The experience-based airport revolution [Benchmark report]

'Passenger experience' is the new mantra for airport industry executives and 'passengers-first' is the must-have phrase in customer communications.    

But what's the reality? Are airport operators investing in passenger experience? What form does the investment take, and most importantly, what are passengers expecting?

Insights into passenger experience investment

To find out, Electrosonic commissioned the industry's first-ever research into the attitudes and intentions of airport executives. Our report 'The Revolution in Post-Pandemic Airport Amenities' provides decision-makers in the airport industry with vital information about both current levels of investment in passenger experience and future plans. The data provides valuable insights that can help other airports benchmark their progress in customer satisfaction. 

To carry out the study, Electrosonic hired an independent research company to explore the reality of experience-based competition for US airport travelers. The researchers conducted telephone interviews with more than 50 key decision-makers in major airports around the US, including Orlando International Airport, LAX, Houston International Airport and Washington Reagan International Airport. They asked executives about airport facilities planning, passenger attitudes, airport experiential technology trends and timescales for investment and budgeting. 

The in-depth findings are summarized in an exclusive, highly visual benchmark report – 'The Revolution in Post-Pandemic Airport Amenities'- highlighting the critical importance of investing in technology-led, next-generation airport facilities.



Download the Report - 'The Revolution in Post-Pandemic Airport Amenities'

Meeting changing passenger expectations

For airport executives, this report's timing and content are critical for two reasons. 

  • With most respondents expecting significant public funding from the Bipartisan Infrastructure Bill, 2023 will be a watershed year for planning transportation hub experiences. 
  • Just as important, respondents recognize that they have to overcome negative passenger views of customer care services. There is a crisis in customer service and executives see experiential technology as key to improving passenger satisfaction.
Although funding is available to develop improved facilities, changing passenger expectations represents a major challenge for airport operators. Travelers are now more tech-savvy; they have become familiar with the benefits of technology, so when they travel, they expect efficient service and a welcoming, memorable experience, particularly when spending several hours in a terminal. 



Importance of experiential technology

The benchmark report found that leading operators are investing in next-generation digital facilities, services and experiences that enhance efficiency and passenger experience to meet those changing expectations. They understand that technology in airport terminals has become an essential differentiator and an integral element in airport branding. 

As development executives in airports develop plans to overcome those negative attitudes, it's important to understand the technology trends reimagining the passenger experience. This benchmark report provides a valuable signpost, with insights into the level of both existing experiential technology deployments and current investment plans. 

Our research found that

  • 94 percent of responding airports are planning or implementing traveller self-service options in 2023, such as e-gates, automated boarding pass and passport verification and interactive digital signage.
  • 84 percent of responding airports are considering an investment in next-generation interactive signage. 

In addition, the following technologies significantly impact operational efficiency and passenger experience and are set to provide a strong return on investment. 

  • Deploying information-based services helps passengers navigate complex terminal journeys, creating a stress-free experience.
  • Self-service facilities can help to reduce the lengthy queues that are a frequent cause of dissatisfaction among passengers.  

Technology-enabled attractions are also essential. Passengers and other airport visitors may be spending two to three hours in a terminal, so entertainment installations play an important role in relieving the boredom of lengthy waits, as well as creating memorable experiences that can encourage passengers to keep coming back.

As the illustrated examples in the research summary show, leading airports are deploying large-scale immersive and interactive installations that engage attention and create memorable passenger experiences. Many of these installations draw on the techniques and technology of themed entertainment to create a lively, fun atmosphere and transform a functional space.

[Discover 50 Airport Executive Insights into passenger experience investment -  Benchmark Report]


Boosting revenue

Another key finding of the report  was the importance of stronger commercial agreements, with most respondents implementing or considering interactive retail partnerships. They understand the potential of digital advertising to a large captive audience to create a unique shopping experience and grow non-travel revenue. 

Experiential technology also contributes to revenue generation by attracting more retailers to terminals where the enhanced experience and engaging advertising can generate increased passenger spending.

Planning enhanced passenger experiences

As the research indicates, 68 percent of airport development executives see experiential technology as key to improving passenger satisfaction. That makes it essential to leverage technology at every stage in the passenger journey through a terminal to create a seamless, stress-free, positive and memorable experience. 

Enhancing passenger experience is essential for airport operators, so it's important to start putting plans together to create more engaging spaces. Planning experiential spaces for terminals and gates should occur early as part of wider discussions on facility upgrades.

Using the data in the report, airport operators can benchmark their plans and progress against the current situation in airport terminals. The report also includes illustrated examples of experiential and placemaking installations in leading airports as a guide to the potential of passenger experience technology. 

While the benchmark report focuses on developments in airports, many of the research findings are relevant to operators of other transportation hubs, including rail stations, bus and coach terminals, ports, cruise ships, ferry terminals and more.

Photography of Los Angeles International’s Tom Bradley International Terminal and Newark International Airport Terminal A courtesy of Moment Factory.

ES_BlogBanner_Transporation 2023


What's your perspective?

Tell us the topic you would like to hear more about

More Perspective

The Metaverse: A world of opportunity

When Gartner cites the metaverse as one of its top strategic technology trends for 2023, the technology has to be taken seriously. Indeed, according to forecasters, it looks like big business for...


Dark Rides, The Next Generation (Part 2)

In an earlier blog, Dark Rides – The Next Generation – Part 1, we explained the importance of upgrading dark rides to meet increasing visitor expectations and explored the three key trends –...


Dark Rides, The Next Generation (Part 1)

Dark rides have been an important and popular attraction in theme parks for generations, but now experiential technology is taking them in exciting new directions — and the new generation of rides...


The evolution of the video wall

Video walls as art - How far can LED technology take the video wall? Video walls have reached an exciting tipping point. The latest developments in LED video walls are helping designers create custom...


How to Use AI to Augment Your Creative Potential

Artificial intelligence (AI) isn’t the stuff of science fiction anymore. In fact, it’s powering billions of processes and workflows for companies worldwide. It’s become a key component in almost...


The Future of Onsite AV Support

The world of audiovisual technology is changing, and effective design, planning, engineering and installation of a holistic AV solution is now a prerequisite to doing business in an increasingly...

6 MINS office-shakehands

Planning to Hire an AV Company?

Exceptional projects demand an exceptional team. When engaging an audio visual (AV) solutions provider with so many companies out there… how do you choose? From design, to procurement, commissioning...


Are You Ready for ISE?

Taking place in Amsterdam February 11-14, the Integrated Systems Europe (ISE) exhibition is a premier event focused entirely on audiovisual (AV) and systems integration. If you have a project on the...


Is Your AV Deployment Secure?

The need for security impacts everyone. And, unfortunately, unmonitored access points can quickly lead to a costly data breach. The massive Target breach from a few years ago was the result of an...


Does 5G Matter for Your AV Deployments?

If you pay even the slightest amount of attention to technology trends, you already know that the hype around 5G is rapidly gaining steam. The question is what does the eventual movement from current...


Looking Back at a Decade of Opportunity

Each time we hit a new decade, it is always fun and often rewarding to take a look in the rearview mirror to see how the company has progressed. The past 10 years represent a decade of significant...

2 MINS iStock-1152574617

What's on Your Wishlist?

Do you have a project on the horizon? Is your goal to captivate your audience? In the spirit of the holidays, we have created a wish list of the qualities a company should consider when selecting an...

2 MINS james-pond-XO9uCZZaipE-unsplash

Dark Rides Expand Branding Opportunities

Brands are more important today than ever before. Why? Today’s consumer likes to relate to a brand – it is part of the experience they desire. This is true whether they are buying a product or...

2 MINS iStock-165683086

Dark Rides Protect Your Park's Future

Nostalgia has its place even with the Millennial crowd. There is something comforting about a known experience. It helps the guest even temporarily relive cherished childhood memories. That is the...

3 MINS dtorlando-01_(1)

7 Things You Need to Do During IAAPA

There is a lot of excitement at IAAPA, and without a plan the entire experience can quickly become overwhelming. Sensory overload is always a real possibility! Having participated in these events for...

5 MINS blog-image-01_(1)

Are You Ready for IAAPA?

As the attraction industry’s biggest expo, IAAPA is always a great opportunity to shine a spotlight on what we have done over the past year, as well as a time to meet with existing and prospective...

2 MINS iStock-863497498

Do You Really Need an AV Consultant?

As the experience economy continues to mature and evolve, it is has become increasingly more important to embrace creative and meaningful ways to visually interact with team members and customers....

2 MINS iStock-1093674926

Are You Ready for AV-As-A-Service?

The cloud-based as-a-service market has been one of the fastest growing sectors over the past 5 years. So much so that it’s estimated that organizations will spend $94.8 billion on these cloud-based...

1 MINS iStock-658188828

How Interactives Can Become Viral

We have talked in detail about the significant role that interactive audiovisual deployments can have as guests engage and ultimately embrace the immersive experience. What we haven’t discussed is...

1 MINS iStock-911030486-1

Addressing Learning Disabilities

Today’s educators are far more in-tune with the need to adjust lessons to meet individualized student needs. Addressing learning disabilities is a prime example.

2 MINS iStock-1065240764

Future of the Digital Workplace

The digital economy is here and with it comes a new way of conducting business. Technology is at the core of almost every job. Smart offices have become the norm with an influx of highly interactive...

2 MINS shutterstock_576827212

Collaboration and Communication

When properly leveraged, audiovisual (AV) technology is at the core of most highly effective collaboration and communications efforts in today’s digital world. After all, AV technology has the...

2 MINS podcast imageNEW-01

Unpacking the XR Revolution (New Podcast)

We are in the beginning stages of a true revolution – the extended reality revolution. Although some components have been around for a handful of years, the current level of maturity, understanding...

3 MINS iStock-169938237-1

Why Businesses Favor a Huddle Room

The global market is rapidly evolving, and if organizations hope to compete – or better yet thrive – they need to rethink their physical environments. Gone are the work weeks where workers file into...

1 MINS iStock-1043605040

Reinventing Spaces: Retailtainment

Modern retail venues are constantly evolving – merging entertainment with shopping to create lifestyle destinations for people to shop, eat, drink, socialize and work. They are ultimately redefining...

2 MINS monitor-1054708_1280

Why Audiovisual Solutions Matter

In today’s digital economy, how businesses leverage technology is often a key differentiator. While various technologies play a role in fueling this evolving environment properly deploy audiovisual...

2 MINS elc400_N5_medium_(1)

What is a Huddle Room?

As Millennials started replacing Boomers, they brought with them the idea of open office environments. And, while these open spaces created an aesthetic the new professionals desired, it also shined...

2 MINS victor-garcia-qm9pHqVt7KA-unsplash-2-2

Optimizing Design with AV in Mind

When creating a distinctive structure for a client, it is easy to get caught up in the aesthetics of delivering a truly unique design capable of setting a facility apart from the pack. However, doing...

2 MINS jeshoots-com-722888-unsplash-1

Putting an End to Terminal Boredom

Airport terminals can be busy and heavily congested environments, especially during peak travel times. However, even though terminals are often filled with people rapidly moving from point A to point...

Scroll to Top