Pressures on spend mean terminals need to increase dwell and patronage similar to a private members club, along the lines of a successful airline lounge. In doing so, revenue will flow.
Harry Selfridge, who founded Selfridges in London, had an underlying philosophy that his store shouldn’t be seen simply as a ‘shop’ where he sold ‘stuff’. He was passionate about Selfridges being a social and cultural center where people could commune, relax, browse and enjoy the experience.
Why would passengers choose to go to the airport early? The answer is that airports have the potential to offer personalized comfort to passengers, with a range and quality of experiences currently only available at airline lounges.
Catering for the need to meet, work, relax, eat, drink, shop and be entertained, airports should offer everyone the kind of experience that currently requires membership. The main lounge should be the key selling point.
Processes will remain vital, but key to success will be a relevant, customer-focused brand. Airports have strong brand identities, but these tend to emphasize the operational side. In the coming decades, it will be more akin to curating a resort and creating a positive and memorable passenger experience.