What makes airports so interesting?

Award Winning Airport Websites From KMP Digitata


Off the back of work for Aberdeen Airport winning the award for Best B2C business project at the big chip awards I thought it would be interesting to share why we find airports so interesting and give you some of the insight that makes working with Airports and their passengers so unique.

A very unique challenge

So here is the challenge, more than half of all visitors to an airport website are not looking for the thing that the Airport is looking to sell (that’s car parking, for those of you who don’t work for an airport).  Where in most cases a visitor to an e-commerce website is looking to buy something and the ultimate job of the e-commerce website is to convince the user to buy it from that site an Airport does not have that luxury as the vast majority of Airport website users are only interested in one thing – live flight information.

Ok, so this isn’t totally unique, but this is a problem that is particularly exaggerated for airports

The other challenge that airports have is a lack of information about their passengers, at this point, if you work for an airport I’ll make a scarily accurate prediction look at the number of passengers through your airport, however many millions that may be – now look at your passenger data, based on our experience I predict you have data on less than 6% of all of your passengers, and if you are at the top end of that 6% I reckon you get your passengers to register for Wifi.

A very interesting opportunity

One thing we realised is that the two challenges here actually had hidden within them some very exciting and interesting opportunities.  They need a bit of explaining but, when you realise what Airports have the ability to do, you’ll see why I think airports are so interesting

Look really hard at that first challenge

What you’ll see is that a typical airport website user is not just happy to part with some personal information, they are keen to give it to you – a flight number.  And this is a very powerful thing, once a user gives a flight number over there are some things we know about them like:

  • Whether they are inbound or outbound
  • Where they are coming from / going to
  • Who they are flying with
  • Their timings (when they will be flying)
  • Whether they are negatively impacted by anything (delays / cancellations)

Add another little dimension that we don’t have to work hard for and we know a bit more about them – we know what time it is when they ask for their flight information so we also know:

  • How long until their flight

Add a final dimension to this, a users physical location and suddenly we have all of the contextual information we need to deliver an award winning digital experience. We know:

  • If they are early or late for their flight (we can even predict if they will make it in time)
  • If they have time to kill at the airport
  • If they might need fast tracking through security
  • If they may need onward travel info from the airport (for arrivals)
  • And the list goes on….

The point is that from 3 simple pieces of information that the vast majority of users are willing to give we can deliver an experience that is useful, providing a helpful passenger experience that eases the journey to, from and through the airport whilst providing contextual opportunities to drive revenue – like same day parking, lounge bookings, fast track security, F&B incentives and promoting retail such as duty free.

The more useful we make this the more likely we are to gain data on our passengers – one of the biggest drivers alongside car park bookings and wifi registrations that we have found is signing up for live flight alerts by twitter or email.

And all of that is just the beginning, there are some huge opportunities for airports to utilise digital to enhance and commercialise the passenger journey

See. I told you Airports were interesting


Simon Haven

Head of Client Services

Want to find out more about what we can do for your airport? Get in touch.