Airports have much to consider and to cope with in today’s challenging environment of heightened security, fiscal responsibility, whilst delivering world-class customer service throughout the Airport. From curbside to boarding—expectations have never been higher.
Key is an efficient passenger flow system. Moving passengers quickly and safely through the airport without the feeling of being rushed and dehumanized. To deliver this, a combination of system analysis, training, and the use of the right equipment are all essential ingredients.
As Worldwide passenger numbers are predicted to double to 5.9 billion by 2030 and economic activity centered around aviation is forecast to more than triple to $7 trillion. Airports need to plan for expansion in order to meet rising passenger numbers and to capitalize on the growing retail opportunity within the backdrop of fierce competition. The overriding need to ensure security and passenger care needs to be optimized and constantly refined but never appearing intimidating or overbearing.
Passengers are more than ever able to shop around and make choices about which airports and airlines best suit their needs.
Against this backdrop, passengers are becoming increasingly aware. As well as looking for the best possible service and deals, they are looking for quick, easy and a more personalized service from airports. Passengers are more than ever able to shop around and make choices about which airports and airlines best suit their needs. This puts greater pressure on Airports to get to know their passengers and how they use their airport. It also puts pressure on Airports to deliver outstanding passenger service and a key part of this is reducing or eliminating queues.
Critical factors for modern airports include operational efficiencies/profit maximization, an optimized passenger flow, training, increase retail experience & revenues, improved passenger experience, delivery of optimal service & care for people with disabilities or special requirements and diligent security controls & effectiveness.
Ensuring an optimized experience and a quick and easy passage through the first stages of the journey increases the possibility of a positive passenger experience at the airport. The fewer time passengers spend in airport processes, the more they will enjoy a more stress-free and pleasant travel experience in the concession area, directly increasing non-aviation revenue. Benefits will also be reaped with staff efficiencies and job satisfaction improvement.
Passengers with reduced mobility (PRMs) are showing a rapid increase. This is in part because of the aging demographic, which brings multiple challenges. Not only will airports have to cope with greater numbers of physically frail passengers, but they will also have to cope with a rise in hidden ailments, such as dementia. Also, members of the community with disability are exercising both their spending power and the ability to travel with dignity.
Pre-notification plays an important role in PRM management, however, training and the right equipment is key to the enhance safe and respectful flow through the airport.
Many innovations have helped expedite the movement of people and the science of passenger flow through the airport. Not least of these innovations has been the introduction of the Staxi transport chair. For over a decade now, this unique system replaces standard wheelchairs and facilitates enhance speed, comfort, and dignity through the journey. The Staxi transport chair differs from the standard wheelchair in several important ways. The Staxi features an innovative and unique safety braking system which can only be operated by an attendant – this gives the passenger optimal safety throughout the airport, the chair does not fold significantly adding to its strength and making it extremely difficult to steal. Luggage and carry on is also taken care of, with luggage safely stowed underneath the chair. Importantly, Staxis can be “stacked” together – making them easy to find and space-saving. According to Ron Howard, Staxi Commercial Manager, “it’s a win-win situation for all, not only is it a wise investment with a proven ROI, you also get much-increased employee efficiencies and, importantly, great passenger approval ratings and esteem enhancement, with Staxi even the carry-on luggage gets the first-class treatment”.