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Don’t let Fast Track slow your airport down

18 Jan 2023
Victoria Wallace

For many passengers, airport security is the worst part of their journey. Why? It’s stressful, there’s a lot to remember (belt off, shoes off, liquids in the correct containers), and it (usually) involves standing in a lengthy queue. Need we say more?

With this in mind, many airports have improved passengers’ experience by introducing an airport fast track booking system/software. The idea is that willing passengers pay an additional fee to pre-book a queue-jumping ticket and sail through security in a priority lane. Both the concept and airport technology are great in principle. However, pre-book fast track must be implemented and executed correctly to benefit the airport and its passengers.

Here we’ll discuss how to use an airport fast track reservation system/software effectively and avoid the common pitfalls associated with introducing pre-book fast track at the airport.

How to use your airport fast track booking system effectively

The idea of an airport fast track lane is to create a smoother, speedier, more positive passenger experience. Instead of wasting time standing in a lengthy security queue, passengers will have more time to relax at the airport, visit the restaurants, shop in the retail stores and enjoy the luxuries of the airport lounge.

An airport fast track booking system/software will enable you to sell reservations via your website. In addition to generating extra revenue for your airport, offering pre-booked fast track reservations is a great way to collect data about your passengers and obtain their marketing permissions, so you can get to know who they are before they visit your airport and have the means to send them relevant information and offers.

Moreover, an airport fast track reservation system/software arms your airport with important forecasting data so you can see how many passengers expect to use your fast track lane and allocate the required staff and resources efficiently. Utilising fast track booking data from your airport reservation system is crucial to ensuring you have the means to deliver the promised ‘fast track’ service.

Ensuring a smooth passenger experience

At Rezcomm, we’ve created a Security Fast Track module to help airports provide a smooth passenger experience. Our airport fast track booking system/software takes reservations online from passengers and sends a QR code ticket via email. At security, the passenger uses their mobile phone to scan their QR code and gain entry to a priority or ‘fast track’ lane. It facilitates a contactless airport passenger journey, which is more seamless and safer.

But what makes our airport fast track reservation system/software different is the focus on data. We encourage and support airports in utilising booking data from fast track reservations to gain real-time visibility to plan for peak times, promote the quiet ones, and deploy staff as required. Airports can also use this valuable data to understand passenger buying behaviour, cross-sell complementary products, control prices and optimise efficiency.

We also recommend that airports create strong communication channels with passengers to ensure a smooth fast track experience. For instance, with Rezcomm, airports can create emails to send to passengers before they reach the airport, so they know where to find the security fast track lane and how to access it with their QR code.

Airports can also follow this up with a push notification that is delivered to passengers’ mobiles upon entering the airport, reminding them of important information to get them through security quickly, such as emptying their pockets, ensuring items are placed on the conveyor built and checking they have correctly stored any liquids.

Sending out this information to passengers will help them sail through security as quickly as possible, ensuring they feel like they’ve got their money’s worth from their fast track ticket purchase.

Common pitfalls

As we’ve discussed, airport technology like fast track can significantly help process passengers more quickly and offer a better customer experience. However, one of the common pitfalls is when airports take too many pre-bookings.

You may remember that in the summer of last year, passengers were experiencing extremely long queues at many of the UK’s airports. This led to a sudden increase in the number of passengers purchasing fast track tickets, hoping it would get them through security quicker. Unfortunately, some airports weren’t ready for it and ended up with double the number of bookings than their fast track facility could cater for, leading to a lot of disgruntled passengers.

This is why it’s so important to use Rezcomm’s airport fast track booking system data to plan staffing and resources. Airports should only offer pre-book fast track if they have the capacity to ensure they’re reducing passenger wait times, not adding to them.

With the Rezcomm Marketplace, you have real-time booking data at your fingertips. In addition, we make it easy for airports to limit the number of pre-booked fast track tickets sold or set rules regarding how far in advance passengers can pre-book fast track tickets before their departure time. This ensures airports don’t oversell and put a strain on their operations or get an influx of passengers booking fast track services last minute.

Future proofing – airport terminal optimisation

In addition to offering fast track to improve the passenger experience, it’s also worth considering other ways to optimise your airport terminal for greater efficiency, for example, with Contactless Customer Service. Reduce your resource needs and eliminate the need for passengers to queue at customer support desks in your airport. Instead, invite passengers to scan a QR code at your airport to access a digital support portal and connect them with your airport’s remote customer service team.

We’ve already touched on the importance of using customer data from your airport fast track reservation system/software for forecasting and planning. However, there’s also value in collecting and analysing passenger data throughout their airport journeys.

Our KPI and Feedback System enables passengers to scan a QR code displayed at various touchpoints in your airport to leave their feedback. The information is delivered in real time so you can take corrective action immediately if required. For example, suppose passengers leave negative feedback at security because of long queue times. In that case, you can instantly deploy more staff to rectify the problem and even send the passenger a voucher for a free coffee as a goodwill gesture.

It’s all about utilising the data available to you to increase efficiency and provide the best possible service, and Rezcomm is the solution to help you do that. Download the Rezcomm Venue brochure to learn more, and book a meeting with our team to find out exactly how we can fast track your airport’s success.