While TSA horror stories abound, new research reveals that more than half of air travelers (53%) actually enjoy the airport experience, according to the London-based air consumer advocacy company Priority Pass.
The online study of 2,906 respondents from the U.S., U.K., United Arab Emirates, Germany, France, Singapore and Hong Kong revealed an unusually high number of positive attitudes when it comes to the airport experience across different scenarios.
For example, 56% said they would try to arrive at the airport early to take advantage of duty-free and shopping discounts, while 64% agreed they like to access a bargain at the airport with 35% looking for something luxurious that they would not ordinarily buy.
Stephen Simpson, global marketing director for Priority Pass, said we are witnessing “an important shift in mindset when it comes to the airport experience and it is clear that today’s frequent flyers no longer view themselves as passengers merely transiting the airport but as consumers seeking more rewarding travel journeys.”
In addition to the shopping, close to two-thirds of business travelers (59%) admitted to airport lounge use, considering access to a premium airport lounge to be an “important” or “very important” factor when selecting an airport, with 40% admitting to going straight to the lounge and avoiding shops altogether.
“An increasing number of organizations are starting to recognize the value that can be gained if the experience of flying for business is not unduly stressful,” Simpson explained. “Our research found that 51% of frequent business flyers actively enjoy the airport experience. This is a high percentage when you consider the fact that the business flyer is traveling for work purposes and does not have the relaxation of a typical leisure trip to look forward to on arrival. The airport lounge clearly has an important role to play here, offering a rare moment of tranquillity or the ability to stay connected in a peaceful and convenient environment.”
Launched in 1992, Priority Pass is part of Collinson Group, which boasts 26 global locations with more than 800 clients in 150 countries, employing more than 1,900 staff members and managing 20 million end customers.