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A I R P O R T C O O P E R A T I V E R E S E A R C H P R O G R A M ACRP RESEARCH REPORT 231 2021 Research sponsored by the Federal Aviation Administration Subscriber Categories Aviation â¢ Passenger Transportation â¢ Terminals and Facilities Evaluating the Travelerâs Perspective to Improve the Airport Customer Experience Patricia Ryan Komal Sood IOS Partners, Inc. Coral Gables, FL Bijan Vasigh Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University Daytona Beach, FL Jessica L. Wildman Institute for Cross Cultural Management Florida Institute of Technology Melbourne, FL Lise DâAndrea Customer Experience Experts Annapolis, MD
AIRPORT COOPERATIVE RESEARCH PROGRAM Airports are vital national resources. They serve a key role in transpor- tation of people and goods and in regional, national, and international commerce. They are where the nationâs aviation system connects with other modes of transportation and where federal responsibility for man- aging and regulating air traffic operations intersects with the role of state and local governments that own and operate most airports. Research is necessary to solve common operating problems, to adapt appropriate new technologies from other industries, and to introduce innovations into the airport industry. The Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) serves as one of the principal means by which the airport industry can develop innovative near-term solutions to meet demands placed on it. The need for ACRP was identified in TRB Special Report 272: Airport Research Needs: Cooperative Solutions in 2003, based on a study spon- sored by the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA). ACRP carries out applied research on problems that are shared by airport operating agen- cies and not being adequately addressed by existing federal research pro- grams. ACRP is modeled after the successful National Cooperative High- way Research Program (NCHRP) and Transit Cooperative Research Program (TCRP). ACRP undertakes research and other technical activi- ties in various airport subject areas, including design, construction, legal, maintenance, operations, safety, policy, planning, human resources, and administration. ACRP provides a forum where airport operators can cooperatively address common operational problems. ACRP was authorized in December 2003 as part of the Vision 100â Century of Aviation Reauthorization Act. The primary participants in the ACRP are (1) an independent governing board, the ACRP Oversight Committee (AOC), appointed by the Secretary of the U.S. Department of Transportation with representation from airport operating agencies, other stakeholders, and relevant industry organizations such as the Airports Council International-North America (ACI-NA), the American Associa- tion of Airport Executives (AAAE), the National Association of State Aviation Officials (NASAO), Airlines for America (A4A), and the Airport Consultants Council (ACC) as vital links to the airport community; (2) TRB as program manager and secretariat for the governing board; and (3) the FAA as program sponsor. In October 2005, the FAA executed a contract with the National Academy of Sciences formally initiating the program. ACRP benefits from the cooperation and participation of airport professionals, air carriers, shippers, state and local government officials, equipment and service suppliers, other airport users, and research organi- zations. Each of these participants has different interests and responsibili- ties, and each is an integral part of this cooperative research effort. Research problem statements for ACRP are solicited periodically but may be submitted to TRB by anyone at any time. It is the responsibility of the AOC to formulate the research program by identifying the highest priority projects and defining funding levels and expected products. Once selected, each ACRP project is assigned to an expert panel appointed by TRB. Panels include experienced practitioners and research specialists; heavy emphasis is placed on including airport professionals, the intended users of the research products. The panels prepare project statements (requests for proposals), select contractors, and provide technical guidance and counsel throughout the life of the project. The process for developing research problem statements and selecting research agencies has been used by TRB in managing coop- erative research programs since 1962. As in other TRB activities, ACRP project panels serve voluntarily without compensation. Primary emphasis is placed on disseminating ACRP results to the intended users of the research: airport operating agencies, service pro- viders, and academic institutions. ACRP produces a series of research reports for use by airport operators, local agencies, the FAA, and other interested parties; industry associations may arrange for workshops, training aids, field visits, webinars, and other activities to ensure that results are implemented by airport industry practitioners. ACRP RESEARCH REPORT 231 Project 01-40 ISSN 2572-3731 (Print) ISSN 2572-374X (Online) ISBN 978-0-309-67402-7 Library of Congress Control Number 2021937571 Â© 2021 National Academy of Sciences. All rights reserved. COPYRIGHT INFORMATION Authors herein are responsible for the authenticity of their materials and for obtaining written permissions from publishers or persons who own the copyright to any previously published or copyrighted material used herein. Cooperative Research Programs (CRP) grants permission to reproduce material in this publication for classroom and not-for-profit purposes. Permission is given with the understanding that none of the material will be used to imply TRB, AASHTO, FAA, FHWA, FTA, GHSA, NHTSA, or TDC endorsement of a particular product, method, or practice. It is expected that those reproducing the material in this document for educational and not-for-profit uses will give appropriate acknowledgment of the source of any reprinted or reproduced material. For other uses of the material, request permission from CRP. NOTICE The research report was reviewed by the technical panel and accepted for publication according to procedures established and overseen by the Transportation Research Board and approved by the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The opinions and conclusions expressed or implied in this report are those of the researchers who performed the research and are not necessarily those of the Transporta- tion Research Board; the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; or the program sponsors. The Transportation Research Board; the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine; and the sponsors of the Airport Cooperative Research Program do not endorse products or manufacturers. Trade or manufacturersâ names or logos appear herein solely because they are considered essential to the object of the report. Published research reports of the AIRPORT COOPERATIVE RESEARCH PROGRAM are available from Transportation Research Board Business Office 500 Fifth Street, NW Washington, DC 20001 and can be ordered through the Internet by going to https://www.mytrb.org/MyTRB/Store/default.aspx Printed in the United States of America
The National Academy of Sciences was established in 1863 by an Act of Congress, signed by President Lincoln, as a private, non- governmental institution to advise the nation on issues related to science and technology. Members are elected by their peers for outstanding contributions to research. Dr. Marcia McNutt is president. The National Academy of Engineering was established in 1964 under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences to bring the practices of engineering to advising the nation. Members are elected by their peers for extraordinary contributions to engineering. Dr. John L. Anderson is president. The National Academy of Medicine (formerly the Institute of Medicine) was established in 1970 under the charter of the National Academy of Sciences to advise the nation on medical and health issues. Members are elected by their peers for distinguished contributions to medicine and health. Dr. Victor J. Dzau is president. The three Academies work together as the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine to provide independent, objective analysis and advice to the nation and conduct other activities to solve complex problems and inform public policy decisions. The National Academies also encourage education and research, recognize outstanding contributions to knowledge, and increase public understanding in matters of science, engineering, and medicine. Learn more about the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine at www.nationalacademies.org. The Transportation Research Board is one of seven major programs of the National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. The mission of the Transportation Research Board is to provide leadership in transportation improvements and innovation through trusted, timely, impartial, and evidence-based information exchange, research, and advice regarding all modes of transportation. The Boardâs varied activities annually engage about 8,000 engineers, scientists, and other transportation researchers and practitioners from the public and private sectors and academia, all of whom contribute their expertise in the public interest. The program is supported by state transportation departments, federal agencies including the component administrations of the U.S. Department of Transportation, and other organizations and individuals interested in the development of transportation. Learn more about the Transportation Research Board at www.TRB.org.
C O O P E R A T I V E R E S E A R C H P R O G R A M S CRP STAFF FOR ACRP RESEARCH REPORT 231 Christopher J. Hedges, Director, Cooperative Research Programs Lori L. Sundstrom, Deputy Director, Cooperative Research Programs Marci A. Greenberger, Manager, Airport Cooperative Research Program Theresia H. Schatz, Senior Program Officer Tyler Smith, Senior Program Assistant Eileen P. Delaney, Publications Senior Advisor Natalie Barnes, Director of Publications Ellen M. Chafee, Senior Editor ACRP PROJECT 01-40 PANEL Field of Administration Ian L. Todreas, Eastern Research Group, Inc., Boston, MA (Chair) Ken Buckner, Unison Consulting, Inc., Chicago, IL Ben Coleman, Honeywell International, Inc., Minneapolis, MN Jacqueline Grossgold, Port Authority of New York and New Jersey, New York, NY Susan Hansen Smith, Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, Seattle, WA Kevin Kleist, Southwest Airlines, Dallas, TX Jared Raymond, FAA Liaison Raechel Rucker, Airports Council InternationalâNorth America Liaison
ACRP Research Report 231 guides the airport operator in using a customer-centered approach and rethinks the airport experience through the customersâ perspectives. This Guidebook follows the customerâs entire journeyâfrom pre-trip activities, to the airport(s), and back to the point of origin. It addresses current and evolving experiences and expectations and identi- fies emerging trends and developments likely to affect customer experiences in the future. Supplementing the Guidebook is a multimedia tool (available at http://acrp0140. strdemo.org/) that envisions the journey of different traveler segments and includes summary guidelines on how airports may address the varying needs of different segments to deliver a seamless customer experience. The tool also includes firsthand accounts from travelers on their airport journey experience and captures the emotions travelers may expe- rience at different journey points. The audience for this research is the airport operator who has already prioritized the customer experience as an important airport function and is implementing programs to improve it. Improving the airport customer experience is emerging as a high-priority goal for domes- tic and international airport travelers as their needs and expectations evolve in response to changing conditions and new and innovative services, processes, and technologies. Customer experience is a key driver of customer satisfaction, airport reputation, revenue, and the overall ranking of an airport. Throughout the customer journey, there are several opportunities to improve the customer experience along numerous touchpointsâfrom planning the trip to traveling to, through, and from the airport. Yet, airports often have limited influence on many of these touchpoints. ACRP Report 157: Improving the Airport Customer Experience is a com- prehensive guide to help airports address many topics related to improving and maintaining customer experience. Also, ACRP Research Report 161: Guidelines for Improving Airport Services for International Customers identifies key elements of the international customer experience that can influence satisfaction. However, since customersâ expectations con- tinue to evolve, and new technologies and social issues emerge, the travelerâs perspective can provide additional insight on ways to improve the customer experience. ACRP Project 01-40 was led by IOS Partners in association with Embry-Riddle Aero- nautical University, the Institute for Cross Cultural Management at Florida Institute of Technology, and Customer Experience Experts. Feedback was sought from airports and other industry providers recognized for providing excellent customer experiences. Effec- tive examples of airports offering programs that excel in one or more areas of meeting and exceeding customer expectations are also noted. Established best or notable practices are presented as considerations in improving airport customer experiences. Appendices C through F of the Guidebook and a high-level executive summary of the research and findings are available on the TRB website by searching on âACRP Research Report 231â. F O R E W O R D By Theresia H. Schatz Staff Officer Transportation Research Board
AUTHOR ACKNOWLEDGMENTS The research effort under ACRP Project 01-40, âEvaluating the Travelerâs Perspective to Improve the Airport Customer Experience,â was conducted by IOS Partners, Inc., as the primary research consultant. The IOS Partners team included Robert Hans, Dr. Patricia Ryan, Komal Sood, Katty Metreveli, Stephan Rich, and Maria Sol Amores. The t eam r ecognizes t he s upport o f D r. B ijan V asigh a nd D r. S hirley Fedorovich at Embry-Riddle Aeronautical University and acknowledges Dr. Richard Griffith, Dr. Jessica Wildones, Mina Milosevic, and Hairong Jiang of Florida Institute of Technologyâs Institute of Cross Cultural Management. The team would also like to thank Lise DâAndrea and Patty Thompson of CXE, Inc. (formerly Customer Service Experts). Special recognition and appreciation are due to Fentress Architects and Carlos Kaduoka at SITA for their significant contributions on architectural design standards and technology as they relate to the customer experience. IOS Partners also sincerely thanks our Peer Review Committee for their valuable feedback on how to address the needs expressed by travelers and reviewing our proposed recommendations for airports. ACRP PROJECT 01-40 - Peer Review Committee Contact Name Title Organization Airport Size Airports Archie Cooper Properties Manager Cincinnati International Airport Medium Stacey Stegman Senior Manager Denver International Airport Mega Julio Badin Customer Service Manager Dallas-Fort Worth International Airport Large Dave Edwards Airport Director Greenville-Spartanburg International Airport Small Patrick Becker Customer Experience Manager McCarran International Airport Large Liz Grzechowiak Assistant Director, Concessions & Business Development Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport Large Brian Engle Director of Customer Experience Orlando International Airport Large Kathy Haley Senior Customer Experience Manager Port Authority of NY and NJ Multiple Ingrid Hairston Former Manager of Commercial Operations Raleigh-Durham International Airport Medium Karen W. Ellis Chief Customer Experience Officer San Antonio International Airport Small Rick Belliotti Director, Innovation and CX Design San Diego International Airport Large Jim Peterson Senior Manager, Customer Experience Seattle-Tacoma International Airport Large Business Partners Category Frank Barich CEO Barich Inc. Technology Alisha Tillman Director, Airport Properties Enterprise Holdings Rental Car Agatha Kessler Chair Fentress Architect Brian Kramer Business Development Manager Lyft Ride-Share Alexis Paredes President/CEO Head of Strategy & Consulting - SA&B Paredes Design Architect George Fewster Director, Business Development Paradies LagardÃ¨re Retail Carlos Kaduoka SITA Technology Tammy Taylor Sr. Business Consultant, CX Southwest Airlines Airlines Brent North Vice President Stantec Design Robert Linehart Executive Vice President Republic Parking System Parking Gary Jacobus Vice President SSP Food/Beverage Michelle Cartagena Director, Traveler Engagement Division, Acting TSA Security
AUTHOR ACKNOWLEDGMENTS (Continued) IOS Partners thanks the staff members at the following airports for their intensive efforts in assisting with conducting onsite and virtual focus groups: Los Angeles International Airport, Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport, Orlando International Airport, and San Antonio International Airport. We acknowledge the assistance provided by the National Federation of the Blind, and the various units of the United Service Organizations at Cincinnati/Northern Kentucky International Airport and Orlando International Airport, who were very generous in assisting with identifying potential participants for the focus groups. We also thank Starbucks HMSHost for providing refreshments during several focus groups. Other contributions were made through participation in surveys from travelers, airports, and organiza- tions that are too numerous to mention, but were significant in providing the travelerâs perspective or in constructing guidelines.
1 Chapter 1 Introduction 1 1.1 Goal of the Research 2 1.2 Overview of the Guidebook 3 1.3 Research Approach and Methodology 4 1.4 Intended Benefits of the Guidebook 5 1.5 Impacts of COVID-19 on the Future of the Industry 5 1.6 Navigating the Guidebook 6 1.7 Limitations of the Research 7 Chapter 2 Guide to the Travelerâs Airport Journey 7 2.1 Traveler Segmentation 7 2.2 Development and Application of Personas 13 2.3 Development and Management of Journey Maps 23 Chapter 3 Departure Journey 24 3.1 Navigating the Chapter 25 3.2 Activities Prior to Departing for the AirportâTravelersâ Perspectives 26 3.3 Activities Prior to Departing for the AirportâActions for Airports 34 3.4 Arrival at the Airport for DepartureâTravelersâ Perspectives 37 3.5 Arrival at the Airport for DepartureâActions for Airports 45 3.6 Pre-Security ActivitiesâTravelersâ Perspectives 46 3.7 Pre-Security ActivitiesâActions for Airports 50 3.8 The Security ExperienceâTravelersâ Perspectives 55 3.9 The Security ExperienceâActions for Airports 61 3.10 Post-Security ActivitiesâTravelersâ Perspectives 65 3.11 Post-Security ActivitiesâActions for Airports 78 Chapter 4 Arrivals Journey 79 4.1 Navigating the Chapter 80 4.2 International ArrivalsâTravelersâ Perspectives 81 4.3 International ArrivalsâActions for Airports 83 4.4 Transfer PassengersâTravelersâ Perspectives 84 4.5 Transfer PassengersâActions for Airports 92 4.6 Domestic Arrivals and Baggage ClaimâTravelersâ Perspectives 94 4.7 Domestic Arrivals and Baggage ClaimâActions for Airports 97 4.8 Departure from the AirportâTravelersâ Perspectives 99 4.9 Departure from the AirportâActions for Airports C O N T E N T S
102 Chapter 5 Factors Affecting the Overall Airport Journey 103 5.1 Navigating the Chapter 103 5.2 Defining Basic Needs 104 5.3 Basic NeedsâTravelersâ Perspectives 105 5.4 Basic NeedsâActions for Airports 108 5.5 Environs FactorsâTravelersâ Perspectives 108 5.6 Environs FactorsâActions for Airports 112 5.7 Customer InterfaceâTravelersâ Perspectives 114 5.8 Customer InterfaceâActions for Airports 117 5.9 Talent Management 126 5.10 Technology 137 5.11 Disruptive Events 141 Chapter 6 Measuring the Customer Experience 141 6.1 Step 1: Gap Analysis 144 6.2 Step 2: Alignment of Mission, Vision, Goals, and Objectives 144 6.3 Step 3: Establish Benchmarks 149 6.4 Step 4: Monitor and Evaluate Progress 150 6.5 Potential Barriers to Implementing Benchmarks and Methods for Improving Success 152 Chapter 7 Application of Findings 152 7.1 Overview 152 7.2 Key Practices for Implementation 160 References 165 Appendix A Bibliography 182 Appendix B Glossary of Terms 185 Appendices C Through F Note: Photographs, figures, and tables in this report may have been converted from color to grayscale for printing. The electronic version of the report (posted on the web at www.trb.org) retains the color versions.