Around the globe, airports have found new ways to generate revenue opportunities from offerings unrelated to travel. It's a trend that is getting traction in the U.S. With more people traveling, planes fill up faster, and airlines responding with more flight options for travelers. As a result, airports are getting busier and growing larger in size. Leading airports are addressing the increased traveler flow by creating a differentiated passenger experience. This is especially the case at airports that aspire to become, or already are international hubs.
Experienced travelers are opting to distribute their spending in different ways. This may involve purchasing a low-cost flight but upgrading the airport experience with fast-track security, VIP-level F&B ordering alternatives and a pay-to-use lounge. It's becoming a ‘choose your own experience’ that is opening up a number of new revenue streams for airports. And some airports are considering whether a tailored VIP proposition can complement their range of passenger choices. Originally operated as an exclusive service for celebrities or other VIPs, a new end-to-end passenger experience has opened up for those who seek an elevated experience.
VIP services can also support strategic corporate goals, thus demonstrating airlines’ and airports’ desires to enhance the journey for its passengers. Sound familiar? Perhaps they’re taking a cue from the hospitality industry? Regardless, the trend is moving across the world and it’s only a matter of time before it becomes yet another expectation among travelers. Are airports becoming a new player in hospitality? If guests can upgrade their experience at the airport, but not at their hotel or resort, hospitality properties may soon find guest recruitment more challenging than ever.