Tuesday, 18 September 2012

Taking Advantage of the Time-Suck: Some Basic Blogging Strategy for Airports.

After analysing how the retail travel sector effectively engages their consumers, and how an airline can destroy their reputation through poorly managed social media strategy, I feel I'm starting to get a good idea of what enterprise 2.0 strategies work for the travel industry.

With this newfound knowledge I am going to shift my focus ever so slightly to the place that is the beginning and end of every business trip, every weekend getaway, every tropical beach escape; That's right folks, I'm talking about the airport.

Until my Gulfstream G650 arrives, I, like most passengers am going to have to deal with the less enjoyable parts of flying. Being herded into my tiny seat in economy, being politely asked not to make a scene when removed from the airport lounge I snuck into, long layovers, and unavoidable delays.

With the amount of downtime passengers have in airports, especially on long haul flights it makes sense to try and increase their engagement with their temporary home by implementing a strategy that empowers passengers to contribute to their community.

The Terminal

An airport isn't really an airport without one. The same goes for any airport that doesn't have an interactive space to communicate with its' passengers. An interactive 'terminal' dealing with issues relating to customer service and crisis management, as well as providing up to date, useful information about the day to day operations of the site should be the logistical hub of the blogging strategy. 

By engaging these disgruntled passengers they can quickly become brand advocates. Put simply, nothing sells you like the recommendation of someone you trust. So get this right and you're on your way to success.

The Lounge

My connecting flight doesn't arrive for another few hours so I've got some time to kill. while I'm floating down the travelator I spot a QR code and pull out my phone to snap it. It links me to a twitter feed that promises all of the general info mentioned above as well as some value adding extras. Put me in a confined space with competing retail outlets and some time to kill and I'll give up a follow or a like to see what benefits i can reap from this inevitable time-suck, and I bet I'm not alone.
For the airport, this is a textbook win-win. Tenants get help marketing their businesses, and passengers feel like they gain a bit more control over what can often be a pretty dismal process.
Copenhagen announced an augmented reality app that does more than pitch deals from adjacent retailers–it actually shows travelers what’s nearby. It uses wifi to help with the triangulation that’s needed to pinpoint exact locations.
With airlines not offering much of anything unless you're flying business (domestically at least), in-airport concessions become even more palatable for passengers, and profitable for airports.

The Outcome

These are just two very simple ways to add value to the experience of passengers travelling through any airport. By addressing these areas and engaging with passengers on a more personal level it is possible to see improvements in not only revenue but in the satisfaction of passengers using the site, making sure that the hot topic of conversation with their friends is about their holiday and not their horrific airport experience. 

Thanks for reading,



  1. Nice post Justin,

    It is fantastic to see that Augmented reality is being successfully utilised in a real time airport situation. To me it seems like the very beginning stages of a holographic type guide that you would see in a movie like total recall. I think that it is only a matter of time until the majority of organisations realise that being smart with web 2.0 really is a win-win.

  2. Hey Adam,

    Thanks for reading! It really made me think of minority report or something equally as sci fi! A perfect example of how it could be used really, as all the ads are targeted directly at the individual. super targeted, relevant, and interesting advertising..Look out world!