The airport is seen as an environment over which the passenger has very little control. In this environment, the passenger’s main perceived risk is whether or not they will make their flight (Biggest Passenger Fear: Will I make my Flight?).
In order to tame the uncertainty and fear associated with air travel, passengers utilise two main tools, namely:
- Prior knowledge and familiarity
Time is used by the passenger as the main compensator for the perceived risk. The arrival time at the airport is the major variable that the passengers feel they have control over. Passengers feel that as long as they arrive at the airport at the “recommended” time, they will make their flight.
In addition, passengers use prior knowledge and familiarity as a strategy to control their airport experience. Familiarity of general airport processes, such as check-in, security and customs, reduces the uncertainty associated with what lies between the current queue and the boarding gate. Familiar personal routines, such as clearing customs, then buying a book and having a coffee, help passengers feel comfortable in unfamiliar airport environments.
Source: results based on data collected at Brisbane International Terminal (departures) during February and March 2012.