Towards a taxonomy of passenger airport experience

Kirk, Philip J., Popovic, Vesna, Kraal, Ben J., & Livingstone, Alison (2012) Towards a taxonomy of passenger airport experience. In Israsena, Praima, Tangsantikul, Juthamas, & Durling, David (Eds.) DRS 2012 Bangkok – Research : Uncertainty, Contradiction and Value, Department of Industrial Design, Faculty of Architecture, Chulalongkorn University, Bangkok, pp. 1-12.

View at publisher


Airports are vital sources of income to a country and city. Airports are often understood from a management perspective, rather than a passenger perspective. As passengers are a vital customer of airports, a passenger perspective can provide a novel approach in understanding and improving the airport experience. This paper focuses on the study of passenger experiences at airports. This research is built on recent investigations of passenger discretionary activities in airports by the authors, which have provided a new perspective on understanding the airport experience.

The research reported in this paper involves field studies at three Australian airports. Seventy one people who had impending travel were recruited to take part in the field study. Data collection methods included video-recorded observation and post-travel interviews. Observations were coded and a list of activities performed was developed. These activities were then classified into an activity taxonomy, depending on the activity location and context.

The study demonstrates that there is a wide range of activities performed by passengers as they navigate through the airport. The emerging activity taxonomy consists of eight categories. They include:

(i) processing (ii) preparatory (iii) consumptive (iv) social (v) entertainment (vi) passive (vii) queuing and (viii) moving.

The research provides a novel perspective to understand the experience of passenger at international airports. It has been applied in airports to improve passenger processing and reduce waiting times. The significance of the taxonomy lies in its potential application to airport terminal design and how it can be utilised to understand and improve the passenger experience.

Impact and interest:

Search Google Scholar™

Citation counts are sourced monthly from Scopus and Web of Science® citation databases.

These databases contain citations from different subsets of available publications and different time periods and thus the citation count from each is usually different. Some works are not in either database and no count is displayed. Scopus includes citations from articles published in 1996 onwards, and Web of Science® generally from 1980 onwards.

Citations counts from the Google Scholar™ indexing service can be viewed at the linked Google Scholar™ search.

Full-text downloads:

540 since deposited on 25 Oct 2012
66 in the past twelve months

Full-text downloads displays the total number of times this work’s files (e.g., a PDF) have been downloaded from QUT ePrints as well as the number of downloads in the previous 365 days. The count includes downloads for all files if a work has more than one.

ID Code: 54320
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: Airport Passenger Experience, Experience, Taxonomy of Passenger Experience, Observation
ISBN: 9786165515740
Subjects: Australian and New Zealand Standard Research Classification > BUILT ENVIRONMENT AND DESIGN (120000) > DESIGN PRACTICE AND MANAGEMENT (120300) > Design Innovation (120302)
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Design
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2012 [please consult the author]
Deposited On: 25 Oct 2012 02:39
Last Modified: 20 Jun 2015 19:10

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page