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Guidelines for Improving Airport Services for International Customers (2016)

Chapter:Chapter 2 - The Customer Experience

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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 2 - The Customer Experience." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Guidelines for Improving Airport Services for International Customers. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23683.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 2 - The Customer Experience." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Guidelines for Improving Airport Services for International Customers. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23683.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 2 - The Customer Experience." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Guidelines for Improving Airport Services for International Customers. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23683.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 2 - The Customer Experience." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Guidelines for Improving Airport Services for International Customers. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23683.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 2 - The Customer Experience." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Guidelines for Improving Airport Services for International Customers. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23683.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 2 - The Customer Experience." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Guidelines for Improving Airport Services for International Customers. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23683.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 2 - The Customer Experience." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Guidelines for Improving Airport Services for International Customers. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23683.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 2 - The Customer Experience." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Guidelines for Improving Airport Services for International Customers. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23683.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 2 - The Customer Experience." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Guidelines for Improving Airport Services for International Customers. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23683.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 2 - The Customer Experience." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Guidelines for Improving Airport Services for International Customers. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23683.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 2 - The Customer Experience." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Guidelines for Improving Airport Services for International Customers. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23683.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 2 - The Customer Experience." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Guidelines for Improving Airport Services for International Customers. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23683.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 2 - The Customer Experience." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Guidelines for Improving Airport Services for International Customers. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23683.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 2 - The Customer Experience." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Guidelines for Improving Airport Services for International Customers. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23683.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 2 - The Customer Experience." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Guidelines for Improving Airport Services for International Customers. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23683.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 2 - The Customer Experience." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Guidelines for Improving Airport Services for International Customers. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23683.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 2 - The Customer Experience." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Guidelines for Improving Airport Services for International Customers. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23683.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 2 - The Customer Experience." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Guidelines for Improving Airport Services for International Customers. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23683.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 2 - The Customer Experience." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Guidelines for Improving Airport Services for International Customers. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23683.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 2 - The Customer Experience." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Guidelines for Improving Airport Services for International Customers. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23683.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 2 - The Customer Experience." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Guidelines for Improving Airport Services for International Customers. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23683.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 2 - The Customer Experience." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Guidelines for Improving Airport Services for International Customers. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23683.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 2 - The Customer Experience." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Guidelines for Improving Airport Services for International Customers. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23683.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 2 - The Customer Experience." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Guidelines for Improving Airport Services for International Customers. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23683.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 2 - The Customer Experience." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Guidelines for Improving Airport Services for International Customers. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23683.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 2 - The Customer Experience." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Guidelines for Improving Airport Services for International Customers. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23683.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 2 - The Customer Experience." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Guidelines for Improving Airport Services for International Customers. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23683.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 2 - The Customer Experience." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Guidelines for Improving Airport Services for International Customers. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23683.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 2 - The Customer Experience." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Guidelines for Improving Airport Services for International Customers. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23683.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 2 - The Customer Experience." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Guidelines for Improving Airport Services for International Customers. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23683.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 2 - The Customer Experience." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Guidelines for Improving Airport Services for International Customers. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23683.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 2 - The Customer Experience." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Guidelines for Improving Airport Services for International Customers. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23683.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 2 - The Customer Experience." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Guidelines for Improving Airport Services for International Customers. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23683.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 2 - The Customer Experience." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Guidelines for Improving Airport Services for International Customers. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23683.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 2 - The Customer Experience." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Guidelines for Improving Airport Services for International Customers. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23683.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 2 - The Customer Experience." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Guidelines for Improving Airport Services for International Customers. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23683.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 2 - The Customer Experience." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Guidelines for Improving Airport Services for International Customers. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23683.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 2 - The Customer Experience." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Guidelines for Improving Airport Services for International Customers. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23683.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 2 - The Customer Experience." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Guidelines for Improving Airport Services for International Customers. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23683.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 2 - The Customer Experience." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Guidelines for Improving Airport Services for International Customers. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23683.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 2 - The Customer Experience." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Guidelines for Improving Airport Services for International Customers. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23683.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 2 - The Customer Experience." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Guidelines for Improving Airport Services for International Customers. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23683.
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Suggested Citation:"Chapter 2 - The Customer Experience." National Academies of Sciences, Engineering, and Medicine. 2016. Guidelines for Improving Airport Services for International Customers. Washington, DC: The National Academies Press. doi: 10.17226/23683.
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8The airport customer experience is heavily influenced by the processes and activities they engage in along their journey. Further, during each stage of the journey, various stakeholders have substantial interaction with each customer, whether in person or through technology. This chapter documents the key elements of the customers’ journey, identifies the stakeholders involved in each segment of the journey, and describes the factors affecting the customer experience at the airport. Notable innovations for improving the customer experience are identified in subsequent chapters that include detailed descriptions of each of the journey segments. 2.1 Journey Segments The international air passenger’s journey at U.S. airports consists of one or more of the following segments: international departures, international arrivals, precleared arrivals, and connecting passengers. International departures in the United States are handled similarly to domestic departures with the addition of travel documentation confirmation prior to boarding the flight. Unlike in many countries in Europe, the Middle East, or Asia, all passen- gers arriving from locations outside the United States are subject to U.S. CBP examination. There is no distinction made for passengers who may be connecting to other destinations outside the United States. Precleared arriving passengers are subject to U.S. CBP examina- tion at their point of departure and therefore arrive in the United States cleared to enter the country. In some cases, the precleared passengers arrive at domestic terminals in the United States. 2.1.1 International Departing Passengers The international departures journey segment begins with the pre-trip planning and ends at the gate holdroom (see Figure 2-1). The key functions and activities of the international departures process include: • Pre-trip planning • Journey to the airport • Airport roadway access (including parking) • Terminal departures roadway • Pre-security services and amenities • Ticketing/check-in • Security screening • Post-security concessions and amenities • Boarding C H A P T E R 2 The Customer Experience

The Customer Experience 9 Pre-Trip Planning: Pre-trip planning is the time spent by customers to prepare themselves for the air travel portion of their journey. Customers most likely use airport and airline websites or mobile apps to become familiar with what to expect during the travel experience. The crucial information customers need at this step in the journey includes: • Mode of transportation to the airport • Airline location (terminal/concourse) • Baggage allowances and fees • Check-in options • Security screening procedures and availability of special services such as TSA Pre • Concessions, services, and amenities available pre- and post-security Journey to the Airport: Customers may choose to drive themselves to the airport or use a variety of for-hire or public transportation services. Airport websites should provide a wealth of information about the various ways customers can arrive at the airport, including registered ground transportation service providers, approximate cost, and drop-off locations. Airport Access Roadway: The airport operator is responsible for maintaining the airport access roadway and signage. Signage is a key element of the customer experience. It should provide information about each terminal, the location of the airlines, and the available parking options. ACRP Report 52, Wayfinding and Signing Guidelines for Airport Terminals and Landside, provides guidance for airport access roadway signage. Parking: The airport operator and independent off-airport parking operators typically pro- vide a wide range of parking options for travelers. International departing passengers driving themselves to the airport are likely to use long-term parking due to the lower cost and the length of their trip. The drop-off points for the parking shuttle should allow customers to easily navigate to the ticketing-check-in area. International departing passengers being dropped-off by family members or friends will likely use the terminal parking garage. Airport operators should consider providing hourly parking in the terminal parking garage to allow well-wishers to drop-off their party without incurring the daily parking rate. Terminal Departures Roadway: The terminal departures roadway and signage presents the first opportunity for multiple parties to influence the customer experience. Clear wayfinding signage should direct customers arriving by private vehicles and commercial or public ground transportation services to the appropriate roadway. Wayfinding signage also should direct customers arriving via commercial or public ground transportation services who are not dropped-off at the departures roadway. These customers may need directions from a consolidated ground transportation center or from other facilities remote from the terminal. Source: ACRP 03-35 Research Team Figure 2-1. International departing passenger journey.

10 Guidelines for Improving Airport Services for International Customers Traffic enforcement on the terminal departures roadway is another key component of the cus- tomer experience. Law enforcement officers often must be firm and direct in maintaining orderly and safe roadway operations. Officers need to recognize the diversity of the passenger demographic associated with international departures and their training should include procedures to learn how to effectively communicate with customers who may have limited English capabilities. Curbside check-in is not as common at terminals that primarily serve international depar- tures as at domestic terminals. This is mainly due to the limited number of flights each foreign airline provides on a daily basis. Single-airline terminals or those with both international and domestic flights will likely have curbside check-in. When provided, it is the responsibility of the airline or their contract service provider to maintain a helpful and courteous attitude just as pas- sengers should expect to experience inside the terminal. Information about the cost of utilizing curbside check-in services is necessary to establish the customers’ expectations as prices vary from airline to airline and airport to airport. Pre-security Services and Amenities: International travel requires substantial documenta- tion and passengers typically arrive at the terminal two or more hours before their flights or as advised by the airport or airline. Customers needing to conduct personal or commercial busi- ness before entering the secure area may require amenities such as a business center. This type of amenity is typically a commercial service provided by the terminal owner/operator. Departing passengers visiting the United States and staying at a hotel may have a flight depar- ture time several hours after the hotel’s checkout time. These customers may require baggage storage services or pre-security amenities such as food and beverage outlets. These types of amenities are typically commercial services provided by the terminal owner/operator. Pre-security information counters provide another important customer service. These coun- ters are typically staffed by employees of the terminal owner/operator or volunteers. They pro- vide personal assistance to customers needing information about the airport and/or local region. Ticketing/Check-in: Ticketing and check-in processes and options vary significantly at airports across the world. European airports place a high level of focus on providing a variety of self-service check-in options as the primary means of check-in. Middle East and Asian airports still rely heavily on full-service agent-based check-in. Most airports serving large volumes of international travelers also provide separate or distinct ticketing/check-in facilities for premium passengers. U.S. airport terminal owners/operators and airlines need to understand the check-in prefer- ences of their customers and provide a variety of options to meet the myriad needs. This may be more difficult to implement in terminals where international air service is provided by a variety of foreign carriers with one or two flights per day and therefore, are less inclined to make the investment in additional self-service check-in options. Alternatively, the focus may be about providing a premium experience for every customer regardless of travel class. In a multi-carrier terminal, it may be necessary for the terminal owner/operator to take the lead in establishing the type of check-in options that will be provided. The attitude and availability of check-in staff is another key component of the customer expe- rience. Airlines typically have the primary responsibility for customer service during the check- in process, whether through airline staff or contract service providers. Airlines understand their customer demographics and can provide staff with the necessary cultural understanding and language capabilities to serve their customers. Wayfinding in the departures hall is associated with two key elements: airline check-in loca- tion and security checkpoint location. It is the terminal owner/operator responsibility to ensure the signage is clearly visible from all entry points. In a common-use environment, dynamic information displays may be necessary to identify the airline check-in locations as the assign- ments change throughout the day.

The Customer Experience 11 Security Screening: Security screening in U.S. airports is a major source of stress for customers, primarily stemming from concern about wait times and screening procedures. While secu- rity screening procedures in the United States are relatively consistent from airport to airport, they differ substantially from airports outside the United States. In particular, U.S. government policy requires the airlines to confirm that passengers have the appropriate travel documentation, eliminating the need for a government-operated passport control or visa check prior to or after security screening. Communicating the security screening procedures is important in reducing customer anxiety and improving the customer experience. This is particularly true for foreign visitors who have not traveled to the United States before and have not processed through a security checkpoint at a U.S. airport. More and more terminal owner/operators in the United States are providing wait time infor- mation for security checkpoints. This information may be provided on the airport’s website, on a mobile app, or in real-time on terminal signage. Wait time information helps to calm customers’ anxiety about whether they have enough time to make it to their gate or do some pre-planned shopping before departure. The attitudes of security screening personnel are another important factor in the customer experience. With the TSA responsible for operating the security checkpoints at most U.S. airport terminals, the terminal owner/operator, airline, and TSA stakeholders must work collaboratively to understand the passenger demographics to create an environment that facilitates efficient processing while maintaining a comfortable environment for customers. Post-Security Concessions and Amenities: Concessions and amenities provided post- security vary widely from airport to airport, not just in the United States but also across the world. The types of these offerings are driven in large part by the passenger demographics served by each terminal. A common trend among U.S. airports is to create a sense of place by providing food and beverage outlets reflective of the surrounding community. While this gives connecting passengers a chance to experience the culture of the region, the personal needs of the customers should be accommodated by providing appropriate options, such as restaurants serving global cuisine. Prayer or worship rooms are another important cultural consideration. Terminal owners/operators are primarily responsible for identifying the concessions and amenities best suited to their customer demographics. The attitudes of concessions and amenities staff also influence the customer experience. Ter- minal owners/operators should develop customer service training programs and service objec- tives in conjunction with concession providers to ensure a uniform approach is taken so the delivery of customer service aligns with both parties’ brand. The availability of free WiFi is probably one of the most important amenities customers desire and have come to expect. Some airports provide limited access to free WiFi while others pro- vided unlimited access through commercial sponsorships while others just require some basic information about the passenger. International passengers are especially interested in WiFi as it may be their only means of contacting family and friends while traveling in the United States. Information booths provide another important post-security customer service function. These are commonly staffed by employees of the terminal owner/operator or volunteers who provide personal assistance to customers who need information about their airport journey. The location and visibility of information booths or customer assistance staff is important. They should generally be positioned in intersections where customers have to make a decision about which direction to walk or after key processes, such as the security checkpoint. Staff should be capable of providing a wide variety of information and language assistance. Flight Information Displays (FIDS) and static/dynamic directories provide customers with a self-service source of information to assist with navigation through the airport. These items should be located at key intersections, such as after the security checkpoint, connecting corridors

12 Guidelines for Improving Airport Services for International Customers between terminals or concourses, and at the entrance and exit to automated people movers or underground corridors. Post-security restrooms are some of the most heavily utilized facilities in the terminal and have a major influence on the customer experience. Restroom availability (location and operability), ambience (design and environment), and maintainability (cleanliness) are important factors to consider. ACRP Report 130: Guidebook for Airport Terminal Restroom Planning and Design is a comprehensive reference for providing restrooms in terminal buildings. Restrooms are the responsibility of the terminal owner/operator and their contract maintenance and janitorial staff. Boarding: The departure gate holdrooms are primarily the responsibility of the airlines. Each airline has its own boarding process so the airlines and airport terminal owner/operator must work collaboratively to integrate the boarding process into the terminal building layout. Some terminal’s aircraft apron can accommodate larger aircraft even though the holdroom design cannot handle the higher load factors. When this occurs, the boarding process can take up the entire holdroom or spill into the adjacent circulation areas or commercial areas creating a sense of confusion, diminishing the customer experience. The amenities provided in gate holdrooms have evolved with the proliferation of smart- phones and mobile devices such as tablets. Holdroom seating often provides device charging and at some airports it has been integrated with adjacent concession offerings. Terminal owners/ operators should work collaboratively with the concession providers and airlines to develop the best strategy for integrating amenities with gate holdrooms. The TSA and CBP, and in some cases the airlines (e.g., El Al), may also conduct additional screening at the gate prior to boarding. Terminals with gates used for international departures should provide the necessary facilities to conduct these activities with minimal disruption to the boarding process and without creating large queues in the boarding area. 2.1.2 International Arriving Passengers The journey segment for international arriving passengers begins with pre-trip planning and ends at the local destination or after the security checkpoint for connecting passengers, at which point they become departing international or domestic passengers (see Figure 2-2). The key functions and activities of the international arrivals process include: • Pre-trip planning • International arrivals corridor Source: ACRP 03-35 Research Team Figure 2-2. International arriving passenger journey.

The Customer Experience 13 • Passport control • International baggage claim • CBP exit control • Arrivals hall or airline recheck and security screening • Terminal arrivals roadway/ground transportation • Airport egress roadway • Journey from the airport During the arrivals journey, passengers encounter multiple organizations responsible for pro- viding customer service. It is especially important during this journey segment for these organi- zations to coordinate their efforts to minimize lapses in customer service. Changes in policies or procedures can not only affect the person-to-person delivery of customer service but may also create problems for the infrastructure that may require significant investment to resolve. Devel- oping adaptable approaches to customer service and designing flexible facilities is an important consideration. Pre-Trip Planning: Pre-trip planning has historically taken place during the flight and included the completion of the U.S. CBP I-94 and Customs declaration forms. However, foreign visitors no longer need to complete the I-94 paper forms and U.S., Canadian and eligible Visa Waiver Program passengers may use the Automated Passport Control (APC) kiosks rather than filling out a paper Customs declaration form (CBP 2015a). The CBP Mobile Passport Control (MPC) allows U.S. citizens and Canadian visitors to complete the Customs declaration on their mobile device prior to entering the Passport Control area (CBP 2015c). Passengers enrolled in trusted pas- senger programs such as Global Entry, NEXUS and SENTRI may forego completing the Customs declaration form. Airlines typically provide passengers with pre-arrival instructions but these vary by airline and by airport. Airports and airlines should work collaboratively to produce content that informs passengers of the entry documentation requirements and of the border inspection process, including videos and graphics describing the process and facilities at that airport. International Arrivals Corridor: Commonly referred to as the “sterile corridor” due to its sepa- ration from the secure areas of the terminal, the international arrivals corridor provides the cus- tomer with their first impression of the United States, the airport, and the surrounding community. Several factors significantly influence the customer experience in this area: • Walking distance from the arrival gate to the passport control • Ambience, including the architecture, interior design and cleanliness • Availability of restrooms • Wayfinding signage • While the U.S. CBP technically controls the international arrivals corridor, the terminal owner/operator is responsible for providing the facility. Passport Control: Passport Control is the first step in the border protection process that occurs at the airport. The primary components of this process include queuing for one of the various primary inspection methods and interaction with a CBP officer. Some of the key ele- ments of the customer experience include: • Identification of appropriate queue location based on classification • Logical and easy to understand organization of the queues • Availability and attitude of the staff responsible for managing the queues and providing kiosk assistance • Availability of support for completing the paper customs declaration form or other required entry documents

14 Guidelines for Improving Airport Services for International Customers • Amount of time spent waiting to be processed • Physical environment that provides a distraction from the time spent waiting in the queue • Availability and attitude of the CBP officers While the CBP officers are primarily responsible for the passport control process, the terminal owner/operator is responsible for providing the facility and in many cases the customer service staff managing the queues and providing kiosk assistance. Amenities and services, such as coffee shops or currency exchange kiosks, are not allowed in the CBP areas. This is not the case at many overseas airports where small amenities are provided along with large duty free shops. The design of new international arrivals facilities should con- sider the possible addition of these amenities in the future. International Baggage Claim: International baggage claim most commonly occurs after Passport Control. Some airports, such as Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport and Austin-Bergstrom International Airport, have implemented international arrivals facilities where baggage claim is located prior to Passport Control. This configuration may become more widely implemented as it combines Passport Control and CBP Secondary Inspection creating substantial staffing efficiencies for CBP officers. Some of the key elements of the customer experience include: • Identification of the baggage claim carousel assigned to their flight • Clear wayfinding signage directing customers to the baggage claim carousel • Clearly identified baggage claim carousel numbers with information regarding the flights assigned to each carousel • Information about when the first bag will be delivered • Amount of time spent waiting for the first bag to be delivered • Availability of airline staff to assist with missing baggage • Availability of baggage carts (commonly free for international arriving passengers) • Availability of baggage porters • Ability of the claim devices to handle the number of bags without some of them being placed on the floor • Type of claim device and the customers’ ability to remove their bags • Availability of seating areas • Availability of restrooms The international baggage claim area is part of the international arrivals facility and is under control of the U.S. CBP. The terminal owner/operator is responsible for providing and main- taining the facility. Airlines, or their contractors, are responsible for delivering the baggage and providing baggage services. The airlines or the terminal owner/operator may provide porters to assist with baggage through commercial service contracts. Baggage carts are commonly provided by the terminal owner/operator through a commercial service contract. Carts can be used for free (most common) or there may be a charge. CBP Exit Control: CBP Exit Control is the last step in the border control process and consists of podiums for officers to interview passengers prior to them entering the United States. The U.S. CBP is conducting at least one trial at a U.S. airport to replace this process, which often creates a bottleneck, with a new procedure to eliminate the customer interview and use other forms of customer surveillance. This new process could potentially reduce the area needed for this function and reduce, or eliminate, the wait time. Some of the key elements of the CBP Exit Control customer experience include: • Identification of appropriate queue location based on classification • Amount of time spent waiting to be processed • Availability and attitude of the CBP officers

The Customer Experience 15 The CBP officers are solely responsible for the CBP exit control process. The terminal owner/ operator is responsible for providing the facility to conduct the interviews. Arrivals Hall: The Arrivals Hall is the first public portion of the terminal experience for inter- national arriving passengers. It typically consists of a large open area for meeters and greeters to wait for arriving passengers, ground transportation services, amenities such as concessions, restrooms, and other commercial services such as business centers and baggage storage. This area also provides an opportunity to make a strong first impression of the local area for passen- gers who have reached their destination or for those connecting to other flights. Some of the key elements of the Arrivals Hall customer experience include: • Ability to locate meeters and greeters • Availability of amenities and commercial services • Visibility and proximity of ground transportation services • Proximity to the terminal arrivals roadway • Physical environment that conveys a sense of place reflective of the local area The terminal owner/operator is responsible for providing the arrivals hall facility, commercial services, and ground transportation functions. One of the key focuses of the arrivals hall should be to provide an orderly process for joining passengers with meeters and greeters and providing the necessary information about ground transportation services. It is important to accommodate meeters and greeters and to view them as customers. Terminal Arrivals Roadway/Ground Transportation: The Terminal Arrivals Roadway typi- cally consists of an inner and outer roadway with private vehicles and commercial vehicles sepa- rated by an island sidewalk. This area is used exclusively for loading arriving passengers and their baggage. Certain ground transportation services, such as public transportation or scheduled shut- tles, may be located within walking distance of the terminal or in a ground transportation center integrated with the parking garage or located in an adjacent facility. The terminal arrivals roadway is commonly located below the departures roadway, which provides a substantial covered area but may also block much of the available natural light, creating a relatively dark environment, especially in the evening. Some of the key elements of the Terminal Arrivals Roadway/Ground Transportation customer experience include: • Ease of finding their way from the terminal exit to the appropriate location on the terminal arrivals roadway • Physical environment providing sufficient natural and artificial lighting • Availability of for-hire commercial vehicles, such as taxis and limos • Taxi queue management • Attitude of commercial vehicle operators, taxi queue managers and law enforcement officers The terminal owner/operator is responsible for providing the terminal arrivals roadway and ground transportation Center in coordination with the commercial and public ground trans- portation service providers. Airport police or local law enforcement enforce traffic regulations on the terminal arrivals roadway. Airport Egress Roadway: The airport operator is responsible for maintaining the airport egress roadway. Signage is a key element in the customer’s experience and it should provide clear directions to the arterial roadways connecting the airport to the surrounding community. ACRP Report 52: Wayfinding and Signing Guidelines for Airport Terminals and Landside, provides guidance for airport egress roadway signage. Journey from the Airport: Customers may choose to drive themselves from the airport or use a variety of for-hire or public transportation services. Airport websites should provide a

16 Guidelines for Improving Airport Services for International Customers wealth of information about the various ways customers can depart from the airport, including registered ground transportation service providers, and approximate costs based on regions or zones of the local area. 2.1.3 Connecting Passengers Many international passengers who arrive at U.S. airports are connecting to domestic flights to reach their final destination. A much smaller percentage connect to other inter- national flights. The customer experience for either of these passengers is essentially the same. However, in the United States, the experience for international arriving passengers connecting to domestic or international flights is very different from other countries. In the United States, they are treated the same as international arriving passengers (described in a previous section) and must go through the entire border inspection process. The differ- ence for connecting passengers is that, upon exiting the CBP facility, they need to recheck their baggage and proceed to the gate for their connecting flight (see Figure 2-3). In many other countries, connecting passengers are only required to go through a security check and passport control before entering the departures area; they do not have to collect and recheck their baggage. The key functions and activities of the connecting passenger process include: • Pre-arrival planning • International arrivals corridor • Passport control • International baggage claim • CBP exit control • Airline recheck • Security screening • Post-security concessions and amenities • Departure gate Prior to the formation of the Department of Homeland Security, the predecessor agencies to CBP allowed for international passengers connecting to international flights to remain in a ster- ile intransit lounge rather than go through the international arrivals process. Based on the infor- mation collected during this research, no intransit lounges are currently in operation at U.S. airports and there has been no indication these types of facilities will be allowed in the future. The customer experience considerations for the connecting passenger are the same for the international arriving passenger with the exception of the airline recheck and security screening functions directly after CBP exit control. Source: ACRP 03-35 Research Team Figure 2-3. Connecting passenger journey.

The Customer Experience 17 Airline Recheck and Security Screening: Since connecting passengers must reclaim their checked baggage, airlines commonly provide recheck counters immediately after the CBP Exit so passengers can deposit their baggage with the airline. The airline recheck area typically consists of a conveyor belt where passengers can drop their baggage that has been tagged for their final destination. There are also counters where customers who have to change flight arrangements can work with an airline agent. It is common for carriers with only a few daily flights to require customers to take their baggage to the check-in counters to check it for their final destination. ACRP Report 61 examines the opportunities and implications of eliminating baggage recheck. According to the report, a few U.S. airports have implemented procedures that allow for international-to-international connecting bags to be directly connected from the arriving flight to the departing flight without being claimed by the passenger. While the elimination of baggage recheck for international-to-domestic connecting baggage has not yet been implemented in the United States, it was examined in the report and has been considered by CBP. Further develop- ments of this opportunity would have a significant impact on the international baggage reclaim and airline recheck facility requirements. The security screening checkpoint for connecting passengers is located in the terminal in which the passengers arrive (if all terminals are connected via a post-security corridor or auto- mated people mover) or in the terminal from which their connecting flights is scheduled to depart. In either scenario, customers need clear wayfinding information to guide them to the correct location. The key factors influencing the customer experience in this area include: • Providing information about the need to collect and recheck their bags • Availability and location of airline recheck counters in proximity to the CBP exit • Wayfinding from airline recheck to the security checkpoint for the departure gates • Attitudes of security screening personnel Once connecting passengers process through the security screening checkpoint, they become departing passengers. While these passengers may be considered departing domestic passengers, they still are international passengers and therefore have different needs from domestic passen- gers, such as multilingual information or cultural requirements. 2.1.4 Precleared Arriving Passengers Some international passengers arrive at U.S. airports after processing through U.S. CBP pre- clearance facilities at their point of departure. While these passengers are processed in the United States similar to domestic arriving passengers, they are still international passengers and have many of the same needs as international arriving passengers. As of December 2015, preclearance takes place at 15 foreign airports in six different countries and CBP has invited foreign govern- ments or airports to accommodate new locations in the coming years (CBP 2015b). Precleared passengers receive the same immigration, customs, and agricultural inspections at the point of departure as performed on international arriving passengers upon arrival in the United States. The precleared arriving passenger journey is similar to international arriving passengers with the exception that the border protection process occurs at the point of departure and arriving passengers are handled like domestic arriving passengers in the United States (see Figure 2-4). The key functions and activities of the precleared arriving passenger process include: • Pre-trip planning • CBP preclearance facility (point of departure) • Arrival gate (domestic or international terminal) • Connecting flight

18 Guidelines for Improving Airport Services for International Customers • Domestic baggage claim • Arrivals hall • Terminal arrivals roadway/ground transportation • Airport egress roadway • Journey from the airport Pre-Trip Planning: Pre-trip planning for U.S.-bound international passengers begins with understanding the preclearance procedures at the point of departure. The preclearance process is different from the international arrivals process at U.S. airports because passengers remain in possession of their check baggage through the CBP Primary and Exit Control inspections. Once passengers clear Exit Control, they deposit their check baggage with the airlines. Airport websites are the primary source of information about the preclearance procedures and requirements at each preclearance facility. CBP Preclearance Facility: CBP provides detailed design guidance for preclearance facilities. It is the responsibility of the foreign airport to provide the facility for the preclearance processes. Some airports, such as Toronto Pearson International Airport, have adapted existing terminal facilities to incorporate the preclearance functions while others, such as Abu Dhabi International Airport, have constructed new buildings dedicated to housing the preclearance facilities. Since departing passengers show up to the airport at a slower, more constant rate, the size of the CBP Primary Processing area at preclearance locations is substantially smaller than at U.S. air- ports where large volumes of passengers arrive all at once. In addition, because there is no inter- national baggage claim, the passenger flow from primary inspection to Exit Control is metered by the capacity of primary inspection, creating a much more constant flow of passengers and reducing the large queues that often occur at international arrivals facilities in U.S. airports. Arrivals Gate: Precleared arriving passengers are treated the same as domestic arriving pas- sengers. Precleared flights may utilize gates in international or domestic terminals. Because international terminals process international departing passengers, the secure areas of the termi- nal should provide all of the necessary services and amenities including multilingual wayfinding for precleared passengers. The international departing passengers section provides information about the post-security concessions and amenities considerations for international passengers. Source: ACRP 03-35 Research Team Figure 2-4. Precleared arriving passenger journey.

The Customer Experience 19 One important difference is the need for wayfinding signage to guide preclearance passengers to the domestic baggage claim area. Domestic Baggage Claim: Precleared arriving passengers use the domestic baggage claim areas in the international or the domestic terminal. Because preclearance flights may involve long-haul travel on wide-body aircraft, the domestic bag claim facilities should be designed similar to the international bag claim areas to be able to handle the number of passengers and checked baggage associated with international flights. It is also important to consider the meeters and greeters and the pre-arranged ground transportation services that are common to international arriving passengers. The same services provided in the Arrivals Hall are needed for precleared arriving passengers. The key factors influencing the customer experience in this area include: • Baggage claim carousels sized to accommodate wide-body aircraft and large volumes of checked baggage • Availability of luggage carts (commonly free for international arriving passengers) • Adequate space for meeters and greeters and pre-arranged ground transportation services • Availability of restrooms • Availability of information services • Availability of airline baggage services • Wayfinding signage to ground transportation services or connecting gates • Proximity to airline recheck facilities for connecting passengers The terminal owner/operator is responsible for providing adequate arrivals facilities for pre- cleared arriving passengers. Airlines operating precleared flights provide baggage services and recheck capabilities adjacent to the domestic baggage claim area, as part of the international arrivals facility, or at the ticketing and check-in area. The customer experience considerations for the remaining elements of the precleared arriv- ing passenger journey (arrivals hall or airline recheck and security screening, terminal arrivals roadway/ground transportation, airport roadway and journey from the airport) are the same as for international arriving passengers or connecting passengers. 2.2 Factors Affecting the Customer Experience 2.2.1 Customer Expectations Air travel customers want airports to be well organized with clear signage and essential facili- ties such as restrooms, concessions, and restaurants. Each airport is unique and while the same essential processes are carried out (check-in, security checkpoint, border protection), there may be subtle, but significant and unexpected, differences. Customers anticipate what they will encounter at a new place based on their prior experi- ences. Even before arriving, passengers visualize themselves in that setting based on their expec- tations. If the new place is similar to places that they have already visited, customers will have an easier time adjusting; the more different the new place is, the more difficult it will be for the customer to cope with their environment (Gunn 1997). Customers with difficulties coping with a new environment are likely to become frustrated and have a negative experience. For example, at some U.S. airports passengers connecting from a domestic flight to an international flight cannot go to the departure gate without going through security due to the terminal configuration. In the survey, passengers connecting from a domes- tic flight and who were about to board an international flight were asked if they expected to go through a security checkpoint at that airport. Customer satisfaction with security wait times and

20 Guidelines for Improving Airport Services for International Customers helpfulness of security staff was twice as positive when passengers were expecting to go through security (67 percent to 71 percent) as compared to those passengers who were not expecting to through security (27 percent to 35 percent). Customer expectations change over time as advances in consumer technology have evolved. An increasing number of passengers are using airport websites to inform their pre-trip plan- ning or airline websites and mobile applications to speed up the check-in and boarding pro- cess by foregoing the traditional paper-based ticketing process. Furthermore, access to WiFi, once a premium service, is now perceived by customers to be an essential utility; in the survey nearly 70 percent of international passengers indicated that free WiFi was very important and a further 26 percent indicated that it was somewhat important. In a globally connected world, international passengers require WiFi for communication and information acquisition. Various business models identify systems for the delivery of WiFi and, according to the survey results, international passengers express dissatisfaction when WiFi is difficult to access or free for a limited period of time. 2.2.2 Customer Challenges Travel Anxiety: One in three Americans experiences a fear of flying (Dean and Whitaker 1982). These customers make two-thirds fewer trips by air than those who are not afraid. Although nearly half of passenger anxiety is experienced during takeoff and landing, about one-third who experi- ence air travel anxiety identified customs and baggage claim processes as the source of their anxiety (McIntosh et al. 1998). The FAA reports that medical emergencies are generally caused by stresses related to flight delays, CBP inspection, security clearance, and luggage handling (McIntosh et al. 1998). Overall, airport physicians believe the airport segment of travel may be more hazardous than the in-flight segment (McIntosh et al. 1998). As would be expected, there is an effect of culture on perceived travel risk (Reisinger and Mavondo 2006) and an effect of culture on user anxiety at security checkpoints (Ergün et al. 2014). Security screening and border protection processes often create the most stress for customers while post-security concession areas and gate holdrooms provide the most stress relief (ACI Europe 2014). Baggage claim is another area of stress as customers worry if their baggage will be delivered or if it was lost by the airline (McIntosh et al. 1998). Uncertainty about what information custom- ers need or what the next step in the process entails significantly influences the amount of stress customers experience. Flight delays are another major source of anxiety for customers as they may disrupt other parts of their travel itinerary. Some customers have anxiety being in an unfamiliar airport environment (Fewings 2001) and may have a stressful or enjoyable experience depending on the effectiveness of the wayfinding system (Cave et al. 2013). Transfers between trains are a main cause of anxiety in rail travel; therefore, transfers between flights would also be expected to be a main cause of anxiety in air travel (Cheng 2010). Effect of Jet Lag and Travel Fatigue: Long-haul international passengers arriving or making a connection at a U.S. airport will have likely spent from 6 to 16 hours on an overseas flight span- ning multiple time zones. Long-haul travel affects passengers’ ability to function normally, caus- ing them to experience jet lag. Jet lag causes passengers to feel tired and disoriented, decreasing the ability to concentrate and carry out the physical and mental tasks essential to wayfinding in large environments, such as airports (Waterhouse et al. 2007). Effect of Culture and Language: International passengers may experience culture shock caused by a language barrier, a lack of understanding of local technology, and information over- load (Macionis and Gerber 2010). A wayfinding study of tourists not familiar with the local language found that the level of anxiety was correlated with negative wayfinding performance (Chang 2013).

The Customer Experience 21 Effect of Building Complexity: Large airports have many gates often located in several build- ings. Research shows that decision points that require a change in level make it more difficult for customers to find their way as compared to decision points on the same level (Dada and Wirasinghe 1999). This is because it can be difficult to re-orient following the change in level, especially if one needs to turn around after changing levels. Information Overload: When carrying out a task such as finding ones way in an airport, customers are continuously perceiving their environment (e.g., sight, sounds, etc.), mentally interpreting this information, and then making decisions based on the task at hand. Due to limitations in human information processing, performing one task at a time results in the best performance (Granjean 1998). When faced with more than two choices, objective measures of performance declines. Getting Lost: According to the survey results, the most important feature of an airport for customers is ease of finding their way inside the airport. When people get lost or have difficulty finding their way, the common emotional response is as follows (Arthur and Passini 1992). First, customers blame themselves for not being able to understand their environment. Second, customers feel frustrated because they are lost and anxious because being lost may cause delay or potentially miss their flight. Third, customers may feel anger or resentment that such a simple and obvious task should be so difficult to carry out. Elderly and Disabled Passengers: Age, mental cognizance, and physical ability have a signifi- cant impact on the passengers’ ability to navigate the terminal. Much research has been conducted by the ACRP on this subject, including ACRP Synthesis 51 and ACRP Project 07-13. 2.2.3 Airport User Categories Regarding the airport user, a number of different categories should be considered to manage expectations and understand the potential limitations. These include the following: • Purpose of trip: international passengers traveling for business or leisure • Journey segment: international passengers departing, arriving, or making a connection at a given airport • Frequency of travel: international passengers visit a particular airport frequently, occasionally, or it may be their first time • Premium or high value customers: international passengers in the top-tiers of an airline’s frequent flier program or who are flying in business or first class • Special needs: passengers requiring additional attention may include families, aging passengers (see ACRP Report 51), or passengers with special needs • Non-passengers: airport visitors accompanying departing passengers or greeting arriving passengers Each category of user should be considered systematically to ensure their needs and expectations are met with an understanding of their potential limitations. 2.2.4 Interaction with Airport Stakeholders The customer’s airport experience is directly influenced by interaction with a number of differ- ent entities. According to the survey, 81 percent of passengers rate helpful staff as very important. In most cases, customers do not realize that the people they interact with are from separate orga- nizations and have separate responsibilities nor are the customers aware that there is a transition of responsibility for customer service from one point to the next in their airport journey. Creating a seamless transition of customer service is key to improving the customer’s airport experience. The transition of responsibility for providing customer service is much like a relay race where members of the team pass a baton from one to the other during the race. If one member drops

22 Guidelines for Improving Airport Services for International Customers the baton or fails to make a clean hand-off, the entire team is affected. The same holds true for the customer’s airport experience. If one entity fails to deliver the service that the customer needs or expects, then the entire experience is diminished. All of the airports included in the research conduct some form of customer service stake- holder coordination meetings. The meetings commonly included the following entities: • Terminal management and customer service managers • Airline managers • U.S. CBP port director and supervisors • TSA Federal Security Director and supervisors • Law enforcement officers (particularly terminal roadway enforcement) • Concessions providers • Janitorial service providers • Wheelchair service providers • Operations staff • Ground support service providers These stakeholder meetings typically are conducted on a monthly basis but in some cases, such as at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, more frequent meetings (weekly or bi-weekly) are conducted with key stakeholders, such as terminal management and customer service managers and CBP officials. These more frequent meetings were established to enhance the coordination between the entities and address issues as they arise rather than weeks after they occur. Creating a culture of customer service excellence among all of the stakeholders is a key ele- ment in improving the customer experience. ACRP Report 157: Improving the Airport Customer Experience (2016) provides a thorough description of the components of successful airport cus- tomer service programs that seek to deliver a “wow” experience. Those components include: • Education and training • Monitoring and managing performance of airport staff • Rewards and incentives for airport staff • Information dissemination • Engaging tenants and contractors ACRP Report 157 also describes a variety of methods through which airport stakeholders can interact with customers, including: • Information technology and smartphone • Information technology and processing automation • Digital signage • Virtual assistants and robots • Concession information • Arrivals information • Social media Examples of how these customer interactions are or could be utilized for interacting with international passengers are provided in the following chapters describing each of the passenger journey segments. 2.2.5 Physical Environment Another important aspect of the customer’s airport experience is the physical environment where the airport processes are contained. The passenger terminal buildings and the terminal

The Customer Experience 23 roadways are two of the primary physical environments through which customers pass during their time at the airport. According to ACI Europe (2014), the key elements of the airport terminal physical environment that affect the customer experience include: • Ambience • Natural wayfinding • Cleanliness and maintenance • Walking distances • Adequate space Ambience: The visual, sensual, and social atmosphere of an airport terminal influences the customer experience. The terminal ambience includes physical elements (such as the architec- ture, structure, and interior design), sights, sounds, and interaction with other customers and employees. International terminals, particularly those at the leading global airports, provide a unique ambience that represents the diverse nature of the region it serves and the passengers that travel through it. The visual component of a terminal’s ambience is conveyed by the architecture, structure, and interior design. This begins with the exterior of the terminal, setting the stage for what customers can expect inside. The exterior can establish a sense of order among the many elements that helps to ease the customer’s anxiety about traveling. The architectural design and layout of the terminal are important in terms of the appropriate space and scale of each functional area. Passengers may feel boxed-in if they are too small. The structure of the terminal creates sightlines and repetitive ele- ments that enhance the customer’s ability to understand the flow and organization of the terminal. The interior design can be used to create specific moods or environments appropriate for different areas of the terminal, for example, creating a relaxing environment for the security checkpoint process, more vibrant environments for shopping areas, or a calm and quiet environment for waiting areas. Creating a unique sense of place is another trend that has become commonplace in U.S. air- port terminals. This includes using the architecture, culture, cuisine, and the local community served by the airport to create a differentiated ambience (Boudreau et al. 2016). Examples of features that create a unique sense of place include live music events at Austin-Bergstrom Inter- national Airport, distinctive architecture at Denver International Airport, and the incorporation of popular local cuisine that is trending at many airports in the United States. Natural Wayfinding: While many airport terminals rely heavily on various forms of infor- mational signage to guide customers from one point to another, the creation of an environment that promotes natural wayfinding is an important consideration in improving the customer experience. According to the survey, 82 percent of passengers indicated that the ease of finding their way inside the airport was “very important.” In addition, wayfinding research has shown the number one impact on wayfinding in complex spaces is the architecture of the physical space (Andre 1991; O’Neill 1991; Fewings 2001). A well-designed space with open architecture with direct lines of sight to the destination provide a more intuitive wayfinding experience and reduces the need to rely on signs. Natural wayfinding utilizes the architectural properties of a terminal to guide passen- gers from one process to another rather than directing them with signage. Minimizing level changes and sharp turns in direction and creating clear sightlines enhance natural wayfinding. The use of transparent materials to separate spaces also aids in natural wayfinding because customers can see what lies ahead and confirm that they are walking in the right direction. Another important premise of natural wayfinding is leveraging predictability by organizing the terminal functions in a logical manner that is similar to other airports that international passengers may frequent.

24 Guidelines for Improving Airport Services for International Customers Creating unique passenger flows or process arrangements requires customers to adapt from their previous experience to the new arrangement and may create doubt and confusion. Another architectural element that can make things difficult for customers to maintain their orientation is vertical transition (e.g., via elevators). Glass elevators (see Figure 2-5) are one way to provide a constant visual connection with the customers’ surroundings and allow them to establish a line of sight with their surroundings before they need to exit the elevator cab. Flow- through elevators are more functional for customers with baggage carts or strollers or customers in wheelchairs. Flow-through elevators also allow customers to continue traveling in the same direction without having to make U-turns, which can be disorienting. The goal of any airport planning process should include a design that delivers the desired results of creating intuitive spaces that rely less on signage. Reducing decision points assures that quality objectives are met by reducing opportunities for problems to occur. For example, the pathway for customers to connect to their next gate or to the terminal is an important factor in the customer experience. Non-linear terminal configurations (see Figure 2-6) create a challeng- ing wayfinding scenario for international arriving passengers connecting to flights in another terminal. Conversely, linear configurations (see Figure 2-7) have a simple linear path of travel for passengers connecting via the automated people mover (APM). The non-linear pathways found at airports like Boston Logan International Airport with complex circulation require a higher level of effort and resources focused on the wayfinding to overcome these types of challenges. Cleanliness and Maintenance: Clean and well-maintained facilities are a core element of customer satisfaction. According to the survey, 78 percent of passengers indicated that the clean- liness of the airport is “very important.” This perspective is supported by the results from other globally implemented airport customer surveys, including ACI’s ASQ and Skytrax. Within the terminal, restroom cleanliness is of particular importance. The terminal’s design should facilitate cleanliness and maintenance. Materials should be selected that are easy to clean, are not damaged easily, and can be replaced in smaller pieces if necessary. The design details should consider how the space will be used by customers so janito- rial services are not needed on an ongoing basis. Consultation with the terminal operations and janitorial services providers should be conducted as part of the design process to gain a better understanding of the factors that influence cleanliness and maintainability. Source: ACRP 03-35 Research Team Figure 2-5. Glass elevators at Munich Airport Terminal 2.

The Customer Experience 25 Source: Boston Logan International Airport website. www.massport.com/logan-airport Figure 2-6. Non-linear terminal configuration – Boston Logan International Airport. Source: Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport website. www.atlanta-airport.com Figure 2-7. Linear terminal configuration – Atlanta International Airport.

26 Guidelines for Improving Airport Services for International Customers Walking Distances: Every airport terminal is unique in its design and layout, which are highly influenced by the constraints of the site upon which the terminal has been constructed. It is not unusual for international terminals at U.S. airports to provide some type of mechanical passen- ger conveyance to mitigate the longer walking distances commonly associated with these facili- ties due to their size. While 41 percent of passengers surveyed identified short walking distances as “very important,” airports with very long walking distances often receive complaints from customers. One of the key considerations when examining walking distances is whether customers have claimed their checked baggage, especially because international passengers commonly have more and larger pieces of baggage than domestic passengers. Walking distances from terminal parking garages to the ticketing/check-in area are important to consider because customers generally have to carry their own baggage because luggage trolleys are not typically available in the terminal parking garages. Providing curbside check-in services on the terminal depar- tures roadway allows departing passengers to drop-off their check baggage before parking their vehicle. Inside the terminal building the primary walking distances that should be evaluated are the security checkpoint to the departure gates, arrival gate to the passport control hall, CBP Exit to the airline recheck counters or to the terminal departures roadway or ground transportation services. While walking distances between these points should be minimized to the greatest extent possible, IATA recommends that some type of mechanized automation, such as moving walkways, be provided for distances over 1,000 feet. Moving walkways or electric carts should also be considered for shorter distances as the elderly greatly benefit from such assistance. In some cases, long walk distances, including the use of moving walkways, may be unavoid- able. Ambience becomes a more important consideration in this situation because art and inte- rior design can be utilized to distract customers from the long distances and make it a more enjoyable part of the journey. This is especially important in underground connectors where it may not be possible to provide natural light and views of the outside or inside the terminal (see Figure 2-8). Another consideration is to provide customers with information about the walk distance, specifically the amount of time it will likely take to reach the next point in their journey. This reduces the anxiety from the unknown walking time and it may allow them to use other terminal services and amenities available along the way. Source: ACRP 03-35 Research Team Figure 2-8. Artwork in underground connector at Atlanta International Airport.

The Customer Experience 27 Spatial Requirements: Terminal planning and design spatial requirements play an important role in influencing the customer experience. Two of the most notable sources of terminal plan- ning spatial requirements are ACRP Report 25: Airport Passenger Terminal Planning and Design and IATA’s Airport Development Reference Manual (ADRM). Foreign airports have historically utilized the ADRM as the basis for their spatial requirements. The differences in spatial provi- sions among foreign airports lies primarily in the selection of the target level of service, with some of the most well-regarded airports choosing to base their terminal designs on Level of Service B (now referred to as Over Design) or above. U.S. airports on the other hand, which historically have been significantly influenced by the dominant U.S. airlines serving a particular airport, have taken a more conservative approach by basing their terminal designs on Level of Service C or below (now referred to as Optimum and Suboptimum, respectively) for the peak periods of activity. Ultimately, the decision about which Level of Service to base new projects on rests with the airport operator and key stakeholders, such as the airlines. Airport terminal plan- ners and designers should work collaboratively with these stakeholders to define and evaluate the target level of service. The cost of providing a higher level of service will certainly be a major consideration. While these sources provide relevant guidance for spatial requirements, several factors con- tinue to evolve or are unique to each airport that must be considered prior to establishing the appropriate spatial requirements: • Distribution of passengers among check-in modes • Passenger segmentation and customer service objectives for each airline • Actual processing times at each function • Target maximum wait times and number of passengers in queue at each function • Size of the largest aircraft in terms of seats available • Regularly occurring load factors for each airline • Check baggage allowances and size limitations for each airline • Number of check bags per passenger for each airline • APC and MPC eligibility • Frequency of peak periods compared to average activity levels • Preferred flight arrival and departure times for the regions that the airport serves or may serve in the future • Distribution of passengers by travel purpose (business, pleasure, personal, etc.) and average group size Being identified as a world-class airport is about more than spatial requirements. It involves offering a wide variety of amenities and services that passengers need during their journey along with available and helpful customer service. However, international travel is often a luxury expe- rience and therefore U.S. international terminals need to consider a higher level of investment compared to domestic terminals. Ample space at key processing points should be considered in new terminal designs to achieve a high level of service. Using the most recent IATA ADRM as a basis, key functional areas should at minimum achieve the Optimal level of service during the peak periods. Spaces used for processing premium passengers, such as first and business class, may exceed the Optimal level of service. 2.2.6 Information Communication and Dissemination A major part of the international customer experience is about how to find their way through the airport, which is directly related to how effectively the information is communicated. Infor- mation for airport customers can be categorized into one of three Vs of communication: verbal, visual and virtual.

28 Guidelines for Improving Airport Services for International Customers What are the benefits of wayfinding and why is this communication so important? One-hundred percent of respondents from the survey rated ease of finding way inside airport as somewhat important or very important. Of the top 10 features measured, the ease of finding their way inside the airport ranked number one among all international passengers surveyed. Conversely, respondents were asked to describe their best experience at that airport that occurred on the day of the survey; ease of wayfinding ranked last. Additional customer survey research about wayfinding conducted by Gresham, Smith and Part- ners (2013) has shown that approximately 10 percent of customers will ask for assistance. At an air- port with an annual volume of 10 million passengers, 10 percent equates to one million passengers looking for someone to provide them with assistance. Based on the survey, one-third of customers speaking a foreign language can read little or no English, which means these passengers likely will need verbal assistance to compensate for signage and other information posted only in English. Understanding why the information must be correctly communicated and disseminated is demonstrated by the verbal communication example where the survey results showed that only helpfulness of staff ranked higher than ease of wayfinding. This example also underscores that verbal communication is still extremely important in today’s digital age. Understanding how information is communicated and disseminated is crucial to the customer’s experience as demonstrated. The backbone of the three Vs of communication is consistency. In a complex airport this can be challenging because the responsibilities for the various forms of communication often reside in different departments (see Figure 2-9). For example, verbal communication provided at information desks staffed by volunteers may be part of customer service, while full-time employees that staff the ground transportation information counters may be part of a contract service. While staffed and managed by different groups, the customer sees no distinction and expects a consistent level of service. Therefore, a major key about how to provide consistent information using all forms of com- munication is for the airport to establish a policy and process to require all responsible parties to coordinate efforts on a regular and ongoing basis regardless of department. The following outlines how each of the three Vs of communication are used in an airport envi- ronment and the primary methods for communicating with passengers along with the respon- sible parties that should be involved. Verbal Communication Verbal communication is exactly what it sounds like: live, person-to-person communication. Lost or confused passengers can ask for help at an information booth, from roving informa- tion staff, or from non-frontline personnel that are badged and have occasional contact with customers. Studies show that 10 to 15 percent of people are not helped by signage and depend on verbal assistance. The survey gathered data on the importance of helpful staff. While 81 percent of respondents said very important, 65 percent of respondents rated staff helpfulness as excellent or very good. The verbal communication responsibility matrix in Figure 2-10 illustrates how the role of verbal communication essentially belongs to everyone at the airport, beginning with the airport operator. Stakeholder interviews conducted at each airport provided good insight into customer service philosophies and best practices on verbal communication: • There is a real focus on customer service; it is everyone’s responsibility. Anyone with an air- port ID badge is a customer service representative. Several airports have a customer service training program in which all airport employees must participate.

The Customer Experience 29 Source: ACRP 03-35 Research Team. Figure 2-9. 3 V’s communication matrix.

30 Guidelines for Improving Airport Services for International Customers • Passengers seem to leave their brains at home when traveling. Human interaction is a much more effective means of communication than providing information via kiosks. • The availability of friendly staff makes a significant difference in the customer experience; passengers need an outlet to voice complaints or to just confirm what they need to do. • Adequate wayfinding is paramount and must be supplemented with human interaction. No terminal design is so intuitive or passengers so smart that when a crowd forms passengers do not get confused. • All airport or airline employees have to take the view that passengers ultimately pay every- one’s salary, a service-oriented perspective. Achieving consistency is very difficult. Everyone is responsible for the customer experience. • Human interaction in the arrivals process is very important as many people are intimidated by the APC kiosks. • Airport employee training programs should be developed with the thought that every employee should know a little more about the airport and be prepared to provide customer service. It is an active approach to customer service by looking for passengers who need help rather than waiting for them to ask for help. Information Counters: The staff at information counters (see Figure 2-11) can provide more detailed and more personalized information to passengers than is available through signage, Source: ACRP 03-35 Research Team. Figure 2-10. Verbal communication responsibility matrix. Source: Zurich Airport (http://www.zurich-airport.com/passengers-and- visitors/airport-services-en/information-desks) Figure 2-11. Airport information counter.

The Customer Experience 31 directories, or digital media. This one-on-one communication is indispensable in the airport environment. Information counters are also commonplace; in fact, all 12 airports visited during the research phase have staffed information counters. There are multiple reasons why some customers look for an information counter in addition to or instead of other channels of information: • They speak limited or no English and need access to someone with language skills. Thirty-two percent of foreign language survey respondents could read little or no English. • They have questions that are not addressed through other channels of information dissemination. • They require special assistance and need a way to access help. This could include customers with impaired mobility, vision or hearing, or have cognitive issues. • They are simply more comfortable having a face-to-face conversation with another person than using signs, directories, or digital devices. Information booth staff can more completely describe the complex processes that passengers experience in the airport. Information counter staff should have full access to airport-wide information via the airport’s website and the airport’s intranet that serves as a centralized source of pre-scripted information and distributing updates to changes in airport services and operations. This centralized source of information helps ensure consistency in an ever-changing environment of an airport. Regularly scheduled team meetings to communicate internally with information counter staff also helps ensure continuity. Resources for information desk staffing should also provide for: • Language translation services for limited or non-English speaking customers. • Meeting the needs of customers requiring special assistance. – Mobility – Vision – Hearing – Cognitive The ideal placement for information counters is at key decision points along the customer’s journey. The following are some examples of where information counters are placed at the air- ports included in the research. Proper planning and coordination ensure the best adjacency of information counters relative to decision points, key journey segments, etc. • Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport Ambassador Information kiosks are positioned at all major decision points within the terminal: after the security checkpoints, after airline recheck, and near the escalators for the APM stations (see Figure 2-12). The Ambassadors are all volunteers. • Information desks are located at each key decision point at Incheon Airport (see Figure 2-13). • The information kiosk in the arrivals hall at Munich Airport Terminal 2 is very distinct; pas- sengers or meeters and greeters can find it easily (see Figure 2-14). The counter is staffed by trained, very knowledgeable airport employees. Volunteer hospitality staff is not used. Per- sonal communication is paramount. Proper training is essential. This typically involves a new staff person first shadowing an expe- rienced staff person and then being supervised for a period of time until they are ready to work on their own. Staff should also rotate to spend time working at all information counter locations so they learn about the whole airport which provides them with a better understanding of the different passenger journey segments and how to best answer their questions. Another key part of training is to teach all staff simple things like looking the customer in the eye when communicating information because the body language of the customer can indicate back to the airport staff member whether they understood what they heard.

32 Guidelines for Improving Airport Services for International Customers Source: ACRP 03-35 Research Team Figure 2-12. Post-security information counter at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport. Source: ACRP 03-35 Research Team Figure 2-13. Information counter near the entrance to APM at Incheon Airport. Source: ACRP 03-35 Research Team Figure 2-14. Arrivals hall information counter at Munich Airport Terminal 2.

The Customer Experience 33 Customer Service Audit: These audits are conducted in addition to the comprehensive customer service training program for concessions employees. JFKIAT (the operators of JFK Terminal 4) also perform customer service audits on a monthly basis to make sure its stan- dards are being met. Their next goal is to be able to offer language training skills to concession employees. Multilingual Public Address: Multilingual paging for international terminals is another con- sideration for how to improve verbal communication. For example, the Miami International Airport Paging and Information Center provides multilingual paging throughout the Miami International Airport terminal and concourses for the traveling public, tenants, and users. Addi- tional information is provided in the section on visual paging. Roving Information Staff: While only observed at two of the airports visited, roving informa- tion staff is an emerging trend among airports (see Figure 2-15). Trained uniformed customer service staff equipped with tablets having access to airport-wide information roam the airport searching for customers in need of help. These staff can be positioned anywhere in the airport which allows them to serve customers at key locations that are known to be problem areas at peak periods of travel. These staffers have the ability to spot passengers who appear to be lost or are in need of assistance, especially those not in close proximity to information booths or directories. Additional thoughts to consider for roving information staff: • During the busiest times of the year, provide roaming customer service agents to be proactive in assisting customers who appear to need information or directions. • Signage at most U.S. airports is provided only in English, but the customer service representatives should have multilingual skills or easy access to them. Verbal Communication Supported by Technology: With a record 53.7 million passengers in 2014, Changi International Airport is Southeast Asia’s biggest international airport and voted the best airport in the world in a 2013 Skytrax survey of passengers from over 160 countries. Their focus is to provide a stress-free environment with a personalized and positive experience through the innovative usage of technology, as emphasized in their Service Workforce Empowerment and Experience Transformation (SWEET) program. Changi Customer Service Ambassadors, called experience agents, are armed with iPads with SWEET access. SWEET provides the latest Source: Denver International Airport Figure 2-15. Roving airport ambassador at Denver International Airport.

34 Guidelines for Improving Airport Services for International Customers flight information, resource planning, operational reports, and a chat function for real-time discussion among staff. Like roaming flight information and wayfinding displays, this allows agents to assist passengers with questions about flights or locations within the terminal on the spot. Roving staff can also be used to provide premium meet and greet service. Gatwick First is a premier-class concierge service that accompanies customers through every aspect of their air- port journey, arriving or departing, to make it a stress free experience (see Figure 2-16). Badged Personnel: In addition to formal communication provided by fixed information counters and roving staff, any airport staff with a badge that encounters the public can become an airport ambassador when approached by a customer needing help. These personnel should receive basic training about how to communicate wayfinding information clearly, consistently, and informally. • What is wayfinding? • Why is it important? • What you need to know. • How you can help. Law Enforcement: Law enforcement personnel may not report directly to the airport operator, therefore the airport needs to develop and maintain an open dialogue with these agencies about how they can support positive verbal communication to the airport customer. • Public safety officials • TSA agents • U.S. CBP officers Airlines: Airline personnel that interact with customers include: • Customer service agents • Flight crews • Baggage service office agents Some airlines provide verbal arrival information to customers over the public address system prior to landing. This information can help speed up the entry process and instill confidence in a customer’s decision making upon deplaning. The information relayed to the passengers just before arrival includes: • Airports with APC that can eliminate the need for filling out the customs declarations form • Airports with MPC app for smartphones Source: skybreak.co.uk Figure 2-16. Gatwick First premium concierge service.

The Customer Experience 35 • Connecting gates • Customs declaration forms Airline agents at the ticket counter or at the gate are also key points of contact for customers needing direct one-on-one communication. Other Service Providers: Similar to the groups previously mentioned, other service providers also encounter customers. The airport’s process should include these other groups in all training about proper communication with the customer. • Concessions • Ground Transportation • Premium Lounges • Janitorial Visual Communication This section focuses on the various aspects of how information is communicated visually for international passengers. For additional information, a good resource is the ACRP Report 52: Wayfinding and Signing Guidelines for Airport Terminals and Landside, which contains compre- hensive information on the best practices for static signing in airports. Based on the survey, approximately 34 percent of the foreign language passengers could read only a little or no English at all. For those surveys filled out in a foreign language, particularly respondents who could only read a little English, 50 percent had a positive (excellent or very good) overall airport satisfaction rating as compared to 74 percent for those who said they could read English. The survey results also showed that passengers residing outside the U.S. rated the importance of finding their way (83 percent to 80 percent) and the use of universal symbols (62 percent to 58 percent) slightly higher than the U.S. residents surveyed. Language: Six of the eight U.S. airports visited use only English messaging on their signage. The other two U.S. airports included Spanish in addition to the English messaging. Three of four international airports visited included bilingual or multilingual messaging on their signage. While English is recognized and used worldwide, there is still a need to make a foreign passenger welcome because our airports serve as gateways to the United States. Symbols with Message: Symbols are the oldest form of visual communication. Long before written languages appeared, pictographs or symbols were used by humans to represent objects and activities and to tell stories. The goal of using symbols in airports is to facilitate the cus- tomer’s understanding and utilization of the facility. The established best practice employs a consistent pairing of text and related symbols to pro- vide a powerful communication tool for travelers; once symbols are learned they become a visual shorthand, and a means of communication for those who do not understand the local language. This shorthand offers an added benefit of shortening the time required for a traveler to perceive and process the information. When properly deployed, symbols are an efficient means of com- municating key destinations and services to non-English-speaking travelers. Symbols Only: An exception to using symbols only without the message is when the symbol has a high comprehension rate. Symbols with low comprehension rates, especially those with multiple variations, can cause frustration when a message does not accompany the symbol. Illumination, Color, and Contrast: The three elements of illumination, color, and contrast are responsible for providing good visibility and legibility. Visibility is about the customer being able to see the sign and legibility is about the customer being able to read the information.

36 Guidelines for Improving Airport Services for International Customers All four international airports and six out of eight U.S. airports visited use internally illumi- nated signs. While internally illuminated directional and informational signs provide a higher level of visibility, there is no measured research that provides quantitative proof that customers actually experience an increase in wayfinding performance. All but one airport visited uses a high contrast color combination, which is important with regard to legibility. Seven of the eight U.S. airports use white messaging on a dark background. The four international airports visited showed no clear preference of message/background color combination. Color-coding: While only one of eight U.S. airports surveyed uses color-coding on signage to help passengers find their way, three of the four international airports visited use some method of color-coding in their terminal wayfinding signage. While the reason for multiple color schemes may not be initially obvious to the international traveler, once educated the remainder of the wayfinding journey becomes intuitive. Because the color-coding is not applied consistently between the airports, the logic must be re-learned at every airport. The site visits observed how Boston Logan International Airport, Dallas/Fort Worth Inter- national Airport, and JFK International Airport Terminal 4 use color-coding to segregate passen- ger types into different queues at CBP primary processing. The color codes are introduced prior to CBP Primary, so when passengers reach the inspection area, they can find the appropriate queue quickly. This can help reduce congestion in CBP Primary, which in turn can lead to an improved customer experience. Walk Time/Distance for Wayfinding: Of the U.S. airports surveyed, very few provide informa- tion about walking time or distance on directories, FIDS, or other forms of visual communication. Conversely, most of the overseas airports do include this information (see Figure 2-17). Passengers concerned about missing a flight can use this information to their advantage. For example, a passenger can decide whether they have time to shop before proceeding to a distant departure gate. Whether this information is deployed via static directories or digital screens, this is an excellent opportunity to educate customers and improve their experience. Including walk time/distance for wayfinding information can help manage customer expectations and assist with decision-making. • Tracking and publishing real-time wait times and walking distances or times would be helpful in managing expectations. Provide information on the best route to use if a customer is in a hurry, such as a tight connection. Customers need to understand the implications of each option. • The wayfinding signage is very clear and provides information on walking times between points (see Figure 2-18). Source: ACRP 03-35 Research Team Figure 2-17. Walking time or distance displayed on signage.

The Customer Experience 37 Similar types of information can be useful to unfamiliar customers who have a choice of whether to walk or ride to the departure gate (see Figure 2-19). However, the ability to suc- cessfully communicate these options often involves multiple factors and can be a complex issue that requires careful thought and consideration to provide clear and easy to understand information. It is also important to understand that at many U.S. airports, the FIDS information is supplied by the airlines as compared to overseas airports, where the information is provided or controlled by the airport. This may complicate the ability to include walk time or distance information on FIDS at certain U.S. airports. Landmarks: Landmarks can be an excellent wayfinding tool to promote the regional culture. For example, the arrivals hall at Vancouver International Airport contains native Indian sculp- ture (see Figure 2-20). To work well, landmarks must be properly placed and simply described to and recognized by customers. They can deliberately draw the passenger’s attention to key areas of the building or the next step in their journey. Landmark design solutions can include Source: ACRP 03-35 Research Team Figure 2-18. Walk time displays. Source: ACRP03-35 Research Team Figure 2-19. Walk or ride information at Detroit Metropolitan Airport’s McNamara Terminal.

38 Guidelines for Improving Airport Services for International Customers static and or dynamic media and can be integrated with the airport design to help create a sense of place. Lighting: Lighting is another design element that can be used to highlight key areas of the terminal building to aid in intuitive wayfinding (see Figure 2-21). Static Signage: While there are other means and methods to promote good wayfinding, the static signage, as shown in Figure 2-22, is the wayfinding workhorse in an airport envi- ronment. Regardless of design preferences, illuminated vs. non-illuminated, color-coded or non-color-coded, the key elements for a well-designed sign program are found in the three Cs of wayfinding: connectivity, continuity, and (most important) consistency. Think of each message as a link in a wayfinding chain. If a message is missing or placed in the wrong loca- tion the wayfinding chain is broken. The result is customers that become lost and confused. Therefore, proper planning and programming is essential to the success of any wayfinding system. A common misconception is that once a new wayfinding system is installed, the job is done. The reality is that airport wayfinding is similar to any other essential building system and must Source: Gresham, Smith and Partners Figure 2-20. Landmarks at Vancouver International Airport. Source: © Chris Cunningham, Courtesy of Gresham, Smith and Partners Figure 2-21. Lighting and color accents at ATL International Terminal.

The Customer Experience 39 be maintained to function properly. Airports are in a constant state of flux and therefore the wayfinding system needs tools like a sign inventory database (see Figure 2-23) and sign standards guidelines to perpetuate the integrity of the sign system. While we live in a digital age, not all customers want to or are able to receive information digitally. Therefore, a traditional handout of the physical map of airport is still an effective way to help customers navigate the airport. Figure 2-24 provides an example of a visual map provided to a customer seeking verbal information. The customer can take this visual map with them to help remember what they heard. Virtual Communication The virtual or digital dissemination of information from the airport to the customer starts long before the customers begins their journey. Before the digital age, customers relied on travel agents or telephoning the airline directly to book a flight. Today, once the customer determines an upcoming trip is imminent, an Internet-enabled device becomes the portal to book travel and make decisions about every step in the trip. Using the advancements in web, mobile, and content Source: © Jeffrey Totaro, Courtesy of Gresham, Smith and Partners Figure 2-22. Static signage system. Source: Gresham, Smith and Partners Figure 2-23. Sign inventory database.

Source: DFW International Airport Figure 2-24. Visual handout map provided at information desks at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport (one side of a two-sided handout).

The Customer Experience 41 management technology to harness the opportunity to reach passengers throughout every stage of their journey can maximize the customer experience. Airport Website: The customer’s experience typically begins in a web browser. Currently, the majority of travel is purchased and arranged via websites. Regardless of a passenger’s age, over 90 percent of users booking travel use a travel service provider website, an online travel agent, or through a traditional travel agent (Peltier 2015). According to the survey, about one-third of pas- sengers surveyed used or planned to use a website that day. According to the FAA’s website, in 2014 there were 2.1 million daily passenger enplanements at the 383 primary airports in the United States. This allows for the possibility of over 700,000 daily airport website hits. That level of web- site traffic signifies the significant opportunity to help travelers have the best experience once they arrive by offering the best online experience. Passenger Information: The airport website is a portal to preflight information. Many of the questions prior to arrival can be answered using the website features, such as interactive menus. The following information is commonly provided on airport websites: • Flight information • Airline and baggage information • Terminal maps – Food – Shops – Gates • Security information – Screening – Prohibited items – TSA Pre-Check Program – Global Entry Program • Accessibility (ADA) programs – Communications assistance – Mobility assistance – Pet ports – Facilities • Airport driving directions • Parking options and locations – Waiting lot – Economy lot – Daily lot – Hourly lot • Ground transportation – Rental cars – Public transit – Taxis – Limos and shuttles • Advisories – Airline travel – Airport construction – Traffic – Weather • Frequently asked questions • Airport amenities – Lost and found – ATM

42 Guidelines for Improving Airport Services for International Customers – Currency exchange – WiFi – Kids programs Terminal Maps: A passenger may be inclined to search online for information about parking, shopping, or dining options in preparing to visit an airport. During the website investigation of the spotlighted airports, it was determined that airport websites use a combination of formats to display information. All airports used, at minimum, a static map to show the dining, shopping, ground transportation, and parking options. The majority of spotlighted airports also used a list format where clicking on the name provided more information about the retail store, dining option, or airline. With the advancement of technology, airports are using innovative ways to enhance the online experience with new tools that provide easy to use and accurate information. The interactive online map technology delivers a personalized experience to the passenger by providing the ability to click on a portion of a map to locate shopping, dining, and amenities. From that point, a user can retrieve additional information about the options within each category. The use of videos provides a static virtual tour. This is an innovative and effective way to guide the customer through journey segments such as the parking process, from the curbside and the ticket- ing counters and around the concourse. The research determined that few airports were using this innovation on their websites. Website Translation: Of the 13 U.S. and foreign airports visited, only half of the U.S. air- ports offered any other language then English. All five of the foreign airports and one U.S. airport offered at least English and one other language. Of the remaining U.S. airports, three of eight offered over 90 languages besides English. When developing digital media content, additional effort is required to introduce a multilingual option using a variety of different avail- able methods. Prior to embracing one method over another, it is recommended that a feasibility study be conducted to determine the level of effort needed to yield the greatest gain. One method is to employ a service such as Google Translate. That method enables access to many languages offering a variety of users a high level of service. If the survey results show that level of service is required, Google Translate is a convenient service to quickly enhance the website. A drawback of a one-size-fits-all service is that the translation engine may not always translate to the highest degree of accuracy, unlike a professional translation service. Another issue is that images with text are displayed in the native language of the airport’s original website. A second method is to design the website multiple times in each of the languages that gets the most traffic. This method ensures the website translates accurately and the images with text appear in the correct language. In many cases, it was noticed that the actual website design differs between each, using more simplistic designs for languages that pull the least traffic. Because the design requires multiple builds, each time a website update must be done each build must be updated independently. With this method, the experience may be more gratifying for the user but cause more work in development. Mobile Devices: There is a difference between an airline mobile application (app) and an air- port app for a mobile device. Though customers have voiced their opinion that too many indi- vidual apps are available to address the passengers’ mobile travel needs in a flexible manner, airlines and airports have stressed that consolidation across the board is difficult due to the protection of data assets and the nature of industry competition (Garcia 2015). This is not stop- ping passengers from using either app. Mobile check-in, electronic ticketing (E-tickets), flight updates, and mobile wayfinding can be found in many airport mobile apps and passengers are asking for this information to be more directly available on their devices. Coupled with the advancement in airport WiFi coverage and beacon technology within airports, passengers are using mobile devices more often for travel. Updating the airport information more frequently

The Customer Experience 43 and adding more details such as baggage carousel location and processing wait times would only increase their usage (Garcia 2015). During the same survey, conducted by SITA in 17 countries and representing 76 percent of the world’s passengers, it was widely suggested that passengers want to book through mobile apps, continue to see the mobile check-in process grow (including the use of automated baggage drop locations), and add mobile flight updates across the board. From the survey performed by the research team, it was determined that 24 percent of passengers used or planned to use an app specific to that airport that day and 30 percent of passengers used or was planning to use an airline specific application. Couple this service with an advanced airport wayfinding service and it makes sense for a passenger on an international layover to download that airport’s app. Figure 2-25 is an example of an airport app that uses indoor wayfinding technology to provide customers with additional information on gate, shopping, and dining locations on their personal mobile device. Beacons: FlightView conducted a survey finding that 53 percent of U.S. travelers would let airports track their mobile devices as long as they did not give up personally identifiable infor- mation if it meant getting real-time updates on security lines, wait times at customs and ticket counters, walking times between gates, and more (FlightView 2015). Many airports have taken the initiative and have started using Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) beacons to eliminate the need for users to pinpoint their own location on a typical map. If the passenger has a boarding pass stored in the app, the map will automatically default to start navigation at that specific gate loca- tion. Alternatively, users can place a pin at their current location and the app will guide them to their desired location, providing estimated walking times along the way, much like the familiar Global Positioning System (GPS) navigation most vehicles now provide. Source: ACRP 03-35 Research Team Figure 2-25. Mobile wayfinding app screenshots.

44 Guidelines for Improving Airport Services for International Customers Beacons are used to gather information from hundreds of points throughout the facility, delivering the customer a wealth of valuable information that could otherwise be missed. The ability to provide informative and relevant information such as wait times at security points gives customers the confidence that ultimately may reduce what could be a stressful situation. Social Media: As of October 1, 2015, The eBusiness Guide listed the top 15 social media websites by unique monthly visits. Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn take the top three spots, respectively (eBiz 2015). Facebook and Twitter are linked directly on 12 of the 13 airport websites that were visited. YouTube and Instagram were the next most popular social media sites with links. Air- ports have embraced social media to improve the customer experience by offering direct two-way communication between customer and airport. Customers are using Facebook and Twitter to provide instant feedback on their airport experience while airports are using social media to pro- mote special events, new concessionaires, and services as well as provide updates on the status of ongoing construction projects through posts, pictures, and videos. Consistency, which is a driv- ing factor in digital media, is also important with a social media campaign. Regularly updating, posting or tweeting is how airports have kept customers engaged. Replying to unhappy customers provides an opportunity for customer engagement that could possibly alleviate a complaint to the customer service department. Re-tweeting or re-posting customer praise will encourage more customers to get involved in the social media campaign. The level of satisfaction it gives customers to receive a reply and know their voices are being heard may be surprising. Travel + Leisure Magazine has created an awards program that recognizes innovation in social media, dubbed the SMITTY awards (Social Media In Travel + Tourism). San Francisco International Airport has won this award in consecutive years, and their last campaign “#SFOHolidays” invited participants to create holiday-themed postcards on Postagram to share on Twitter and Facebook. According to the airport’s website, volunteers dressed in Dickensian attire added to the holiday spirit of the campaign (FlySFO.com). Digital Signage: Digital signage refers to an electronic display of information. Typically viewed via a liquid crystal display (LCD) monitor, direct view light emitting diode (LED) display or video projection, digital signage is used to display informational, advertising, or entertain- ing content to an audience. Digital signage typically uses a content management system (CMS) that consists of software used to build, schedule, and deploy content though servers, computers (players), and network/video infrastructure. Although all digital signage is technically dynamic in nature (due to the ability to update content on the fly), for the purpose of this guidebook, digital signage has been divided into three distinct categories: • Static digital signage • Dynamic digital signage • Interactive digital signage Digital signage is intended to enhance the customer experience by providing real time, up-to- date, and reliable information. Providing unreliable information is a disservice to the customer and can affect the airport’s credibility, making customers unhappy. While designing a digital signage program requires the knowledge of many aspects of the end users’ business segments and is not a one-size-fits-all solution, certain guidelines can be followed to forge a successful program. The following is a list of the universal design principles for a digital signage program: • Equitable use: The design does not disadvantage or stigmatize any group of users. • Flexibility in use: The design accommodates a wide range of individual preferences and abilities. • Simple, intuitive use: Use of the design is easy to understand, regardless of the user’s experience, knowledge, language skills, or current concentration level. • Perceptible information: The design communicates necessary information effectively to the user, regardless of ambient conditions or the user’s sensory abilities.

The Customer Experience 45 • Tolerance for error: The design minimizes hazards and the adverse consequences of acciden- tal or unintended actions. • Low physical effort: The design can be used efficiently and comfortably, and with a minimum of fatigue. • Size and space for approach and use: Appropriate size and space is provided for approach, reach, manipulation, and use, regardless of the user’s body size, posture, or mobility. Static Digital Signage: Static digital signage refers to information provided by a digital display (see Figure 2-26) and has the ability to be updated dynamically but does not provide active con- tent updates. Static digital signage pulls information and data from a live database but typically does not use aggregator feeds within the build. Typically, static digital signage is used to display: • Airport directories • Provide directions • Static wayfinding maps • Temporary signage Static digital signage is the first step in making the transition from print to digital, allow- ing the displayed information to be updated as needed. The dynamic nature of an airport makes printed maps costly to constantly change and keep up to date. When moving to a digi- tal environment, the content used for the website and any mobile device can be aggregated through a CMS and displayed digitally, keeping all formats accurate and consistent. As shown in Figure 2-27, displaying information digitally also lends well to multilingual messages. With traditional signage, a lot more real estate is required to display every message in all neces- sary languages. With digital signage, multilingual content can be developed by programming multiple languages into the sign build. The passenger can then pick their language digitally, eliminating the need for multiple printed signs. Through the research, it was determined that half of the eight U.S. airports visited used static digital directories and one out of five foreign airports did not. In 2007, Congress fully authorized the Model Ports Program and appropriated $40 million to expand it to the 20 U.S. airports with the highest number of inbound international visitors and hire no fewer than 200 new CBP officers at those model airports (CBP 2015c). Since the program’s creation, DHS has initiated several improvements to expedite and enhance passen- ger processing, including installing digital display monitors in the processing area to educate Source: Arora Engineers, Inc. Figure 2-26. Digitally displayed directory.

46 Guidelines for Improving Airport Services for International Customers passengers about the screening process and establishing a new professionalism program to improve customer service training for its officers. The Model Ports Program holds a large stake in multilingual signage. Multiple airports have networked displays with a computer-based control system so CBP can control the displays by selecting one of 32 standard messages to be displayed on a localized control panel based on the des- tination of the outbound flight. This system is also used to support international passengers with multilingual message placement on the displays. By determining what character size is required to clearly display an international message, the back end system then can create the images in an XML language, and project it onto a large video wall through interface equipment that will take a video signal and pixelate it to the matrix size previously determined. Dynamic Digital Signage: Dynamic digital signage, like static, is displayed digitally allowing updates to occur in real time. Dynamic signage uses live information feeds from multiple aggrega- tors fed through a common database to constantly update the information. Viewers will see the information change in real time, making the content dynamic. The purpose of dynamic signage is to offer the passenger real time, up-to-date information. The most common systems that require dynamic signage include: • Baggage information • Flight information • Gate information • General information such as news or weather • Ground transportation information • Visual paging • Wayfinding Consistency is key when dealing with live data. Flight data is one example of information that comes from a live feed. When data from a flight information aggregator such as the Aircraft Source: ACRP 03-35 Research Team Figure 2-27. Static signage with multiple languages.

The Customer Experience 47 Situation Display to Industry (ASDI) data stream service is not available, receiving data directly from the airline is required. When individual airlines manage their own flight information, the air- port has to work directly with each airline to route the data through the airport’s back end system to display properly. Similarly, for baggage information, baggage handling systems process this data and can display it or can hand off the feed to a CMS. To keep a consistent look, the airport should be heavily involved in the content development process, formatting and creating a pallet that fits the airports branding. As shown in Figure 2-28, ground transportation information is used to help customers find areas such as airport parking lots or hotel shuttle or regional bus/train stations. Airport shuttles are common in many mid-sized hubs that are spread out but do not offer an auto- mated people mover such as an AirTran. Providing information for shuttle time arrival will help a passenger plan the final stages of their journey. This information can be collected from a number of different systems that use automated vehicle location systems and GPS. Wayfinding is displayed statically and dynamically. Indoor Geospatial Information System (iGSI) providers such as Google, Apple, Esri, etc., are currently working with many airports to provide street view-like options for indoor maps of the terminal to help with wayfinding at pre- and post-security (see Figure 2-29). This option is available to use across all platforms, providing passengers the ability to find amenities and points of interest in the terminal. With the help of indoor navigation apps, passengers can search for airlines, gates, concessions, restroom facilities, etc., and receive personalized directions to their point of interest. Advanced algorithms can be introduced to calculate walking times that may be displayed via dynamic digital signage. Based on inbound/outbound flight patterns, time of day and location, or beacons, the back-end software can calculate how long it would take to walk to the passenger’s gate, what the best travel method may be, and then diagram how to get there. A FlightView sur- vey determined that 79 percent of customers want updates about security wait times. It was also Source: ACRP 03-35 Research Team Figure 2-28. Ground transportation information display.

48 Guidelines for Improving Airport Services for International Customers determined that keeping the customer happy has a monetary incentive for the airports where highly satisfied customers tend to spend 45 percent more in retail shops (FlightView 2015). Visual Paging: A visual paging system (VPS) utilizes dynamic digital signage to display customer- specific as well as universal messages meant for passengers (see Figure 2-30). Many times these messages are derives from verbal messages announced from a public address system (PAS). A VPS usually integrates the services of an audio paging/messaging system with a CMS. For the purposes of complete intelligibility, messages that are verbally announced may also be sent to the CMS to be displayed dynamically on digital media. Message intelligibility describes a customer’s ability to understand fully the message announced over the PA system. While intelligibility is a difficult met- ric to measure because of the variance between each customer’s ability to audibly comprehend a message, visual paging enhances intelligibility by displaying the message visually. While an inter- national passenger at a foreign airport may be able to somewhat understand that native language, an audible message may be lost on that passenger because of the level of intelligibility the sound system is able to produce. Reading the message enables the customer to take more time to digest what the message is conveying. Dynamic visual paging can display up-to-date messages in multiple languages, truly enhancing the intelligibility of paging messages. Source: Google Maps Figure 2-29. Google Street view examples. Source: ACRP 03-35 Research Team Figure 2-30. Visual paging.

The Customer Experience 49 Interactive Signage: The main goal of interactive signage is to reduce traveler stress by provid- ing clear, easy to follow instructions while at the same time highlighting shopping and dining opportunities that are available along one’s journey to the gate. Interactive signage, as shown in Figure 2-31, allows the passenger to do just that, interact with the digital display. By integrating a touch panel on the LCD display and intelligent content management software, a simple screen turns into a portal that allows users to receive customized information at their fingertips from a public display. Using the same information pool developed for static and dynamic signage main- tains the ease of updates and familiar user experience. From the airports visited and surveyed, it is almost a 50/50 split between airports embracing the technology with half domestic airports using digital directories and three of five international airports. Kiosks: Kiosks are another form of interactive dynamic signage. Kiosks are used by airlines for passenger check-in, by CBP for Global entry fast track check-in, and by airports for help desk services. Kiosks are typically outfitted with a small interactive display with an identification device to scan a boarding pass, passport, credit card or other ID. As shown in Figure 2-32, airline kiosks can be maintained by the airport or each individual airline. A kiosk managed by an airport typically uses Common Use Self Service (CUSS). This refers to a shared kiosk the passenger can use to check-in regardless of the airline. Check-in kiosks can be located in a number of locations throughout an airport, but are most commonly seen in the departures hall. Passengers can use the airline kiosks to: • Change seats or flights • Check bags or luggage • Report lost bags or luggage • Purchase tickets • Print ticket receipts • Update their information, if they are frequent passenger of the airline • Find information about return flights Source: Arora Engineers, Inc. Figure 2-31. Interactive directory with boarding pass scanner.

50 Guidelines for Improving Airport Services for International Customers Avatars: Beyond CUSS, airports are using other forms of technology, such as kiosks and ava- tars to assist passengers and enhance the user experience. Providing a limited amount of infor- mation based on the customer’s selection, customer service kiosks are placed at key areas such as immigration area or at information booths throughout a terminal to provide information to the passenger without having to interact with a customer service agent. The research survey indicated that helpful staff is the second most important feature an airport can offer. The goal of introducing automated processes is not to replace the human interaction but to enhance the customer experience by providing an alternate option. Robots: Other forms of technology providing airport information to the customer include roving robots, which have been deployed in a handful of domestic and international airports. Robots are designed to roam around and help answer questions, much like an ambassador. Basi- cally a Segway with an iPad, customers can interact with the robot to obtain information. Avatars and holograms are being used to work alongside the human customer service personnel to help more customers with the added advantage of understanding a wider variety of languages. The virtual assistant at the self-service check-in kiosks at Chopin Airport is an attention grabber that encourages passengers to use the self-service check-in kiosk. It makes this service more effective and adds a high-tech dimension to the airport’s image. In the United States, JFK International, LaGuardia, and Newark Liberty airports have added virtual assistants to provide basic airport information to arriving passengers, including information about security screening procedures. Other interactive information dispensers include interactive displays with boarding pass scan- ners. A boarding pass scanner will automatically deliver key information while having the ability to expand their experience using the touch function. These are particularly useful for airports that may not invest in multilingual signage; it allows passengers to scan their boarding passes and the signage will show the best way to get to the destination by drawing a line from their current location to the gate. If the passengers see a dining option along the way, they can tap that area of the screen to find more information. Source: ACRP 03-35 Research Team Figure 2-32. Airline specific check-in kiosks.

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TRB's Airport Cooperative Research Program (ACRP) Research Report 161: Guidelines for Improving Airport Services for International Customers assists airport practitioners in implementing departure and arrival processes, passenger services, and wayfinding techniques for international travelers navigating through U.S. airports. The report covers processing international passengers from origin through gateway airports to their ultimate destination; identifies key elements of the international customer experience that can influence satisfaction in light of the customers’ diverse backgrounds; defines acceptable service levels that an international passenger experiences; and provides service metrics for passenger processing at airports, based upon internationally acceptable wait times.

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