The ASQ barometer is a global snapshot of airport customer experience produced by ACI. The source for the recently released ASQ barometer is the ACI Airport Service Quality Departures – main type programme 2022, which is based on Q3 2022 results working with 271 airports. The Airports Council International, ACI, is the trade association of the World’s airports.
In the report contained in the ASQ Barometer, passengers’ overall satisfaction worldwide remained stable compared to the previous quarter Q2, 2022. The satisfaction report showed that performance remained stable across most steps of the passenger journey.
For the report the various categories of the passenger journey being considered in the barometer are: Arrival at the Airport, Check-in, Security Screening, Border Control, Shopping/Dining, Gate Areas, Throughout the Airport and Atmosphere at the Airport.
Looking at regions and airport size, some volatility was however observed. Africa and the Middle East regions reported significant improvement in passenger satisfaction. A significant decline in passenger satisfaction was however witnessed in Asia- Pacific and North America. Europe and Latin America witnessed stability in passenger satisfaction data.
For airport size, three categories of airport sizes showed significant improvement in overall satisfaction. The 5-15mppa category of airport size is the only category that witnessed a significant decrease in passenger satisfaction over the period. Passenger categories are classified into < 2-million, 2-5 million, 5-15 million, 15-25 million, 25- 40 million and > 40 million passengers.
A recent release in October by the African Airlines Association, AFRAA, showed that African airlines have resumed operations to 99.2 percent of routes operated before the pandemic. The report further stated that eight African airlines have exceeded the number of international routes they operated before the pandemic.
Further, AFRAA estimates a 2022 revenue loss of $3.5 billion that is equivalent to twenty percent ( 20%) of 2019 full year revenues. For the 2022 third quarter, the projected revenue loss due to COVID is about $800 million even as jet fuel has continued in an upward trend.
There is a component of the report which has implications for the customer experience. This has to do with some emerging regulatory requirements.
The proposed ban on the Single Use Plastic products by the Indian authorities is one of them. The report says that airlines and catering partners will now no longer be able to source these restricted items in India.
The regulatory requirement on cross border transfers of data from China is another regulatory requirement that both airlines and airports must not overlook for customer experience also. Customers still value predictability and consistency in the travel experience. This must be carefully considered as these regulatory requirements become fully operational.
Customer experience across borders will likely be affected in the pursuit of compliance with these regulations. The gap between the experience the customer expects and what the customer gets while flying across borders on the same airline and possibly the same aeroplane will need to be watched, evaluated and bridged.
Everyone in the value chain of the passenger journey will need to take proactive steps to ensure a seamless customer experience in the emerging regulatory environment.
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