“Travelers have gladly returned to air travel and they are generally satisfied with the airport experience. However, as the airport security process becomes less time consuming for many travelers who enroll in expedited screening programs, the amount of time that passengers spend in the concourse is also condensed, limiting the amount of time travelers have to shop. Concourse businesses must innovate to provide value to flyers, giving them a reason to spend time and money while at the airport.”

–    Mike Gallinari, Senior Travel & Leisure Analyst

This report discusses the following key topics:

  • What drives satisfaction and dissatisfaction in different classes of airports
  • The stressors experienced by passengers
  • The dining experiences desired by travelers
  • The retail shopping habits of people in airports
  • Which tech solutions are most and least appealing to visitors

Table of Contents

  1. Overview

    • What you need to know
      • This Report looks at the following areas
        • Definition
          • Market context
          • Executive Summary

              • Top takeaways
                • Market overview
                  • Figure 1: Airport retail outlook, 2022-27
                • Airport passenger insights
                  • Figure 2: Passenger demographics, by airport type, 2022
                • Opportunities
                  • Build on already-high airport satisfaction
                    • Figure 3: Overall airport satisfaction, by airport type and by screening status, 2022
                  • Deliver tech options to willing travelers
                    • Figure 4: Attitudes toward airport tech – Nets, 2022
                  • Make it quick: expand fast and easy airport dining options
                    • Figure 5: Dining considerations, by generation, 2022
                  • Challenges
                    • Crowds and costs stress people out
                      • Figure 6: Airport stressors, 2022
                    • The three-hour shot clock
                      • Figure 7: Satisfaction with the airport concourse experience, by time frame in airport, 2022
                    • Travelers’ shopping is needs-based – They can be hard to motivate
                      • Figure 8: Retail considerations, 2022
                  • Market Value Indicators

                    • Airport retail poised for growth, with new emphasis on domestic travel
                      • Most airports would provide value if leased to private investors
                      • Target Audience: Airline Passengers

                        • Air travel has rebounded, but the passengers are different
                          • Figure 9: Flight types, 2022
                        • Different types of airports serve passengers with nuanced differences
                          • Figure 10: Most recent departure airport type, 2022
                          • Figure 11: Passenger demographics, by airport type, 2022
                        • Passengers are captive audiences, albeit briefly
                          • Figure 12: Time spent in the airport, 2022
                        • Destinations’ related airports have limited time to make an impression
                          • Figure 13: Time spent in the airport pre-departure, by airport type, 2022
                          • Figure 14: Layover time spent in the airport, by airport type, 2022
                      • Market Perspective

                          • Airports
                            • Businesses
                              • DMOs
                              • Market Factors

                                • Brace for more passengers, with shorter airport stays
                                  • Figure 15: TSA monthly throughput, 2019-22
                                • Infrastructure bill lays the groundwork for airport privatization
                                  • Economic factors shift revenue sources
                                    • Figure 16: Consumer Price Index change from previous period, 2007-22
                                    • Figure 17: Value of US dollar against basket of currencies, 2021-22
                                  • ULCCs can bring ultra-low spenders
                                  • Competitive Strategies and Market Opportunities

                                      • Retail
                                        • Dufry makes the play for digital savvy Gen Z
                                          • Hudson “Evolves” with revolving selection
                                            • Food and beverage
                                              • Chicago gives visitors a taste
                                                • Figure 18: O’Hare Chicago Restaurant Week tweet, 2022
                                              • Quick shots have long effects
                                                • Enjoyment
                                                  • LaGuardia’s redesign sure to please modern travelers
                                                    • Capital One separates the airport lounge from airline loyalty
                                                    • The Airport Experience – Fast Facts

                                                      • Everyone hates the airport, right?
                                                        • But security is a drag, though, right?
                                                          • Well, what does stress people out?
                                                            • Can passengers just eat their feelings?
                                                              • Could they use some retail therapy?
                                                                • Can tech solve any of this?
                                                                • Satisfaction with the Airport Experience

                                                                  • People like airports! Now, help passengers like them more
                                                                    • Figure 19: Overall airport satisfaction, by airport type and by screening status, 2022
                                                                  • Improve crowd management, not check-in process
                                                                    • Figure 20: Satisfaction with pre-concourse airport experience, 2022
                                                                  • Use strengths to shore up weaknesses
                                                                    • Figure 21: Satisfaction with the airport concourse experience, 2022
                                                                  • Focus on airport businesses to for bigger satisfaction gains
                                                                    • Figure 22: Key drivers of satisfaction with departure airport, 2022
                                                                    • Figure 23: Key drivers of satisfaction with departure airport, 2022
                                                                • The Airport Experience Up Through Security

                                                                  • Gen Z travelers may have heightened efficiency expectations
                                                                    • Figure 24: Satisfaction with security process and expedited security status, by generation, 2022
                                                                  • Smaller airports have room to improve their pre-concourse processes
                                                                    • Figure 25: Satisfaction with pre-concourse airport experience, by airport type, 2022
                                                                • The Concourse Experience

                                                                  • National airports drive overall satisfaction
                                                                    • Figure 26: Satisfaction with the airport concourse experience, by airport type, 2022
                                                                  • Gen Z needs some guidance
                                                                    • Figure 27: Satisfaction with the airport concourse experience, by generation, 2022
                                                                  • Everything stinks after three hours
                                                                    • Figure 28: Satisfaction with the airport concourse experience, by time frame in airport, 2022
                                                                • Airport Stressors

                                                                  • Elbow room helps passengers relax
                                                                    • Figure 29: Airport stressors, 2022
                                                                  • Generational differences require varied stress solutions
                                                                    • Figure 30: Airport stressors, by generation, 2022
                                                                  • Millennials demand a more inclusive definition of accessibility
                                                                    • Figure 31: Attitudes toward accessibility, by generation, 2022
                                                                  • Local airports have to step up their sanitation
                                                                    • Figure 32: Airport stressors, by airport type, 2022
                                                                • Airport Dining

                                                                  • Speed is the name of the game
                                                                    • Figure 33: Dining considerations, 2022
                                                                  • Use tech, newness to increase Gen Z purchasing
                                                                    • Figure 34: Dining considerations, by generation, 2022
                                                                  • National airports can stand out through local food
                                                                    • Figure 35: Dining considerations, by airport type, 2022
                                                                • Airport Retail

                                                                  • Shoppers are purpose-driven
                                                                    • Figure 36: Retail considerations, 2022
                                                                  • Local airports should have a narrower focus
                                                                    • Figure 37: Retail considerations, by airport type, 2022
                                                                  • Bringing in younger shoppers means focusing on their habits
                                                                    • Figure 38: Retail considerations, by generation, 2022
                                                                  • Airport shoppers may be open to innovation
                                                                    • Figure 39: Attitudes toward airport shopping – Nets, 2022
                                                                  • Efficiency may attract short-timers
                                                                    • Figure 40: Attitudes toward airport shopping – Nets, by time spent in airport, 2022
                                                                • Attitudes toward Airport Tech

                                                                  • Passengers like tech on their terms
                                                                    • Figure 41: Attitudes toward airport tech – Nets, 2022
                                                                  • Mobile solutions are preferred by younger travelers
                                                                    • Figure 42: Attitudes toward airport tech – Nets, by generation, 2022
                                                                  • Expedited screening: biometric vs nonbiometric
                                                                    • Figure 43: Attitudes toward biometrics – Nets, by screening status, 2022
                                                                • Appendix – Data Sources and Abbreviations

                                                                  • Data sources
                                                                    • Consumer survey data
                                                                      • Abbreviations and terms
                                                                        • Abbreviations
                                                                        • Appendix – Key Driver Analysis

                                                                            • Figure 44: Level of satisfaction with departure airport – Key driver output, 2022
                                                                          • Methodology

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