More than Half of All Flyers Like the Perks of Getting to the Airport Early

An independent survey of frequent flyers published by lounge-membership company Priority Pass finds that 56% of all air travellers would be encouraged to arrive at the airport early if there are treats in store like duty free shopping and special discounts.

The survey of almost 3,000 respondents in the UK, UAE, USAGermanyFranceSingapore and Hong Kong finds that 53% of all passengers believe the airport is something to be enjoyed.

  • 64% said that they like to find a bargain at the airport
  • 35% were looking for something luxurious that they would not ordinarily buy

Lounge Comfort Trumps Retail Therapy

Despite the appeal of shopping, many will rush to the lounge to find some peace and quiet.

  • 59% of frequent business flyers consider access to a premium airport lounge to be an ‘important’ or ‘very important’ factor when selecting an airport
  • 40% admit they go straight to the lounge and avoid the shops altogether

Priority Pass is trying to address these seemingly conflicting priorities by reshaping its services.

Stephen Simpson, Global Marketing Director for Priority Pass, part of Collinson Group, explains: “We are witnessing an important shift in mind-set when it comes to the airport experience and it is clear that today’s frequent flyers no longer view themselves as passengers merely transiting the airport but as consumers seeking more rewarding travel journeys. In order to address this, Priority Pass has developed a range of offers which extends its lounge access program to include other benefits to improve the airport experience. We are working to extend these benefits further to make every aspect of the airport experience easier and more enjoyable for our Members.”

I’m thinking a personal shopper service in the lounge is something an airport or airline brand should trial immediately. Just putting that out there. 

Digital Matters

Similar to the most recent passenger study conducted by SITA, the Priority Pass survey found that flyers are keen to take advantage of technology to simplify the journey.

  • 50% of European travellers believe that digital boarding passes and e-tickets make the airport experience much easier
  • 24% of travellers use airport mobile apps–and 41% of frequent business flyers do.

Priority Pass is now issuing a digital membership card (app) to keep up with mobile travellers.


Marisa Garcia

After working for sixteen years in aviation, specializing in aircraft interiors design and aviation safety equipment, and getting hands-on with aircraft cabins in hangars around the world, Marisa Garcia turned her expertise into industry insight. She has been reporting on aviation matters since 2014. Every day, she's putting words to work.

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