Adding to the Bottom Line by Enhancing the Passenger Experience
"Does it really matter which bottom line?" Romesh Bhoyroo, CEO, Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport Mauritius began the session by posing this question to attendees.
Running a modern airport is no easy task, as they are very complex in an already competitive market. One of the most important objectives for an airport is to satisfy its customers, which leads to more revenue. However, the first step toward passenger satisfaction is to understand their wants and needs.
Each of the panelists from this session represented very different airports, but all of them agreed that data mining is a key element of passenger satisfaction. Tampa International Airport was the first airport to add a people mover for passengers over forty years ago, as a result of finding out how little customers like to walk.
It is quite a challenge to provide the same experience for travelers that they receive at large hubs like Dubai International Airport or Charles de Gaulle Airport, at small airports. Panelist Romesh Bhoyroo can attest to that. Small airports may not have as much to offer passengers as large airports do, but they can manage to keep them happy. One way Sir Seewoosagur Ramgoolam International Airport is able to keep its customers happy, is by utilizing its Outstanding Passenger Service Excellence program that pushes airport personnel to go above and beyond to satisfy customers. The human touch can go a long way when it comes to finding out what customers want and need, especially as passenger behavior continues to change.
Panelists Joyce Carter, President and CEO, Halifax International Airport Authority, Romesh Bhoyroo, and Joe Lopano, CEO of Tampa International Airport, understand the importance of gathering data in order to better understand passengers. They each spoke a lot about the use of surveys to help with information gathering. Simple questions such as age, gender, and income can make a difference in a customer’s happiness. Passengers are the life blood of an airport; therefore, their satisfaction is vital to an airport’s overall success.