During “The Airport Experience: Insight from Customers” webinar, which was sponsored by registered traveller programme Clear, Peterson praised airports for bringing a “Top Chef” mentality to concessions with the inclusion of restaurants like celebrity chef Rick Bayless’ Frontera Torta at Chicago O’Hare.
“I love name brands and local flavours in airports. I never look at the price tag at Frontera. Frequent flyers like quality and are willing to pay for it,” he says.
On the technology front, Peterson urges airports to work with existing offerings including TripIt and GateGuru instead of building separate smart phone apps.
“I have 73 apps on my iPhone, and most I don’t use. Give them the information so we can have it all in one place,” he says.
Peterson’s two gripes are near and dear to my heart: paid/slow Wi-Fi and a dearth of power outlets. “Airports have slow Wi-Fi speeds. These systems need to be modernised so we can upload photos quickly. We already feel like we’ve paid for Wi-Fi with all the airport fees. So modernize and stop charging and we’ll love you for improving our experience.”
Programmes and apps suck the life out of travellers’ devices, suggests Peterson. “I see some airports have power poles, but it’s not enough. Smart road warriors bring their own power strips and extension cords, but that’s an accident waiting to happen. We need more and we need it to be accessible.”
Meanwhile, airlines are fielding similar complaints about the speed of inflight Wi-Fi and the lack of power ports on many aircraft. Tackling the former obstacle Gogo is experimenting with price increases with its various airline partners in the United States. The move may reduce pressure on overwhelmed onboard Wi-Fi systems, as argued in this OpEd piece.