More than half of UK travellers say airport experiences influence decision-making

More than half of UK travellers say airport experiences influence decision-making

AeroCloud report reveals passenger priorities and pain points

More than 70% of UK travellers are planning to maintain or increase their leisure or business travel in the next 12 months, according to research released by AeroCloud.

Further to this, the global airport management platform’s ‘Destination Airport: The Runway to Revenue Growth’ report revealed that of this cohort, 55% of respondents admitted that they would be prioritising travel from airports that offer a better experience.

For the survey, AeroCloud canvassed 2,000 consumers in the UK, exposing the passenger experience priorities and pain points that airport leaders must address if they want to benefit from the boom in air travel, which is expected to reach a staggering 9.7 billion passengers in 2024. 

The research finds that airport loyalty is a thing of the past when choosing departure airports, with shorter queues and reduced wait times in security and check-in topping the list of experiences that make passengers choose to travel from one airport over another. 

Eighty-two per cent of respondents admitted they would spend more if they could move through airport security and check-in quicker. It would also maximise the spending potential of the 66% of passengers who intentionally arrive early so that they can shop, dine and/or relax at the airport. 

This presents a significant opportunity as passengers already spend on average £46 per visit on duty-free purchases (such as perfume, alcohol and cigarettes), £38 on parking per visit, £36 on restaurants, £30 on gifts and £22 on drinks at the bar. 

On the flipside, 52% of passengers report they have no time to visit stores or restaurants because it takes too long to get through the airport. This undermines airports’ opportunities to unlock new revenue and increase growth margins, which is the joint #1 commercial priority for UK airports, alongside increasing airline capacity.  

The variety of destinations and airlines is also a driver for passengers. More than half said they would fly from one airport over another because it has cheaper flights (57%). 

Other influential factors include the variety of destinations offered (38%) and whether their preferred airline operates from the airport (30%). 

 According to CEO and co-founder of AeroCloud, George Richardson, the future is looking bright for global air travel as it experiences a huge surge in passenger volumes. 

“This is encouraging for global airport leaders, particularly given as recently as October 2023, 52% of leaders were worried about the financial stability of their airport, with 37% still in debt. 

“It presents a massive opportunity for the airport sector to soar to new heights. However, our research shows that passengers won’t settle for mediocre experiences and if airport leaders get it wrong, they will lose out on attracting these new passengers to neighbouring travel hubs. 

“Consumers want seamless, self-service experience powered by tech. Discerning passengers are looking for comfortable and inclusive environments, with more choices in concession areas,” he added. 

“We’re confident that airport sector leaders are committed to meeting passenger demands for improved experiences. With today’s innovative technology, talent and partners, airports have access to all the necessary tools needed to attract and retain passengers, boost passenger spending, and capitalise on the boom in air travel.”