Most air passengers would choose to travel from a different airport based on the experience provided on site according to research from airport management company AeroCloud. 

The research showed that while 54% of passengers felt they did not have the chance to visit stores and restaurants in airports due to security and boarding wait times, 55% of those surveyed would choose one airport over another based on the experience it offered. 

AeroCloud’s ‘Destination Airport: The Runway to Revenue Growth’ report surveyed 5,000 consumers in the UK, US, Canada, and Italy to track what drives passengers to use or spend at different airports. 

One of the biggest issues found in the report was the major dissatisfaction from passengers with the prices of food and goods at airports, with 81% believing prices at airports were a “rip-off”. 

CEO George Richardson said: “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.” 

The survey also notably found that the availability of self-service options, despite being an area of significant investment for the airport industry, was only a deciding factor for 21% of passengers when choosing an airport. 

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However, security technology was more important to consumers, with 41% preferring an airport that had been fitted with next generation scanners that allow passengers to keep liquids and electrical items in their bag. 

The availability of this technology is particularly pertinent thanks to the upcoming deadline in the UK where major airports were supposed to have fitted the new CTX-ray technology, but which most have been given an extension to deploy the hardware.  

In addition to discovering what drives passengers to choose different airports, AeroCloud’s research also found that passengers would be willing to spend more money at an airport that offered a better experience. 

Issues including entertainment options, the availability of click-and-collect or pre-ordered food and drink options, and recognisable brands were among the highest drivers for passengers to spend more money during a visit. 

Earlier this year, Airport Technology travelled to the new Terminal 1 at Zayed International Airport in Abu Dhabi, UAE and spoke to the airport’s CEO about the industry’s big issues, including how new investments were designed to attract passengers.