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64 Planning for Offsite Airport Terminals Signage at the offsite terminal is another form of branding and advertising. Signage denoting the presence of the offsite terminal and transportation link should be placed prominently at the offsite terminal so that passers-by are made aware of the terminal. If the terminal is visible from the highway, signage should be prominent for highway users. Wayfinding signage should also be placed on routes leading to the offsite terminal and highway exits. Public Information Information should be easy to obtain for travelers in search of transportation options or for those who have heard about the service. Information on location, schedules, fares, parking, and other relevant details should be provided in a prominent place on the airport website. If parking availability at the offsite terminal is a concern, real-time information should be provided to the customer on the status of the parking supply. A toll-free telephone line should also be provided to customers, preferably with numbers that can be spelled out in an acronym for customers to remember. If there is an online trip planner provided by the regional transportation system or another sponsor, the remote terminal and airport transportation link should be integrated into the data- base. If the offsite terminal and transportation link is in proximity to other modes, the sponsor- ing organization should coordinate with the responsible transportation providers to ensure that all customers have access to information that enables them to make connections between the air- port transportation link and the other modes. Los Angeles Metro's Regional Trip Planner The Los Angeles County Metropolitan Transportation Authority (Metro) website offers a regional trip planner that provides travelers with individualized trip rout- ing via public transportation within the region. Metro is the largest transit provider in Los Angeles County. Its trip planner incorporates route information on public transportation provided by all public transportation providers in the county. The LAX FlyAway is integrated into the system. In addition, the commuter rail provider, Metrolink, and Amtrak customer service representatives are trained to inform their passengers about FlyAway service when they are traveling to LAX. Public information announcements on the radio during heavy travel periods, on local cable stations, and in publications will boost awareness of the offsite terminal and transportation link. Public interest articles related to the offsite terminal and about the users of the offsite terminal and transportation link will attract potential customers. Additionally, promotions commemo- rating milestones--an anniversary of the facility or the 100,000th customer--will attract media attention to the offsite terminal. Advertising--Communicating with Target Markets Resident Traveler The airport associated with the offsite terminal is the home airport for the resident traveler. Pub- lic relations, advertising, and marketing efforts can be geared toward this market using media such as local papers, radio stations, billboards, travel fairs, public events, and public information advi-

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Branding, Advertising, and Customer Service 65 sories. By employing these methods at service launch and through an ongoing advertising program, resident air travelers will become aware of the services through the information provided and by word of mouth. For offsite terminals located in suburban markets, the primary customer is the res- ident traveler, so this type of advertising will reach the majority of the target market. The Importance of Word-of-Mouth Advertising The power of word-of-mouth as a way of drawing positive or negative attention to a product should not be underestimated. Logan Express surveys indicate that although many Logan Express travelers have been exposed to advertisements, they were also made aware of the service by an acquaintance. Non-resident Traveler The challenge of familiarity is different for the nonresident traveler. Prior to entering the region the airport serves, nonresident travelers are dispersed throughout the nation and the world. Other than information provided on the airport website or telephone line, there is not an efficient and cost-effective way to disseminate information to nonresident travelers. For the non- resident customer, particularly U.S.based customers, awareness of airport transportation options outside the home city is generic: taxi, door-to-door shuttle, and subway. Repeat customers of the airport will eventually learn about the offsite terminal and transporta- tion link in a variety of ways such as seeing the buses, seeing the advertisements targeted to res- idents, or by word of mouth. An offsite terminal located with intermodal connections is more likely to be used by nonresident travelers who are using the public transportation system versus the offsite terminal that does not offer public transportation connections. A further challenge of capturing the nonresident market exists with customers whose egress mode from the airport is also their transportation mode while visiting--those customers using a rental car. Unless there is an incentive for this customer to use the offsite terminal and rent a car there, the customer will choose to pick up the rental car at the airport. Some methods for disseminating information to non-residents include Working with convention and visitors bureaus and travel and tourism offices to provide infor- mation on the offsite terminal to its customer base; Distributing information on the offsite terminal to publishers of travel books, travel websites, and articles published in newspapers and magazines in other parts of the United States and the world; Providing offsite terminal information to the airlines for inclusion in articles about the region for in-flight magazine publication; Providing advertising and in-terminal announcements on the service in areas of the terminal that serve deplaning air passengers; Providing brochures on the service in the area of the terminal that provides regional access options from the airport; and Exploring ways to automatically disseminate information about the offsite terminal to pas- sengers purchasing airline tickets to the airport served by the offsite terminal. Airport Employees For offsite terminal markets that have the potential to attract a significant number of airport employees, the project sponsor should promote the service to as much of the airport employee