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As Airports Grow More Homogenous, Few Unique Amenities Remain

A survey of North American airports finds that as airports large and small compete to offer the same basic services, a few rare amenities are still available to offer a unique travel experience.

A new study conducted by the Airports Council International – North America (ACI-NA) reveals what many flyers have come to suspect: Airports are becoming more and more alike. Although today’s airports can generally be expected to offer many of the same basic services and amenities, that doesn’t mean there aren’t a select few one-of-a-kind offerings out there.

The annual “Guest Experience Management and Passenger Amenities Survey” released this month was compiled as a resource to help illustrate industry-wide trends. The 69 airports in the US and Canada responding to the survey account for more than three-quarters of the air traffic in North America.

Nearly every airport surveyed offered some form of the most popular services for passengers including in-terminal ATMs, retail outlets, charging stations and wi-fi service. By contrast, only one airport surveyed offers slot machines as a passenger amenity and only a handful of facilities reported being equipped to offer mobile phone rentals, bicycle trails, historical points of interest or in-airport concierge services.

“North American airports are continually expanding and enhancing their passenger experience programs and amenities to provide an enjoyable and efficient experience for airport users,” ACI-NA President Kevin M. Burke explained. “Whether engaging with passengers through an animal therapy program to instill a sense of calm in a busy terminal or providing ample electrical charging stations for mobile devices, airports are committed to not only meeting passengers’ expectations but exceeding them.”

The study predicts that some services like pay phones, smoking lounges and full-service banks will continue to fade away, while other amenities such as rooms for nursing mothers, observation decks and children’s play areas will become more prolific over the coming years.

[Photo: Shutterstock]

Comments are Closed.
live5 March 23, 2017

Are you advocating that you want more pay phones, smoking lounges, and full service banks? They're fading away for a reason. I'm fine with the direction we're moving.

swm61230 March 23, 2017

My problem is that there should be a smoking area airside at all airports due to the insane security lines that are now abound. Most of not all international destinations I have been to all have smoking lounges. And while I am trying to quit I still think they should exist.

Sydneyberlin March 23, 2017

Well, restricting this article to American airports for all, doesn't really make much sense. Everyone knows that most US airports feel like out of an 80ies movie- as do many of the airplanes and flight attendants!

FlyingWithers March 22, 2017

So true. I use KUL quite a bit, K.L., Malaysia, and found a new option yesterday: a Taco Bell. Heavens.