How do you view the purpose of your airport furniture?
From the eyes of pure utility, your priority may be to make sure there are simply enough seats to handle the thousands of travelers that come through the space each and every day.
We’ve all experienced waiting for a flight where there were not enough seats, and we see people have to lean on walls, sit on floors, and even block walkways. That experience can sometimes be enough to ruin an entire trip.
In many ways, this is why beam seating has dominated aviation spaces for so long. What it lacks in comfort, it makes up for in capacity.
However, while meeting your seating quota is certainly a factor in your furniture decision-making, it shouldn’t be the only factor when considering what furniture would support travelers best in your airport.
If you’ve ever had a long layover, you know how hard it can be to find a place for a quick rest. Beam seating, while great for providing places to sit for large groups of travelers, lacks intentional comfort and the feeling of security to rest, work, charge your devices, or relax before your flight.
In recent years especially, the focus for airports has rightfully shifted towards customer experience.
Navigating the COVID-19 pandemic was a prime example of how we had to incorporate intentional design to adapt and provide feelings of comfort and safety through airport seating options. We had to consider how we could meet socially-distanced guidelines and ultimately help our travelers feel comfortable traveling again.
Even though COVID-19 restrictions have lessened, we got a glimpse into how customer experience in airports could have a positive effect on their overall trip. By providing better seating options and taking into account travelers’ needs, we can greatly improve their experience through our furniture options.
Here are 5 ways to use furniture to improve customer experience in airports:
1) Recomposure Spaces
One of the prime opportunities to improve travelers’ experience is the space available immediately after TSA. Travelers are rushing to grab their shoes, their belongings, and get everything back together. In a situation where they are already feeling rushed and overwhelmed, it’s important to provide a space where they can recompose themselves.
Agati’s bench seating is a great option to provide travelers a place to put their laptops back in their bags, their shoes back on, and feel calm and ready to continue on through the space.
Want to learn more about recomposure spaces? Check out our podcast episode with John Groves.
2) Power Access
Everyone has devices today, not just business travelers. Parents are bringing devices to keep their children occupied while adults stream music or pre-download the latest episode of their favorite show. Power access has become a necessity both on the flight and in the airport.
As we shared in this recent article, this isn’t just about convenience anymore. With the digital world we live in, this is now a core piece of providing a feeling of safety and calm to everyone who travels through the airport.
The Power Bar not only provides access to charging for all traveler’s devices, it also helps provide a sense of safety. It is now available in Table Height and the Skinny Bar versions as well. Learn how the Power Bar supports users here.
3) Individual Space
In a post-pandemic world, individual space is still longed for by travelers. As a whole, innate human behavior leads us to desire a sense of refuge and safety, which often involves a covering for an individual’s back. These seating options allow travelers to lower their anxiety, settling in for a while, relaxing before their next flight, or even getting some focused work done.
Here are some great options to help maximize the amount of individual space available while still helping you meet your seating quota:
4) Clear Prospect
In addition to the feeling of security, as humans we also value the ability to find seating where we can “perch” and survey our environment as needed. We want to be aware of what’s going on around us at some level, no matter if we’re reading a book, having a meeting, or getting some work done.
Part of our comfort in busy public spaces comes from knowing we are able to survey the space we’re in. This is a large part of the popularity behind our Power Bar.
If you observe your beam seating, you’ll find that there will be empty seats between individuals or groups. This is the “lost seat factor” commonly seen in public environments, a challenge that prospect-oriented seating actually helps circumvent.
5) Separate High-Traffic and Low-Traffic Spaces
We’ve all seen it before. As flights begin to board, people start overflowing into the lanes of foot traffic. It can create quite a traffic jam!
However, when you use furniture strategically, you can improve customer experience by separating high-traffic and low-traffic spaces. This could be in a scenario similar to what’s mentioned above. Another example could be to separate your cafeteria from travelers rushing to their flight. You might even use furniture strategically to create lounge environments that give travelers a sense of relaxation and focus.
You can create a variety of functional environments for travelers by utilizing a privacy wall or high backing to create separation. Our favorite pieces to help do this are the Skinny Power Bar with a modesty panel or the Gee Aviation Collection with walls. For even more fluid spaces, check out the Gee Curve!
Prioritizing your customer experience is the key to happier travelers and overall satisfaction, which serves to significantly increase loyalty to your airport and significantly decrease anxiety.
Interested in how Agati can help improve the customer experience in your airport? Get in touch with one of our design experts today!