A new international survey has found that more than half of today’s frequent flyers consider the airport more than just a place of transit and make an effort to go early for some pre-flight respite and retail therapy.
That’s the overriding conclusion of a survey that polled 3,000 travellers from Britain, the United Arab Emirates, United States, Germany, France, Singapore and Hong Kong which aimed to shed light on flyers’ attitudes on their airport experience. One of the biggest attractions is, not surprisingly, duty-free shopping. More than half (56%) said they make a point to arrive at the airport early to shop, and 64% said they look for bargains.
Another 35% said they take advantage of duty-free shopping to pamper themselves with a luxurious name-brand gift that they wouldn’t normally buy. The story is slightly different for business travellers 40% said they bypass the shops altogether and head straight to the airport lounge.
That figure corresponds with the fact that 59% of frequent business flyers consider access to an airport lounge to be an important or very important factor when selecting an airport.Meanwhile, if there’s one airport that has raised the bar in airport experiences, it’s Singapore‘s Changi Airport, which has repeatedly taken the top spot in best airport rankings.
The Asian hub is often described as a destination in and of itself, with features that include tropical rooftop gardens, movie theatres, free foot massages, and free sight-seeing tours into the city for flyers with long airport layovers.
A new addition, the Jewel Changi Airport, is also in development that will feature an indoor living forest spanning five levels, walking trails, and the world’s tallest indoor waterfall, all housed under a glass biodome. The target opening date is early 2019.
In Europe, half of travellers said that digital boarding passes and e-tickets make for an easier airport experience. Nearly a quarter – 24% – said they use airport mobile apps. That figure rises to 41% among frequent business travellers.
The survey was carried out by Priority Pass, a programme that provides frequent travellers with airport lounge access irrespective of their class of travel or airline.