The spring 2016 air travel season is on track to be the busiest ever, with passenger volume exceeding 2015’s peak by 3 percent. According to Airlines for America, 140 million passengers were expected to fly America’s airlines during March and April. That equates to 2.3 million people a day traversing through the nation’s airports – 2.3 million people who need to get to their gates, find the way to the restroom, grab a bite to eat, buy gifts and souvenirs for the family, and kill time between connections. And with airlines warning passengers to arrive at the airport at least two hours ahead of their flights, it’s a truly captive audience.
The increase in passenger traffic combined with longer wait times is putting pressure on airports to up their game in terms of passenger experience. Airports are investing heavily in upgrading technology and experience, with a goal of trying to make average airline passengers feel like they are sitting in their living rooms instead of an airport lobby.
Ten years ago, when a passenger walked into an airport, there would typically be a video wall made of 10 TVs. That was new and fancy technology back then. But now, that’s considered “old school.” Airports have since migrated to LED displays, which are seamless and flash beautiful colors, but our collective brains are still adjusting to their vividness, so they don’t have the same impact as they did when first introduced. They are starting to blend in with the rest of the scenery at airports and passengers just don’t notice them as much anymore. Airports are now looking to use LED display technology to make a statement, provide useful information and provide an additional stream of revenue in the form of advertising.