Airport Passenger Experiences: Towards an Understanding of the Concept From a Passenger Perspective

Johan Gerlif & Christian Philip Høyer Lund

Student thesis: Master thesis


The global airport industry has seen significant changes within the last decades due to deregulation and introduction of low-cost-carriers. This change have resulted in the fact that airport passengers have been recognized as influential stakeholders and increased the focus on the airport passengers’ experience.
The purpose of this thesis is to contribute with an understanding of the concept ‘airport passenger experience’. By conducting empirical research as a combination of field interviews in Copenhagen Airport and a focus group interview there have been shed light on this matter from a passenger perspective.
By an empirical research study of the current passenger experience in combination with theories from existing literature the concept of airport passenger experience have been investigated. The thesis have made use of theories within the area of service management (marketing), experience economy and customer experiences. Furthermore, literature in regards of the subject matter airport passenger experiences have also been included to build the theoretical basis for this thesis.
On the basis of the data and insights gained from qualitative field interviews and focus group interview eight recurrent concepts have been brought forth. These have together with experience realms and a proposal of a revised conceptual model of airport passenger experiences contributed with new knowledge in this field.
Some of the most interesting findings that the analysis revealed were the passengers’ need for comfortable seating in quiet environment, a wide selection of different shops and bright and spacious airports. Furthermore, by placing the insights from the interview in the context of experience economy it was seen that airport passengers in general prefer aesthetic and escapist experiences. The data analysis also proposed a need for a physiological perspective in the conceptual model of passenger experience creation.

EducationsMSocSc in Service Management, (Graduate Programme) Final Thesis
Publication date2016
Number of pages119
SupervisorsMads Bødker