Airport Business - 29

"A meeting with Sprit may be very
different than a meeting you might have
with American," he said. "Someone like
Sprit flies less than daily service typically
and they're typically looking at coming
in with low fare stimulation and that's
far different than what someone like
American is going after, which is that
core business traveler."
Pickering said it's important to
have one point person to work with
the airlines to keep the communication
"Often times the airport director is
too busy and gets pulled into too many
other projects," he said. "It's really
important to have one person on point
to work day in and day out with the
consultants and the airlines."

Airport was
impacted by
the loss of
Airlines in

Find Your Strengths
Bishop International Airport (FNT) is
rebuilding its air service after the loss of
Southwest Airlines in 2018.
Pat Corfman, director of marketing
and public relations for Bishop

International Airport, said AirTran set
the tone for FNT being the low fare
airport in Michigan, so they made a
concerted effort to get Allegiant Airlines.
American Airlines and United
Airlines have both ramped up service

New Airport Revenue Opportunities through
Creating Connections: Creating
Traveler and Airline Relationships

Airports are an obligatory stop on any
flight journey, yet they continue to
have little if any connection - digital or
otherwise - with travelers themselves. The
advent of the self-connecting passenger
gives airports new ways to connect with
travelers passing through their facility and,
just as important, provides entirely new
business opportunities.
Airports are already evolving from
utilitarian pass-through venues for flights
to comprehensive destinations serving
different traveler needs and desires. Retail,
food and beverage, lounges, even other
amenities like spas and movie theaters
have become commonplace at airports
around the globe, all intended to create
a positive experience for the leisure and
business traveler. And, of course, drive
revenues for the airlines, concessionaires,
retail operators and airport authorities
But despite this focus on the travel
customer's needs, most airports don't
have a direct digital connection with the
traveler. Their online presence is usually
limited to providing flight schedules
and car park information. They have
little visibility into individual passenger
itineraries and no way to engage with
the traveler before they enter the airport.
This relegation to a passive role in the
passenger's journey doesn't help build
strong customer relationships and it means
lost opportunities to generate revenue
from travelers.
How can airports claim a share of the air
travel buy flow? How does their inability
to create connections with airlines and

travelers affect their position in the air
travel ecosystem? And how can airports
create direct connections with the airlines
and travelers they serve cost-effectively,
and profitably?

An airport can quite easily acquire a fully
branded and integrated online reservation
system, optimized for the web and mobile
phones, that features just its airline clients
and just the flights that use its facility.

Tapping into the Air Travel Buy

Of course, seizing this revenue opportunity
isn't quite as simple as plugging booking
engine into an airport's current website;
there's plenty of competition. Nearly
every airline has a sophisticated booking
infrastructure designed to encourage
travelers to book with them directly, and
there are hundreds of OTAs and travel
inventory aggregators that offer booking
capabilities as well.

Existing online travel reservation systems
don't consider airports' goals at all. It's all
about the airline brand, the connection
and travel time, the price. It's all about
"minimum connection time," not the
right amount of time to let a passenger
get from one plane to another with a
minimum of stress and plenty of time
to relax, browse, shop and spend money
on airport amenities. Airports want to be
more than a thoroughfare between one
flight and another (it's why they often put
the thoroughfare through shops as soon as
you clear passport control).
The rise of the self-connecting passenger
is driving airports to consider a more
active role in travel planning and buying.
It's estimated that up to 92 percent
of travelers are willing to self-connect
under the right circumstances. Currently,
as much as 4 percent of all passenger
bookings could involve a self-connection,
according to research from Cranfield
University, the University of Edinburgh
Business School and Linköping University.

For airports to compete, they need more
than just a booking engine; they need to
leverage their unique position in the travel
marketplace: their facility. Airports who
want to cater to self-connect passengers
can consider a range of support services,
ffA booking system, yes, a basic
ffHelp desks and service personnel
trained to deal with self-connecting
passenger issues
ffNew signage
ffThrough-bag services to accelerate and
ease the transfer of bags

ffOptimized bag-recheck services, be it
through location or with personnel
Keeping self-connecting passenger traffic
airside, thus removing visa and document
issues and giving the passenger more time
to browse and buy in terminal shops
A fast-track service for connecting
passenger traffic
Positioning the airport as a service
and support provider, thus reducing
the anxiety and frustration that can
accompany the self-connecting passenger
No other entity in the passenger's journey
can provide these services, and the
revenue potential is considerable. Travelers
are willing to pay for these services,
bundled as part of their travel purchase or
purchased as an add-on later. And they're
willing to be notified about, and purchase,
enhanced airport services. If airports were
to take a more active role in the sale and
support of travel products, they could
improve their relationship with both their
primary customers - airlines - and the
passengers using their facilities. 

Self-connecting travelers can choose
which airports they transfer through, and
the airports that successfully cater to this
market are going to win business.
Today, there are range of technical
solutions that make it relatively easy for
airports to connect to airline systems.


Airport Business

Table of Contents for the Digital Edition of Airport Business

Inside the Fence
Industry Update
On the Wild Side
Change for Good
Cover Story: Economy Inflight
Williston Takes Flight
Enhance Airport and Airline Relations
FBOs and OEMs: Strange Bedfellows
Airport Guru
Solid Answers for Successful Airports
Product Focus
Animal Control on the Runway
Airport Business - 1
Airport Business - 2
Airport Business - 3
Airport Business - 4
Airport Business - 5
Airport Business - 6
Airport Business - Inside the Fence
Airport Business - Industry Update
Airport Business - 9
Airport Business - 10
Airport Business - 11
Airport Business - On the Wild Side
Airport Business - 13
Airport Business - 14
Airport Business - 15
Airport Business - Change for Good
Airport Business - 17
Airport Business - 18
Airport Business - 19
Airport Business - Cover Story: Economy Inflight
Airport Business - 21
Airport Business - 22
Airport Business - 23
Airport Business - 24
Airport Business - 25
Airport Business - Williston Takes Flight
Airport Business - 27
Airport Business - Enhance Airport and Airline Relations
Airport Business - 29
Airport Business - 30
Airport Business - 31
Airport Business - FBOs and OEMs: Strange Bedfellows
Airport Business - 33
Airport Business - Airport Guru
Airport Business - 35
Airport Business - Solid Answers for Successful Airports
Airport Business - 37
Airport Business - Product Focus
Airport Business - 39
Airport Business - Animal Control on the Runway
Airport Business - 41
Airport Business - 42
Airport Business - 43
Airport Business - 44