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06 June 2018 / by Gareth Hill

 

Capacity Management and the Benefit to Airport Lounge Customer Experience

One of the key selling points of the airport lounge is their offer of a touch of exclusivity. An escape from the general hubbub of the busy, frantic departure terminal, and a chance to indulge in a bit of quiet luxury before, or after, your flight.

Different Routes, Different Access

While it’s certainly the case that the executive lounge is the ‘go to’ place for the frequent travellers in first and business class, these days, their appeal, attraction and accessibility has somewhat broadened.

Access to the lounges across the airports of the world can be gained through a variety of membership schemes such as Priority Pass or Dragon Pass, as well as add-on extras with airlines and tour operators. And, of course, the ability in most cases, to simply pay for a spot directly or through the airport lounge management company.

While these different routes widen the revenue opportunities for the executive airport lounge, it can cause an issue when it comes to managing the capacity, especially given the fact that timings can be so fluid.

people walking on a moving walkway in an airport

Diluting the Customer Experience

Capacity management is important in maintaining the right ambient level of customer experience that you would expect from an airport lounge.

If it’s being sold as an exclusive retreat from the main departure lounge, then the last thing you want is for it to be overcrowded, with guests clambering for spare seating or excessive waiting for your complementary coffee and pastries.

Regardless of the route from which the guest has arrived, the experience of the lounge should be consistent for all – both in the provision of service and general ambience expected of a premium area of the airport.

To fall below this standard due to inefficient and ineffective management of capacity, is to dilute this experience and devalue the executive lounge as a whole.

An Intelligent Booking System to Meet the Challenge

The great challenge for a booking manager or team at an airport executive lounge is ensuring that bookings can be fulfilled appropriately through the numerous channels, while managing the overall capacity of the lounge.

It can be a laborious, painstaking process when managed manually; and fraught with the potential for oversight. A raft of spreadsheets with the daily booking information from the various airlines, membership schemes, affiliates and direct contact, phone or website bookings.

Of course, not only is the risk of mismanaging capacity greater, the very fact that so much time needs to be focused on the administration side, that there is less time for staff to be focusing on the customer service side, itself having a negative impact on overall experience.

The answer, as you will not be surprised to read, can come in through the investment and deployment of intelligent technology. An airport lounge management system that can bring together all the disparate channels to provide the operations team with a singular view of every booking in real-time, be it a direct sale, third-party agent, airline or scheme.

Having complete visibility over guest numbers at any given time, without having to cross-reference different spreadsheets and lists from different sources (which can invariably become outdated very quickly) reduces the risk of over-booking the lounge, and saves a significant amount of operational time that can be better used for business development and customer service.

A better, more efficient means of managing your executive lounge capacity; and the maintenance of the customer experience standards your clients’ would expect.

Read more about how thinkBooker can manage capacity and deliver exceptional airport lounge customer experience on both the front and back-end, on our airport lounge page. 

 

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