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What Airports Need to be Planning Now for their Post COVID-19 Reality

Culture

What Airports Need to be Planning Now for their Post COVID-19 Reality

April 9, 2020

Airports are already experiencing a new normal when it comes to life post-COVID-19. With revenue from enplanements reaching historic lows, the need for airports to think and act strategically has never been greater. Because we’re still not able to comprehensively quantify the effect COVID-19 will have on the traveling public’s mindset, airports are struggling to develop the recovery plans necessary to position themselves for success in the immediate to near term much less the future new reality.

One thing is clear for any destination looking to recover as quickly as possible: you must begin earning trust right now. Trust is easily the most valuable commodity to cultivate with any audience but especially when we’re talking about the health and safety risks consumers experience with air travel. Because trust is hard to earn and easy to lose, airports must act quickly to put the mind of the consumer at ease as they move from places of anxiety and fear to the anticipation of life beyond the quarantine of COVID-19. Here are three crucial ways to begin earning that trust now:

Actively Communicate Precautionary Measures

Travelers are conditioned to think of airports as merely being a means to their getaway ends. Most travelers have few airport choices based on their location which tends to create a different emotional connection as they dream, plan, and act on their leisure vacations. This is why any airport is perfectly primed to disrupt and strengthen that emotional connection during this new normal. Consider actively communicating empathy, care, and deep concern over the health and safety of future guests. Put real faces and real voices to these active communications as we all collectively look to recover what’s been lost.

Leverage the Technology Already in Place

Every airport Streetsense works with has incredible technology already in place through their public wifi. By leveraging this native technology in innovative ways, consumers can experience new feedback loops which prove the airport is listening and wanting to connect in more tangible ways. Consider activating new proximity-based or BLE ready SMS channels through WiFi to provide comfort or surprise and delight opportunities. Leverage existing databases to automatically respond to longer than hoped for in airport queue lines with things like free coffee or discounts to terminal concessionaires.

Create Packages to Speed Up the Entire Consumer Experience

Dive into the mindset of the traveler, and begin designing packages that create ease and peace of mind for those travelers itching to get out their quarantines and experience a new destination. By thinking about the traveler experience from the moment they book, pass through security to the moment they board, airports can design packages to not only speed up the airport experience but also create value-based opportunities for concessionaires as well.

Naturally, some creative solutions will take longer to activate than others, but this is exactly why Streetsense has launched the Vibrant Airport Accelerator to speed up the recovery airports will need. As airports continue to adapt, respond to, and recover, from the impacts of COVID-19, the Streetsense team is ready to act quickly. Our specialized intelligence and experience working with airports across the country give us the ability to empower you with the competitive advantage necessary to recover as quickly as possible.

If your airport is seeking support to accelerate recovery, please contact Josh Collins, Director, Destination Activation + Marketing.

 

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By Josh Collins, Director, Destination Activation + Marketing