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5 Ways to Create a Stress-free Pre-boarding Experience for Passengers

12 Oct 2023
Victoria Wallace

Airports can be stressful experiences for passengers, who often have to juggle finding parking, waiting in lines, and rushing to gates to make it to their flight on time. This doesn’t just impact passengers — a bad customer experience can also impact your bottom line. In fact, 42% of customers will pay more when offered a friendly, more welcoming experience, and an improved customer experience can increase company revenue by 10-15%.

The good news is that airports have the tools to help ease this stress and improve the passenger experience. And there’s no need to wait until passengers have arrived to start making their experience better. Through smart use of technology and proactive planning, airports can start improving the experience long before a passenger sets foot in the terminal.

What can your airport do to minimise passenger stress?

1. Keep passengers informed before their journey begins

Stress around air travel often starts long before a passenger arrives at the airport. Uncertainty about flight status, what to pack, or how early to arrive can all contribute to pre-travel anxiety. Communicating with passengers early, even before they leave home, helps set the tone for a more relaxed, efficient experience at the airport.

Real-time flight updates via targeted messaging

One practical approach to keeping passengers in the loop is sending real-time flight updates. Using targeted messaging through SMS, emails, or app notifications ensures that passengers receive these critical updates directly, eliminating the need to for them to go online and search for it themselves.

Having real-time flight information right at their fingertips removes the element of surprise and uncertainty, enabling passengers to manage their time better and reduce stress.

2. Simplify the airport parking experience

We’ve all been there: circling a crowded car park, watching the minutes tick closer to flight time as stress levels rise. That initial frustration around parking can colour their entire airport experience, and that’s not the first impression any airport wants to make.

Encourage early parking planning with pre-booking options

Enabling passengers to pre-book parking spots can remove one of the biggest uncertainties in their journey: finding parking upon arrival. When they know a spot is waiting for them, they can focus on other aspects of their trip, reducing stress levels substantially.

Share live parking spaces updates on your mobile app

Passengers who don’t opt for pre-booking needn’t be left out in the cold. You can implement real-time parking spot availability on your airport’s mobile app so passengers can head straight to available spots instead of circling the lot aimlessly, making the start of their journey more efficient and less stressful.

3. Reduce waiting time at check-in counters

Standing in long, winding queues at check-in counters is nobody’s idea of a good time. Traditional queues are not just a point of annoyance; they can be a significant time sink that ramps up stress levels before a flight.

Implement virtual queuing

A modern solution to this age-old problem is virtual queuing. Instead of physically standing in line, passengers can join a virtual queue via their smartphones. They can receive a text or app notification when it’s their turn to check-in. During the waiting period, they can relax, shop, or dine, turning what used to be ‘wasted’ time into an opportunity for a more positive airport experience — and more non-aeronautical revenue for your airport.

Implementing a virtual queuing system doesn’t just make the process more efficient, it completely enhances the passenger experience. This straightforward change in how queuing works can save passengers time and cut down on stress. It shows you’re thinking about their comfort and their schedule, which starts their journey off on the right foot.

4. Speed up airport security with security fast track

Airport security can be nerve-wracking for passengers, with 47% finding it to be the most stressful part of their journey. While rigorous checks are crucial for everyone’s safety, they often create bottlenecks that can be both time-consuming and anxiety-inducing.

Implement security fast track tickets

Pre-bookable security fast track tickets enable passengers to reduce the time spent in queue and breeze through security. You could also offer specialised or premium bundles for specific passenger groups like business travellers or VIPs who often operate on tighter schedules.

By addressing this major pain point, you’re improving airport efficiency and giving passengers back valuable time they can use as they choose, which can be a huge relief and make their overall airport experience much more positive.

5. Create an inviting lounge experience

Passengers have made it through check-in and security, and now they’re craving a peaceful space to unwind before boarding the flight. A relaxing airport lounge can be just the respite they’re looking for, turning potentially stressful downtime into a welcome break.

Guarantee a spot with advance lounge bookings

Encourage passengers to book their lounge spot ahead of time with pre-booking access through your airport’s app or website. Knowing they have a quiet, comfy spot waiting for them can change the entire tone of their airport experience, from one of rushing and waiting to one of ease and leisure.

Add value with customisable lounge upgrades

Airports around the world offer the basics like free Wi-Fi, refreshments, and charging stations. Consider offering personalised upsells that can set your lounge apart and take the passenger experience to another level. Whether it’s a premium beverage like a glass of champagne or the option to extend their stay for an additional hour, these little extras make the lounge more than just a waiting area; they make it a highlight of the airport experience.

By creating a serene and inviting lounge space, you’re offering an invaluable service to ease passenger stress at the airport and leave them with a positive impression of your airport.

Implementing the technology to create a stress-free airport experience

The key to easing airport stress for passengers lies in harnessing the power of modern technology. From data analytics and automation to seamless system integration, the right tech solutions can elevate both operational efficiency and passenger satisfaction.

Rezcomm can help you take your airport’s operational efficiency and passenger satisfaction to the next level. Download our brochure, watch our video, or get in touch to know more about how we can work with you to minimise passenger stress and improve passenger satisfaction.