Manchester Airport Group

Helping the runway visitor park at Manchester Airport take root

The Runway Visitor Park at Manchester Airport attracts thousands of visitors each year whether they are going on escorted tours, exploring the aircraft or watching the planes take off. As well as helping them create a new website we’ve also designed and built a solid, flexible booking engine which allows customers to pre-book tours to ensure they get on the tour they want.

The Runway Visitor Park (RVP) website is built on the Lotus Domino CMS. We designed and built the site in a very short time-frame to enable the RVP team to showcase the range of things you can do at the park and detail upcoming events.

Runway Visitor Park Website

The booking engine system, is an extension of our bespoke car park booking application, built for Manchester Airports Group. It allows for events to be created (tours) and capacity to be assigned on a per event basis. Reports are sent through daily to the RVP staff with the names of customers booked on specific tours so that the can accurately manage staff resourcing.

User research carried out by ourselves identified two main journeys for booking tickets such as these, both of which are catered for with this system. The first is users wishing to book with a specific tour in mind and the second is users with a specific date in mind but they are less concerned about the tour they go one.

As with any booking engine we create, e-commerce best practice has been applied. We’ve removed the distraction of navigation etc to focus on the users primary goal (making a booking). Field lengths are appropriate to the values they should contain. The basket fixes as the user scrolls so it’s always in view. Security messages are included to gain trust plus a lot more besides.

Persuasive selling techniques are also implemented through the system. For example when tours receive a certain number of bookings a message shows highlighted that there are “only 3 places left” on a specific tour to create urgency.

Tickets are sent to the customer via PDF (or post if they prefer) which are all generated on the fly with specific booking reference numbers. Users can also purchase gift vouchers through the system. The receiver of the vouchers can then use the booking engine to redeem those vouchers when booking their tour.

Runway Visitor Park Booking Engine

In short, the system, is extremely robust, flexible and easy-to-use for both users and administrators alike.

The Results

Since launch, the number of bookings made for tours and number of vouchers purchased online has increased markedly. A secondary benefit of the system is that the administration required to manage tours and bookings has been reduced significantly to allow staff to concentrate on other important factors of their jobs.