Airline growth is always good, but the new year, and the growth that comes with it, presents challenges — we need your help to make sure we stay on track.
A couple of weeks ago the airlines serving Springfield turned in their passenger numbers for November — those numbers all but confirm that 2015 will end up being the busiest year in the history of the Springfield airport.
The all-time airline passenger record for Springfield was set in 2005, with 888,738 total passengers. This year the airlines are on track to move more than 920,000 people through our airport.
Airline growth is good for Springfield and the region, but it presents challenges for the airport — we need your help to make sure we stay on track.
Earlier this year we commissioned a survey of airline passengers at the airport. They had mostly good things to say, but as you’ll see in a minute, there’s room for improvement.
H2R Marketing Research, a Springfield based company, conducted the survey from May 15th to August 15th of this year. 543 departing passengers participated. Overall satisfaction was 4.48 on a 5 point scale. These same passengers rated other airports at 3.61.
Jerry Henry, the owner of H2R, says the survey shows that wait time in the check-in line is the single most important thing to passengers — the shorter, the better. They also want clean restrooms, helpful and efficient TSA security staff, and a pleasing atmosphere. In all of these areas the airport gets very high marks.
But here’s the kicker —
The last passenger survey we did was in 2011. Since then the number of people using the airport has increased more than 20%, while the average satisfaction score fell 3%. That’s the challenge we face — as the number of people using the airport grows, customer satisfaction goes down.
Jerry tells us that whenever there a big increase in customers, satisfaction levels tend to go down. As he puts it, “It doesn’t matter what kind of business you’re talking about — a hotel, an attraction, or a retail store. The decrease in customer satisfaction is not unexpected. What was unexpected was how little the score fell.”
While it’s good to know that a 3% decrease is good, we want to do better. And that’s where we need your help. Give us your feedback; let us know how we’re doing — not just today, but anytime.
There are many things that people dislike about air travel. Those things show up clearly in the survey. They include the cost of airline fare. Airline fees, delayed flights, cancelled flights, airplane mechanical problems, parking rates, security screening, and the price of coffee.
We sympathize, but please know that the airport has little or no control over some of these issues. Believe you me — if we could fix some of those airline issues we’d do it in a heartbeat!
That being said let us know everything. We’ll let you know if it’s something the airport can’t control, and why. And we’ll do our best to improve those things that we can.
You can read the full survey report by clicking here.