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187 This chapter is focused on the connecting customer journey and presents and elaborates on recommendations/requirements listed in the Wayfinding Accessibility Audit Checklist presented in Appendix A of this guidebook (see below for a description of the Wayfinding Accessibility Audit Checklist). Each of the sections in this chapter has a corresponding two-letter section code (see Figure 7-1). This two-letter code is combined with a letter âCâ prefix for âConnectingâ and a numerical suffix to create a unique label for each recommendation/requirement. These labels are also used in the Wayfinding Accessibility Audit Checklist in Appendix A. These recommendations/requirements are presented and discussed in the appropriate section throughout this chapter. The Wayfinding Accessibility Audit Checklist is a checklist of recommendations/requirements to be considered in an assessment of an airportâs wayfinding accessibility. All of the recommen- dations/requirements in the checklist are numbered and labeled to correspond to a particular chapter and section in this guidebook. Each labeled recommendation or requirement is grouped according to chapter and section and characterized according to form of communication (visual, virtual, and/or verbal), the types of disabilities accommodated (vision, hearing, cognition, and/or mobility), and any known standards or additional guidance available (see Figure 7-2). There is redundancy built into the checklist because there are some needs that are required in more than one area of the airport. For example, seating area needs are noted in areas ranging from the arriving gate through the terminal and in the connecting gate areas. So, when an airport is using the checklist to review a problem area, or plan a new project, the checklist is complete for each area as well as the entire connecting journey segment. Similar to wayfinding in a parking garage where the customer experiences wayfinding as both a driver and a pedestrian, a connecting customer experiences the airport as both an arriving passenger and a departing passenger. Wayfinding communication challenges can occur when customers are connecting between two international flights, arriving on an international flight and departing on a domestic flight, or arriving on a domestic/precleared flight and departing on an international flight. Research has shown that customers making a connection have more difficulty finding their way than customers who are arriving or departing. Customer surveys conducted as part of ACRP Project 03-35 research show that on average 78 percent of departing customers rated their wayfinding experience as excellent or very good. By comparison, only 63 percent of customers making a domestic to international connection rated their wayfinding experience as excellent or very good. Ratings among international to international connecting customers were even worse, with just 44 percent rating their wayfinding experience as excellent or very good (Landrum & Brown, Inc. 2016). C h a p t e r 7 Connecting Customer Journey
188 enhancing airport Wayfinding for aging travelers and persons with Disabilities As noted in previous chapters, the research study conducted by the UKâs CAA in 2009 identi- fied six dimensions of the PRM âmindsetâ that affect these customersâ travel experience. Connect- ing customers in general have more wayfinding challenges than departing or arriving passengers; for aging travelers and persons with disabilities who are making a connection, it is critical that they have confidence in and reassurance about the information and services they are receiving. Wayfinding associated with connecting flights is more challenging when the wayfinding involves changing terminals or gate areas. Most airport signage provides little or no identifica- tion of the terminal within a given gate area, which can be confusing for passengers who are unfamiliar with the airport. Other factors are the distances and complexity that can be involved in making flight connections. For travelers with mobility and cognitive issues, these factors make it harder to know where they are and where they need to go, which are Wayfinding Steps 1 and 2, respectively. Knowing the best way to get where they are going is Step 3. Because airport layouts are configured differently, the means and methods of effectively communicating wayfinding information can vary, but the basic elements remain the same: know where you are; know where you want to go; determine the best way to get there; and, finally, in Step 4, confirm that you have arrived. Further discussion of Steps 1 through 4 follows. C-AS.01 Source: ACRP Project 07-13 Research Team Figure 7-1. Chapter 7 matrix and example of a recommendation/requirement label. Source: ACRP Project 07-13 Research Team Figure 7-2. Excerpt from Wayfinding Accessibility Audit Checklist, Chapter 7.
Connecting Customer Journey 189 Step 1: Knowing Where You Are. Airports like Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport, Philadelphia International Airport (shown in Figure 7-3), and Phoenix Sky Harbor Interna- tional Airport visually convey where the customer is with a header or footer on all the primary wayfinding signs, which reinforces their location with consistent visual communication. The header on the sign to connecting flights reminds customers they are currently in Concourse F before they choose to go to another concourse. One of the very first things a connecting customer does after deplaning is check the FIDS. Essential touch points like a FIDS can also indicate to customers what terminal or concourse they are in, reinforce that knowledge, and help them to determine whether they need to stay in the same gate area or find their way to a different part of the airport. As shown in Figure 7-4, a FIDS at Changi Airport in Singapore clearly indicates that the customer is located in Terminal 3, which helps them to know if they need to remain in Terminal 3 or transfer to another terminal. Source: ACRP Project 07-13 Research Team Figure 7-3. Headers and footers used to confirm current location on static signs. Source: ACRP Project 07-13 Research Team Figure 7-4. FIDS at the Changi Airport, Singapore.
190 enhancing airport Wayfinding for aging travelers and persons with Disabilities Steps 2 and 3: Knowing Where You Are Going and the Best Way to Get There. Directories are a key touch point and communication tool in helping passengers determine where they are as well as where they need to go. Interactive touch-screen directories can provide step-by-step guidance (see Figure 7-5). They can also help passengers make what can sometimes be a very difficult as well as an important decision of whether to walk or ride to the destination. While time is typically the driving factor, physical effort is also a key consideration for passengers with disabilities and older adults who may only be able to walk short distances. FIDSs can also help communicate information on whether to walk or ride to your destina- tion. In Figure 7-6, an additional column on the right side of the display uses the symbol icon Source: ACRP Project 07-13 Research Team Figure 7-6. A FIDS (photo at left) communicates walk versus ride (photo at right) information to passengers at Detroit Metropolitan Airport. Source: Omnivex.com Figure 7-5. Interactive information kiosks at San Francisco International Airport showing where the customer is, communicating walking and riding options, and highlighting points of vertical transition.
Connecting Customer Journey 191 for the airportâs train/tram to indicate it is better to ride to the destination, a simple but effective visual tool. Landmarks are an excellent point of reference in helping people find their way. As noted in Section 184.108.40.206, different passengers choose to receive information in different forms. Therefore, providing information that can help customers establish relationships between concrete land- marks and graphic representations on maps is one more way to help aging travelers and persons with disabilities navigate a complex airport environment and confirm they are on the correct path to find their connecting gate. Figure 7-7 shows how artwork, in this case a castle, can be used as a recognizable landmark for navigation. Step 4: Knowing You Have Arrived at Your Destination. Regardless of how obvious a destination may seem, a key part of wayfinding is to provide consistent confirmation. For customers with connecting flights, it can be a series of confirmations, like the ones outlined in this section: â¢ Where am I? â¢ Where am I going? â¢ What is the best way to get there? â¢ How do I know when I have arrived? As noted previously, research shows that connecting passengers experience greater wayfind- ing difficulty than either departing or arriving passengers. Pre-trip planning can be an excellent tool to help aging travelers and persons with disabilities achieve their goal of being confident about traveling independently. Londonâs Heathrow Airport website, as shown in Figure 7-8, has an excellent, easy-to-use tool that helps travelers understand the transfer process and establish expectations at what can be one of the more complex airport wayfinding scenarios for passen- gers to navigate. Step 1 in the instructions informs the customer to follow the purple signs for connecting flights. Figure 7-7. Visual landmark coordinated with a directory map at Dallas Fort Worth International Airport. Source: ACRP Project 07-13 Research Team
192 enhancing airport Wayfinding for aging travelers and persons with Disabilities With connection transfer times as long as 90 minutes, this type of communication is very useful to older adults and passengers with disabilities. However, while a passenger who is blind can access the information on Heathrow Airportâs website, it does not help them travel inde- pendently since they cannot see the âbreadcrumb trailâ of purple signs that do an excellent job of guiding other passengers through a very challenging environment. A mobile wayfind- ing application could enable a passenger who is blind to benefit from this pre-trip planning information. Upon arrival, customers are immediately greeted by a series of purple signs that give all pas- sengers the confidence that they are on the correct path as they wind their way to their connecting flight (see Figure 7-9). Simple graphics can also help visually communicate potentially confusing wayfinding sce- narios. For example, London Gatwick Airport is one of many airports that publish guides to help Source: London Heathrow Airport Figure 7-8. Heathrow Airportâs website showing connection time and simple step-by-step instructions. Figure 7-9. Purple signs at Heathrow Airport providing simple intuitive communication for connecting customers. Source: ACRP Project 07-13 Research Team
Connecting Customer Journey 193 travelers with disabilities plan their trip. In the guide, the graphic used to depict the customer journey at Gatwick Airport is not architecturally based but is designed to be customer-centric, which reflects the way most customers perceive their journey. Connections are shown as a simple transition from one pier to another (see Figure 7-10). 7.1 Airline Support (AS) C-AS.01 Gate numbers are provided onboard the aircraft by flight attendants or by agents in the gate area after arrival, verbally or visually as needed. C-AS.02 Gate numbers are sent by text message, or passengers can check flight infor- mation via mobile phone after arrival. C-AS.03 Passengers consult the nearest FIDS after exiting the arriving gate. Figure 7-10. London Gatwick Airport travel guide (image at top), simple diagram of customer journey segments at Gatwick Airport (image at left), plan view of Gatwick Airport (image at right). Source: London Gatwick Airport
194 enhancing airport Wayfinding for aging travelers and persons with Disabilities FIDSs that also include approximate walk times next to the connecting gate number equip aging travelers and persons with disabilities with the information they need to make a decision about whether to walk, ride, or request assistance. This information helps aging travelers and persons with disabilities take control of their wayfinding experience. FIDSs can also be bundled with additional information that will help customers understand their options and choices when making a connection (see Figure 7-11). C-AS.04 Agents give directions to the connecting gate. (See Figure 7-12.) C-AS.05 Passengers use a mobile application, if there is one, for directions/route to the connecting gate. Source: ACRP Project 07-13 Research Team Figure 7-11. FIDS at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol with walk times next to gate number (photo at left) and FIDS bank at Heathrow Airport with additional screens for maps, service desk information, and walk times (photo at right). Source: Changi Airport, Singapore Figure 7-12. Personnel stationed next to FIDS at key decision points.
Connecting Customer Journey 195 C-AS.06 Airline service employees provide wheelchair assistance or escort from the seat or the door of the plane, as needed, to the connecting gate. Service by electric cart replaces wheelchair service for ambulatory passengers in some airports. C-AS.07 In case of ad hoc request(s), an airline or service agent calls for additional personnel to provide assistance. C-AS.08 Passenger wheelchairs are returned at the door of the plane. For those stowed as cargo, an elevator or lift near the jet bridge allows prompt delivery from the tarmac. C-AS.09 In case of flight cancellation, the rebooking center is accessible with either a ticket agent or phone instead of/in addition to an inaccessible touch-screen kiosk. Alternatively, passengers can rebook by airline mobile application. C-AS.10 Where possible, passengers with disabilities should be given priority in rebooking. C-AS.11 A counter induction loop is installed at one rebooking counter, with priority access for persons who are hard of hearing and have hearing aids or cochlear implants with T-coils. A hearing loop graphic sign is displayed on the counter. C-AS.12 Rebooking centers have appropriate directional and identification signage and appear on maps/directories. C-AS.13 Staff from the airline service company are recalled by gate agents to provide an escort to the rebooking center and the new gate. C-AS.14 Gate agents direct passengers to rebooking centers. C-AS.15 A CRO is available in person or remotely (by phone, TTY, text, etc.) to resolve disability-related issues. 7.2 Gate Area (GA) C-GA.01 At major decision points, multisensory destination/directional information is provided via a map, kiosk, or information booth. C-GA.02 Directional and identification signs have fonts that are easily read, good con- trast, non-glare, and allow close approach wherever possible. C-GA.03 Directional and identification signs include pictograms to aid comprehension by persons with intellectual disabilities and international travelers. C-GA.04 Identification signs are visual and tactile, i.e., have raised characters and Braille, and are correctly positioned. C-GA.05 Directional signs have large, unadorned, illuminated fonts. (See Chapter 3, Sections 220.127.116.11 and 18.104.22.168.)
196 enhancing airport Wayfinding for aging travelers and persons with Disabilities C-GA.06 FIDSs are located at frequent intervals along concourses. C-GA.07 FIDS are hung at eye level for close approach, with larger fonts, good contrast, and a slower refresh rate. (See Chapter 8, Section 8.7.) C-GA.08 FIDS information is available via a mobile application or verbally via a dedi- cated telephone number. C-GA.09 Visual paging is available at frequent intervals along concourses, e.g., built into FIDSs. Pages may also be provided on the airport website or via a mobile application. C-GA.10 The paging system allows passengers to request audible or visual page by phone, text, or email. C-GA.11 Courtesy phones are located at regular intervals along the concourse, includ- ing at major decision points, and identified by visual and tactile signage. In Europe, help points are used as an additional level of support for aging travelers and per- sons with disabilities (see Figure 7-13). Pictograms denote the service, while text information includes the location. C-GA.12 Directional signage for gate numbers is located at regular intervals, at all entrances onto the concourse from security, and at all decision points/nodes. C-GA.13 Signs indicating the direction to baggage claim/terminal exit are located at frequent intervals and outside restrooms. Figure 7-13. Help point at London Gatwick Airport. Source: London Gatwick Airport
Connecting Customer Journey 197 C-GA.14 Good lines of sight allow travelers to see a series of gate numbers along the concourse, i.e., gate numbers are not blocked by other signage or architec- tural elements. C-GA.15 Gate numbers follow a regular pattern, e.g., even on left, odd on right. C-GA.16 Seating areas for resting, with some seats signed for disability priority, are pro- vided at frequent intervals and located out of the circulation path, e.g., where there are long corridors not adjoining holding areas. C-GA.17 Differences in floor texture and color help provide an edge for wayfinding and distinguish the concourse walkway from holding areas. C-GA.18 Detectable floor surface changes (color, texture) are in place at approaches to escalators, moving walkways, and stairs. C-GA.19 Corridors and hallways are evenly illuminated with gradual transitions from dark to bright spaces, especially those that have high levels of natural light. C-GA.20 Accessible routes coincide with, or are located in, the same area as general circulation paths. Elevators and lifts must be in the same area as stairs and escalators. C-GA.21 Where elevators are not near or in sight of stairs and escalators, directional signage is provided. C-GA.22 Elevators meet ADA Standards for signage, controls, visible and audible indi- cators, two-way communication systems, etc. Announcement of floors is pref- erable to a beeping sound. C-GA.23 There are no objects protruding more than 4 inches into the path of travel that are not cane detectable (lower edge 27 inches or less above finished floor), e.g., fire extinguishers, pay phones, drinking fountains. C-GA.24 Overhead clearance is 80 inches minimum, and there are no unenclosed stairs or escalators without a rail or barrier underneath. C-GA.25 An audible signal alerts passengers to the end of moving walkways. C-GA.26 Accessible means of egress (evacuation elevators, areas of safe refuge, exit stairways, horizontal exits, etc.) have appropriate identification and directional signage in view from concourse walkways and/or holding rooms. C-GA.27 Signs at exit doors and areas of safe rescue are tactile as well as visual. Instructions for summoning assistance in areas of safe rescue are also tactile with an accessible two-way communication system in place. C-GA.28 Airport, airline, and concessions staff have training on the AEP and how to assist passengers with disabilities in case of emergency.
198 enhancing airport Wayfinding for aging travelers and persons with Disabilities C-GA.29 Visual and audible signaling systems are under central control to help direct people along best route. Push notification sends emergency information and directions to mobile phones. C-GA.30 Correctly oriented âYou Are Hereâ illuminated map with large font designed for close approach shows connecting gate information and facilities and services on the airside. (See Chapter 3, Section 22.214.171.124). 7.2.1 Gate AreaâPeople Movers C-GA.31 Where people movers to or along the concourse are optional, dynamic sig- nage indicates flights or gates for which the tram or monorail ride is recom- mended. Walking times/distances are provided. C-GA.32 Station and other announcements on the automated people mover are both visual and virtual. C-GA.33 A designated seating area and wheelchair area with grab bar are provided in the cars. C-GA.34 Effective directional signage is in place, especially where a level change is involved. 7.2.2 Gate AreaâPoints of Interest C-GA.35 On long concourses, maps with point-of-interest directories are placed at regular intervals. C-GA.36 SARAs available airside are centrally located to minimize walking times, have appropriate directional and identification signage, and appear on maps/ directories. C-GA.37 An airport information desk or international Travelerâs Aid counter offers video remote interpreting service. C-GA.38 Restrooms, companion restrooms, and drinking fountains are grouped at frequent intervals along concourses, with menâs and womenâs facilities in a standard relation to each other, e.g., menâs to left of womenâs. C-GA.39 Restaurants, food kiosks, and convenience stores are distributed along con- courses to provide close access from all gates. C-GA.40 Restaurant menus are in large print, Braille, or posted in an accessible format online. C-GA.41 For electronic menus, e.g., on an iPad, accessibility features such as VoiceOver are enabled and the device allows close approach for easy viewing. C-GA.42 Restaurants that have wall menus also have a large print copy available on request.
Connecting Customer Journey 199 C-GA.43 Restaurant staff will read the menu. C-GA.44 Restaurant staff willingly accommodate service animals. C-GA.45 Aisles in stores and spaces between tables in restaurants have a clear width of 36 inches. C-GA.46 Restaurant and retail staff have disability awareness training including how to guide persons who are blind. C-GA.47 VIP lounges are fully accessible, have appropriate directional and identifica- tion signage, and are identified on the airport access database, maps, and directories. 7.2.3 Gate AreaâSARAs C-GA.48 SARAs available airside are centrally located to minimize walking times, have appropriate directional and identification signage, and appear on maps/ directories. C-GA.49 Where SARAs are only available landside, service companies provide escort or wheelchair assistance out and then back through security. C-GA.50 A TSA policy is in place to allow people traveling with service/emotional sup- port animals to bypass the line on return. 7.2.4 Gate AreaâHold Room C-GA.51 Gate agents provide confirmation that the passenger is at the correct gate as well as expected boarding and departure time. C-GA.52 The quality of the PA system and terminal acoustics allow announcements in the gate area to be easily understood. C-GA.53 Gate areas have induction loops to allow PA announcements to be transmit- ted directly to persons using hearing aids with T-coils or cochlear implants. Graphic signage alerting passengers to the presence of the hearing loop is displayed on the podium. C-GA.54 There is a general pre-boarding announcement for people with disabilities or personal notification by gate agents for those who self-identify as needing to pre-board. C-GA.55 GIDSs have real-time information, including which rows are boarding. C-GA.56 Passengers with sensory disabilities who self-identify must be provided prompt access to information provided other passengers, personally by the gate agent if no other means is employed, e.g., GIDS, text message, PA system, etc.
200 enhancing airport Wayfinding for aging travelers and persons with Disabilities C-GA.57 Accessible recharging stations are available in the gate area for mobile devices and assistive equipment. C-GA.58 TV monitors have high-contrast closed captioning enabled. C-GA.59 Visual paging is built into TV monitors. C-GA.60 A designated seating area for people with disabilities is located near the podium or boarding gate. C-GA.61 Airline or service company personnel assist passengers with disabilities to the door of the plane or seat, as needed. C-GA.62 Boarding bridge slopes should be as gentle as possible, with handrails at transitions and minimal gap/step into plane. C-GA.63 Passenger wheelchairs may be used until the door of the plane, then gate- checked for stowage as cargo or if a manual chair or walker, may be stowed in the cabin on a first-come, first-serve basis. An elevator or lift near the jet bridge allows timely transfer of wheelchairs to the tarmac for stowage. C-GA.64 A CRO is available in person or remotely (by phone, TTY, text, etc.) to resolve disability-related issues involving requested accommodations, assistive devices, carry-on baggage, denied boarding, etc. 7.3 Terminal Transportation (TT) C-TT.01 Shuttle vans operating between concourses for customer convenience are accessible, have appropriate directional and identification signage, and are identified in the access database and on airport maps. The logistics of connecting between different terminals can be daunting. Virtual information, as shown in Figure 7-14, can be an excellent means of communicating the best way to transfer from one terminal to another. 7.4 Airline Support (AS)âSame Terminal, Different Airline C-AS.16 Gate numbers are sent by text message from the departing carrier, or pas- sengers check flight information via mobile phone after arrival. C-AS.17 Passengers consult nearest FIDS after exiting the arriving gate. C-AS.18 Agents give directions to the connecting gate. C-AS.19 Passengers use a mobile application, if any, for directions/route to the con- necting gate.
Connecting Customer Journey 201 C-AS.20 Airline service employees provide wheelchair assistance or escort from the seat or door of the plane, as needed, to the connecting gate. Service by electric cart replaces wheelchair service for ambulatory passengers in some airports. Airlines or airports may provide areas of assistance for passengers to wait between flights. For example, airlines like Lufthansa provide an area of assistance at Munich Airport. Airports such as London Gatwick offer special assistance drop-off points (see Figure 7-15). Note, how- ever, that while such holding areas provide some customers with a positive mindset where they feel listened to and treated like individuals, others may prefer to wait in a less segregated area such as a restaurant. For this reason, ACAA Subpart B on âNondiscrimination and Access to Services and Informationâ specifies that carriers cannot require passengers âto remain in a Source: London Gatwick Airport Figure 7-15. Special assistance drop-off point at London Gatwick Airport. Figure 7-14. Animated, dynamic âMaking Connectionsâ map at Boston Logan International Airport. Source: ACRP Project 07-13 Research Team
202 enhancing airport Wayfinding for aging travelers and persons with Disabilities holding area or other location in order to receive transportation, services, or accommodationsâ [Â§382.33(3)]. C-AS.21 In case of ad hoc request(s), an airline or service agent calls for additional personnel to provide assistance. C-AS.22 The passengerâs wheelchair, if any, is returned at door of plane. For mobil- ity equipment stowed as cargo, elevator or lift near jet bridge allows prompt delivery from tarmac. C-AS.23 In case of a missed or cancelled connection, the rebooking center for the departing carrier is accessible with either a ticket agent or phone instead of/in addition to an inaccessible touch-screen kiosk, or the traveler can rebook by mobile application. C-AS.24 Rebooking centers have appropriate directional and identification signage and appear on maps/directories. C-AS.25 Staff from the arriving carrierâs service company will provide wheelchair ser- vice or escort to the departing carrierâs rebooking center and new gate. C-AS.26 Passengers locate rebooking center for departing carrier and route to it on a mobile application.