We know that to design something really well, you have to understand the core values of your target consumer. The entire field of human centered design is based on this notion. In order to design terminals for passenger experience, it is essential to understand the core values of the passenger.
From our research at BNE, we know that the core passenger value is time. Additionally, we have discovered that passengers relate to their airport time in three different ways, namely the Airport Enthusiast, the Efficiency Lover and the Time Filler. Understanding the characteristics, or the DNA, of each of these passenger-time relationships can lead us to make better terminal design decisions.
This category of passengers love being at the airport. For them, their trip – whether business or holiday – begins when they get to the airport. Airport Enthusiasts love to people watch, they love to dine, they love to shop. These passengers come to the airport ready to spend.
The Airport Enthusiasts have fairly high tolerances for how fast they expect to be processed. Queues do not adversely affect their mood, although of course they do affect how much time the Airport Enthusiast will have available for spending. This group represents the airport’s high yield passengers.
In Brisbane, this category accounted for about 30% of travelers. This proportion may vary for other airports around the world. We found no correlation between the Airport Enthusiast category and the frequent flier status, or reason for travel, of the passenger.
Efficiency Lovers are the passengers who are greatly inconvenienced by any inefficiency, even when they are in no great danger of missing their flight. They hate queuing and they hate waiting. They are happiest when they are through the processing as fast as possible.
The Efficiency Lovers do not generally purchase anything at the airport. As such, they are very low yield passengers: they complain, they take up space and they do not spend. In Brisbane, this category of passengers corresponded to approximately 15% of travelers. Again, this proportion may vary for other airports around the world.
Surprisingly, we found no correlation between the Efficiency Lover category and the frequent flier status of the traveler. There was also no correlation to the passenger reason for travel: holidaymakers were as likely to be in this category as business travelers.
The Time Fillers are the people who are bored being at the airport. They see their airport time as wasted, or a “write-off”. Quite surprisingly, we found that unlike the Efficiency Lovers, Time Fillers were not bothered by queuing. This is most likely due to the fact that they arrive at the airport with the expectation that they will be “wasting time”, and as such, are not that fussed when their expectations are met.
Like the Efficiency Lovers, the Time Fillers are low yield passengers. They very rarely spend, or engage in the airport experience. In Brisbane, this category accounted for about 50% of all travelers. Once again, this proportion may vary for different airports around the world.
Once again, there was no correlation between the Time Filler category and the frequency or reason for travel.
What kind of time traveler are you? Cast your vote in this easy, one question poll
Source: results based on data collected at Brisbane International during 2012 (212 outgoing passengers were interviewed). Partial results were presented at PTE2013 Geneva. Full results will be published later this year.