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Increase revenue while making your passenger experience better

You can learn a great deal about your passengers by collecting the data on their two-dimensional boarding passes! Where are your passengers from? Where are they going? How long is their layover? Better yet, How much time do they have to shop? What time of the day is it? Will they be hungry?

Passenger tracking allows airport’s to make better use of facility space. Knowing specifics about the traffic flow through your airport allows you to make concessions space available in ways that not only enhance the passenger experience, but allows you to capitalize on the information. Passenger tracking increases revenue for your airport.

You can also personalize the passenger’s experience. For example, when they check in for a flight, they could get a personalized coupon of sorts for a concession that is near their gate. How about a personalized suggestion for them to check out your airport’s art gallery or better yet, a customized map that shows them where the closest restroom is and exactly how to get to their gate?

In addition to displaying personalized information for passengers as they move through your airport, you can learn about bottlenecks inside the terminal that impede the flow of passengers. You can literally reduce wait times in security and ticket lines, giving your passengers opportunities to not only spend money in your airport but to enjoy the amenities you provide for them. It reduces stress and increases revenue at the same time.

It also helps with planning. Passenger tracking gives you the power to enhance future airport design. By collecting this data and analyzing it thoroughly, better, more efficient, airports can be built or remodeled to better meet the needs of you and your passengers.

Though this technology is available, it requires a steep investment. Depending on how sophisticated you want your system to be, you can spend millions of dollars in computer equipment and even camera systems. Like any technology, the price of passenger tracking will come down but for some airports, the expenditure may be hard to justify.

Meanwhile, there are still ways you can track and influence the movement of passengers through your airport. Social Media is your friend. There are dozens of ways you can study behavior through free social media tools. Pay attention to what your guests are saying via social media and engage them!
For example, you may not have the tools to print a coupon for a vendor near the passenger’s gate, but by paying attention to social media, you can respond personally to somebody who checks in on Foursquare. There’s nothing wrong with making a suggestion via social media.

Another great way to influence what your customer’s do (spend money) in your airport is to have a mobile app. With mobile, you have the power to suggest and assess what your passengers are doing, especially by integrating a passenger loyalty program. GPS has revolutionized the aviation industry and it sure as heck can pay dividends to the airport as well.

Why not have features on your website that allow passengers to personalize their experience? By collecting data that they provide, you can shape the outcome of their visit.

Are you thinking outside the box? Knowing your passenger’s behavior can increase the bottom line for your airport all the while heightening their experience.

Adding Pinterest to your Airport’s Social Media Repertoire

With more than 25 percent of Fortune 500 Companies adding Pinterest to their social media repertoire, it seems only fitting that the fast growing online site is continuing to grow in popularity among airports as well.

According to the article, “15 Facts you need to Know about Pinterest” (wishpond.com), Pinterest drives more referral traffic than Google+, YouTube and LinkedIn combined. The social pin-board site trails Facebook and Twitter in users, but at more than 20 million unique visitors per month, it can have an impact on your airport’s communication arsenal. Here’s why:

Seventy-nine percent of Pinterest users are women. Of those women, as reported by wishpond, 81 percent of U.S. women online trust Pinterest as a source for information and advice. Who books air travel in your family?

In a previous CFM blog, Stephanie Gehman, marketing manager for Harrisburg International Airport (MDT), told CFM, “We’ve seen a tremendous amount of interest on all of our Boards, especially from women. The airport signed up for Pinterest in February, 2012, primarily to reach that demographic.

“We wanted another avenue to reach women ‘where they’re at’ online,” Gehman said. Women are the primary trip planners for family vacations and Pinterest’s unique user demographic is a perfect opportunity for them to connect. “Knowing that, we thought using Pinterest would be an intuitive way to reach the ladies.”

An estimated 47 percent of U.S. online shoppers have made a purchase based on a recommendation from Pinterest. Pinning is a powerful tool airports can use to share tips, updates, images and to build a following that will circulate important brand messaging.

What should you Pin? Here are ten ideas for your airport:

1. Places you can travel to from your airport.
2. Exciting events inside your airport. For example, live music.
3. Food or Retail items sold by your concessionaires.
4. Plane spotting.
5. Your sustainability efforts.
6. Welcoming new Air Service
7. Historical pictures from your airport.
8. Pictures of cool places in your catchment area.
9. Construction at your airport
10. VIP visits.

The reality is there are dozens of Boards you could create, but the ones that highlight your airport and its services are the ones that will help tell your story. The more interesting your Pins, the more success you will have in emphasizing your airport’s branding and telling your airport’s story.

For more examples of how airports use Pinterest, please read, “Some Pinteresting Airports.”

Is the Sochi Airport ready for the 2014 Winter Olympics?

Is the Sochi Airport ready for the 2014 Winter Olympics?

I’ve been checking the airport’s website for weeks now waiting for the reveal some sort of sparkling new website with an inviting design, and groundbreaking use of social media—so I can blog about it— but with the Olympics only 135 days out, I still haven’t seen any updates.

The homepage of Sochi-Adler International Airport (AER) website still greets visitors with a message from 2010:

“Welcome to new Sochi-Adler Airport site! Our goal is to create the best resource for travelers going to Sochi, Russia before, during, and after Sochi 2014 Olympic Winter Games.

In the next several months this site will be significantly expanded to include helpful information for travelers coming to Sochi from many corners of the World.

We also always welcome your feedback and comments.

So, Welcome and Добро Пожаловать!”

According to the official Sochi 2014 website, 5,500 Olympic athletes, 1,350 Paralympic athletes, 25,000 volunteers, and 13,000 members of the press will come to the Games in Sochi. Sports venues in the Olympic Park will be visited daily by more than 75,000 people.

Here is an excellent opportunity for AER to showcase themselves to the world. Yet, the website is outdated, cheerless, and boring. I can only assume (and hope) that something is in the works… But I hope it’s not too late.

Here’s my advice for the Sochi airport website:

Functionality! Every element of the airport’s site should work quickly and correctly. Broken or poorly constructed components will only leave your visitors frustrated and debunked with your the airport. Across the spectrum, everything should work as expected, including hyperlinks, site search, and so on.

Error-free copy: This website will get a lot of exposure.. Double-check your facts and figures, as you don’t know who may be quoting you tomorrow. Nor do you want to be recognized or remembered for typos, incorrect grammar and punctuation, or misspellings. Spelling mistakes and bad grammar are as unforgivable on a website as they are in other company materials.

Appearance! An attractive site is far more likely to generate a positive impression and keep visitors on your site once they arrive. Good use of color in your design and readable text will work wonders here. Graphics are important, as they lend visual variety and appeal to an otherwise boring page of text.

Usability! A critical, but often overlooked component of a successful website is its degree of usability. Your site must be easy to read, navigate, and understand—and accessible via mobile devices and tablets.

Photos! A simple way to increase visual appeal is to use high quality photography. Now’s the time to showcase your airport to the world. Have plenty of pictures of the area, the beauty that makes Sochi such a magnificent host city. Heck, even some pictures of airplanes would be a start.

Compelling text! You’ve got less than 10 seconds to hook your visitors, so grab their attention by being clear, concise and compelling. Update your content regularly: No one likes to read the same thing over and over again. Dead or static content will not bring visitors back to your site!

Information! Where is the airport located? How do you get from the airport to the Olympic Village or area hotels? What kind of ground transportation is available? What airlines serve your airport? What about a map of your terminal that suggests all the amenities your airport officers?

All about Revenue! Where can people shop at your airport? Do you have a Duty Free Store? Is Olympics merchandise available at the airport? Where can I grab some local flare while waiting for my flight?

Social Media! How is the airport engaging on Twitter, Facebook, Pinterest, Instagram, Google+ and Weibo? Who is telling the airport’s story?

It’s critical that Sochi-Adler International Airport show off their new look, sooner than later.

Latest Airport and Travel Apps for your Smartphone

Apps for travelers with key information about airports are quickly transforming the the way airports communicate. Here is a list of recent additions to the airport app world.

Salk International’s Airport Transit Guide

After some two years of success as an app on iPhone and iPad, Salk International’s Airport Transit Guide, arrived July 3 as an Android app for smartphones, available at Google’s Play Store and, shortly, at Amazon Apps. It sells for $4.99, including free updates to this version (1.3), and covers more than 460 airports worldwide. A Lite version, offering two sample cities, is free.

“In response to many hundreds of requests from smartphone owners, we finally had to launch the Android app,” said Editor-in-Chief and Publisher Ron Salk. “We should have done so sooner, but other priorities intervened,” he added.

Designated 25th Edition, Version 1.3, it features more airports than ever before, hundreds of data changes, and new search functions. Once it is downloaded to the user’s device, a wireless connection is not needed to access detailed price, schedule, and route information for taxis, shuttles, limousines, buses, and trains, as well as parking rates and other useful advice.

See: http://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=com.salk.atg

The app also gives the traveler interactive wireless connectivity to airport and transportation-company websites and telephones. While this is not its main purpose, interactive connection to airport sites has proven to be a popular and unexpected bonus for the traveler who wishes to access, for example, flight arrival and departure information. A landscape feature has been added to make this information more readable.

The Airport Transit Guide, founded in 1982, was converted from print to digital in 2010, with its 25th Edition. Subtitled “How to Get From the Airport to the City Worldwide,” it has several times been among the Top 10 Travel Apps in the U.S. and internationally.

The app will not carry advertising. “We had 99% 5-star reviews,” Salk said, “except for a couple of iPhone reviewers who did not think we should accept ads on a paid app, even though they were not transportation related. We agreed and dropped the ads.”

SOURCE: Salk International, LLC


Smart Layover

Smart Layover has launched the first mobile app that turns layovers into unforgettable adventures. The free app offers day-use hotel rooms, exclusive sightseeing tours and activities in layover cities, and exclusive deals at airport terminals.

According to the Bureau of Transportation Statistics, 56% of US travelers have one or more layovers a year. Most of those hours are spent with nothing to do in uncomfortable airport seats with expensive wireless Internet. Smart Layover’s mobile app offers in and outside of airport retail and restaurant deals as well as short-term lodging, exclusive sightseeing tours and activities.

With Smart Layover, you can:

Explore sightseeing tours and attractions in over 140 countries.
Relax in day-use hotel rooms sorted by price, ratings, and distance from landmarks.

Discover what individual airports have to offer through airport deals.

Stay up to date on flight status, airport info, terminal maps, and security wait times.

Purchase discounted food and gifts at the airport terminals retail shops and restaurants.

“Having a layover is the most loathed part of air travel, but it doesn’t have to be that way,” said Sam Makaryan, CEO and founder of Smart Layover. “Our app is designed to fill a gigantic void in the industry and transform layovers from agonizing experiences to exciting adventures.”

The app is available now on iOS, Android and Blackberry devices.

See: http://www.smartlayover.com/slportal/index.php/mobile-app-download/

SOURCE: Smart Layover


Sydney Airport app for Android™ available now

Android users will now be able to access information on Australia’s global gateway in the palm of their hand with the official Sydney Airport app for Android launched June 11, 2013.

“More than 70,000 people have already downloaded the Sydney Airport iPhone app. Given its success, we’ve now customized the app for our Android customers to ensure this great app is available to everyone,” Sydney Airport Chief Executive Officer Kerrie Mather said.

This new app means that whether you’re travelling or accompanying friends or family, all the information on T1 International and T2 Domestic terminals is at your fingertips, where and when you need it.

Importantly, the app is free and available in both English and simplified Chinese to enable a wide range of travellers to plan their trip simply and effectively.

China is one of our largest and fastest growing markets so it makes sense to ensure Chinese speakers can also easily access airport information via their phone. Sydney Airport is working hard to ensure that we are ’China-ready’ and is continually looking to enhance the experience of our Chinese-speaking travellers.
Like the iPhone app, the Android app helps customers to plan their trip by providing useful information on transport, transfers and parking.

The app is particularly handy for keeping track of flight times and updates, with live flight information for all departing and arriving flights, as well as the ability to subscribe to flight status push updates direct to your phone.

It also provides terminal maps so passengers can find check-in desks, gates and other services, as well as shops and eateries in the airport terminals.

“I encourage passengers to try it for themselves and download the Android or iPhone apps today,” Mather said.

See: http://www.sydneyairport.com.au/app.

SOURCE: Sydney Airport


Flexible airport terminal design towards a framework

See on Scoop.itAirport Marketing and Public Relations

Flexible Airport Terminal Design:Towards a Framework FlexibleSarah Shuchi, PhD Candidate, Queensland University of TechnologySupervisor: Prof. Robin Dro

See on es.slideshare.net

Airport Contingency Planning for Unexpected Passenger Delays

See on Scoop.itAirport Marketing and Public Relations

Safety and reliability are critical issues in the airport industry just as price and location are in retail sales. However, unlike location, airport reliability is consistently under siege from unexpected events such as extreme weather, geological events, power outages, and security threats.

See on onlinepubs.trb.org

San Francisco considers naming airport for Harvey Milk

See on Scoop.itAirport Marketing and Public Relations

A San Francisco lawmaker last week introduced legislation that would ask voters to rename the city’s airport after slain gay rights leader Harvey Milk.

See on www.mycentraljersey.com

São Paulo calls bids for Airport rail link 

See on Scoop.itAirport Marketing and Public Relations

BRAZIL: Prequalification bids have been invited for construction of a rail link to São Paulo’s Guarulhos International Airport.

Caseyflies Media‘s insight:

‘This is a very important project for our city’, said the Mayor of Guarulhos Sebastião Almeida, adding that it would form a key part of the four-year Urban Mobility Plan which all Brazilian cities have been instructed to prepare. As well as airline passengers, he expects the rail link to be used by airport staff and residents of Guarulhos now commuting to and from the centre of São Paulo by car or bus.

See on www.railwaygazette.com

Virtual Tour | NZ Airports – Christchurch Airport

See on Scoop.itAirport Marketing and Public Relations

See on www.christchurchairport.co.nz

Runway reconstruction to resume at Tulsa International Airport – Tulsa World

See on Scoop.itAirport Marketing and Public Relations

kjrh.com Runway reconstruction to resume at Tulsa International Airport Tulsa World Beginning Wednesday, the main 10,000-foot north-south runway at Tulsa International Airport will be closed for construction for nearly six months, airport…

See on www.tulsaworld.com