Customer Service Experts' Annual Airport Customer Service Survey has arrived!

Each year, the team from CSE attends the Airport Revenue News (ARN) Conference, where the airport industry meets to network and learn about the latest trends.  ARN offers countless opportunities to gather feedback on customer service experiences from airport executives, commercial property managers, CEOs, concession decision-makers, and business development directors.  For the last three years, CSE has gathered data from ARN attendees to help clearly define the passenger experience both landside and airside, and illustrate the importance of preparing employees to deliver exemplary customer service.

In 2014, over 700 million passengers traveled through airports in North America and those travelers spent over $900 billion on concessions.  Check out ARN’s breakdown of their spending in top North American airports: 

2014 Food and Beverage - $5 billion
2014 Duty Free and Specialty Retail - $2.5 billion
2014 News and Gift - $1.5 billion

With this amount of spending, the importance of training employees to deliver an outstanding airport experience becomes instantly apparent.

So what did we learn this year when talking to ARN attendees about the importance of outstanding customer service?  Check out our 2016 infographic summary where 98% of those surveyed said employee skills are important in delivering a great airport experience and 81% said they believed employee service skills impacted passenger purchasing decisions!  With that landside information, we at CSE are even more motivated to help you define your vision for your airport passenger experience and help you design a strategic customer service program.


Since the launch of the survey at ARN in 2014, we are able to clearly see the industry’s emerging understanding of the necessity of an outstanding and consistent passenger experience, from curb side to gate side. The information we have gathered illustrates the importance of defining and delivering exceptional customer service at every touchpoint along a traveler’s journey within an airport.  Here are a few highlights from our research:

ARN attendees feel airports deliver brand message well:

2014 - 5.3%
2015 - 9 %
2106 - 23 % (Wow!  The dramatic increase from 5.3% to 23% in just two years shows airports’ understanding of the importance of delivering a consistent, positive passenger experience from curb side to gate side)

ARN Attendees feel strongly that customer service impacts a passenger’s buying experience:

2014 - 50%
2015 - 50%
2016 - 81% (The importance of exemplary customer service is becoming clearer!)

Check out our 2014 and 2015 surveys to see other trends within our industry.

How can CSE help you improve your passenger experience?  We work collaboratively  with you throughout airport customer service program development, leading you toward creating your own unique structure and standards that will help you reach your passenger experience goals. Each of our airport customer service program development solutions is designed to create comprehensive, consistent and effective standards and in some cases - a service vision - that will guide all future activity and communication. When employees know what the standards are, they can deliver on them. And when managers communicate those standards, they can support them through coaching. When each retailer, service, and department is working with the same standards and consistency, community and continuity is achieved - leading to better passenger experiences!

For nearly 20 years, organizations have trusted CSE to help retool, rethink and reinvigorate their customer and passenger experiences. CSE helped to pioneer the airport service industry, beginning in 2000 with the launch of an industry-first innovative service development program at Ronald Reagan National Airport. Since then, we have worked in over 100 airports and are considered the innovative leader in service development for the airport industry.  Want to see how we roll?

With your success comes ours.  At CSE, we like to share information and tools that help ensure a successful customer experience within your business.  Want to improve your customer’s experience RIGHT NOW?  Check out these resources: