Take offs & Landings
Tomorrow is Now Arriving: Ideas for air travel come from all quarters. Plus new route news
For many frequent business travelers, the airport is literally a means to an end. After all, it’s called a‘terminal’for a reason; the airport is the end point, either at the beginning or the completion of the journey. There was a time when airport design, services and amenities were utilitarian, oriented to throughput rather than stay-awhile hospitality.
Today airport management and some very savvy retailers have wised up to the presence of lots of travelers in a relatively confined space. For example, Mall of America, the largest shopping mall in the US, welcomes around 42 million visitors annually; by contrast, Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson International, the busiest airport in the world, hosted over 100 million guests last year.
Consequently airports are increasingly coming to be viewed – and to view themselves – as more than jumping off points. According to a recent survey from Priority Pass, the independent airport lounge access program, more than half (53 percent) of the 3,000 frequent travelers polled said that the airport is something to be enjoyed.
“We are witnessing an important shift in mind-set when it comes to the airport experience,”says Stephen Simpson, global marketing director for Priority Pass, part of Collinson Group.“It is clear that today’s frequent fliers no longer view themselves as passengers merely transiting the airport but as consumers seeking more rewarding travel journeys.”
An important factor in that shift is the rise of the so-called‘digital’flier. A separate