’re arriving at the airport earlier and staying in lounges longer. Whilst it is great to see that our lounges are in high demand, it presents its own difficulties and we’ve seen that it’s been essential to invest in new solutions to manage the customer experience.
We’ve developed creative tech to identify and pre-empt frustrations, making them as manageable as possible and offering more certainty to customers. Our new queuing app, for example, allows customers to join a virtual queue if they can’t gain lounge access immediately at our busy peak times, meaning they can make better use of their time at the airport until they’re notified that there’s availability in the lounge. This has worked exceptionally well and satisfaction scores have increased by 15-20%.
Our Connecta In-Lounge Experience app, which allows passengers to order food and drink directly to their seat or book lounge services such as showers, also goes a long way towards helping passengers to chill out at the airport.
In addition, we’re using technology to understand how people are using our lounges. They may, for example want to sit at a bar or use a workstation, and by identifying the precise needs of passengers at any one lounge at any one time, we can make sure that the facilities on offer are perfectly suited to those passenger requirements.
The dark days are behind us and we’re definitely powering back. With precise planning and the right technologies, the passenger experience will be better than ever. I really believe in the future of travel and we at Airport Dimensions are looking forward to being at the forefront of the journey.