Deconstructing expected passenger experience in airports

Kirk, Philip J., Harrison, Anna, Popovic, Vesna, & Kraal, Ben (2014) Deconstructing expected passenger experience in airports. In DRS2014 International Conference of the Design Research Society Proceedings, Umea, Sweden.

View at publisher (open access)


The effect of passenger satisfaction on airport profitability has been widely acknowledged in the aviation industry. As a result, there has been much attention directed towards developing a deeper understanding of the factors that influence the passenger experience.

In this paper, we explore passenger experience from a novel perspective - that of the activities expected to be undertaken by passengers while in the airport terminal building. Using the Taxonomy of Passenger Experience (TOPA) as our framework, we look at the pre-travel interview data of 48 participants. The results of our analysis are used to construct an activity-centred account of the expected passenger experience for international departures.

Our exploration of the expected passenger experienced revealed that not all of the TOPA activities have an equal impact on the passengers' expected experience. The processing, consumptive, preparatory and queuing activity groups featured most prominently in passengers' accounts of their upcoming airport experiences. Of these, the preparatory category was found to have the most direct impact on passenger satisfaction. Additionally, our analysis indicated that utilising queue time to prepare passengers for upcoming processing activities could have a positive effect on both satisfaction and processing efficiency. A further outcome of this research was the observation that "shopping" did not form a part of the expected experience of any of the interviewed participants.

The outcomes of this study can be used by airports to assist in the management of passengers' expected experience in the terminal building. As passenger expectations and passenger satisfaction are intrinsically linked, understanding which activities have the most impact on satisfaction provides a basis from which alternate design choices can be evaluated when constructing, or fine-tuning, airport terminal designs.

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:

87 since deposited on 30 Mar 2015
34 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: 82911
Item Type: Conference Paper
Refereed: Yes
Keywords: passenger, experience, conceptual model, taxonomy, airport
Divisions: Current > Schools > School of Design
Current > QUT Faculties and Divisions > Creative Industries Faculty
Copyright Owner: Copyright 2014 [please consult the authors]
Deposited On: 30 Mar 2015 04:33
Last Modified: 01 Apr 2015 14:32

Export: EndNote | Dublin Core | BibTeX

Repository Staff Only: item control page