Current page: Keeping passengers happy at Europe’s busiest airport

Keeping passengers happy at Europe’s busiest airport

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Heathrow is Europe’s largest airport and one of the world’s top international aviation hubs. As the UK’s global gateway, Heathrow welcomes almost 80 million passengers every year. The airport is home to more than 80 airlines and is Britain’s largest cargo port, helping to drive British trade growth by connecting the nation to more than 200 destinations around the world. Heathrow is currently ranked by passengers as the ‘Best Airport in Western Europe’ for the fourth year running and the ‘Best Airport for Shopping’ for 9 years in a row.

The challenge

Heathrow is an enormous ecosystem, with an understandably complex operational structure. To improve customer satisfaction, wait times and staff helpfulness must be tracked across check-in, security, immigration, and baggage reclaim, to give just a few examples. Heathrow’s Passenger Experience & Airport Insight team interviews more than 500,000 passengers per year. The data collected is key in measuring and reporting on factors that range across the entire travel journey, from arrivals to departures and connections, so as to identify potential areas for improvement. Given the number of passenger interactions, the scope of this data collection is understandably vast.

Traditionally, this data was fragmented, delivered as interactive Excel reports or PowerPoint decks. There was therefore a significant delay in generating useful reports, making it hard to get the right data to the right people at the right time. As discussed in previous articles, this problem was further compounded by the sheer volume of data being generated, resulting in lengthy processing times. The airport was forced to be reactive rather than proactive.

The Heathrow team were looking for a faster, more effective reporting solution, not only to measure local customer satisfaction, but also for quarterly comparisons against competing airports around the world. The process needed to be automated, so as to free up time to generate insights and add value to business. These reports needed to be distributed across all levels of the organization, including executive team, commercial, customer relations, and HR – all of whom had specific requirements.

In their search for the perfect solution, the Heathrow team investigated several business intelligence solutions, but none had precisely the right functionality. A key requirement was the ability to offer a striking and engaging interface while dealing with huge volumes of data from varying sources. There was only one solution that ticked all these boxes – Dapresy.

The perfect solution

Heathrow commissioned Dapresy to build a reporting portal that would act as a central hub for a range of research programs – the portal became known as ‘Heathrow Discovery’.

Using imagery and iconography from the airline industry, together with Heathrow’s existing branding, provided an intuitive, data-rich environment. Real world signage (such as the recognizable blue and white iconography associated with immigration) was replicated on the portal, making navigation more intuitive for those unfamiliar with dashboards.

With Heathrow Discovery, users can now quickly and intuitively select the research area of interest and get an up-to-date overview of key metrics. More detailed analysis and comparison is available through multiple filters, allowing users to gain rapid, valuable insights into performance over time or against competitors. Traditional reporting had provided the ‘what’ – Dapresy provided the ‘how’ and ‘why’.

Users accustomed to receiving traditional static monthly and quarterly reports can still do so – these reports, however, can now be generated automatically and populated with real time data the moment it’s received. Users can also perform their own data analysis and export results to Excel and PowerPoint.

Monthly reports had previously taken several people a week to compile and check – now they can be produced within a day. Similarly, when stakeholders require custom reports (for example, the perception of immigration in a specific terminal) they can be generated on the fly, without tying up additional man hours. Team members who were previously occupied with these laborious, time consuming tasks are now free to devote more time to other, more critical job functions.

What next?

And the future? George Efkolides, Head of Passenger Experience & Airport Insights, Heathrow Airport, explains:

“Over time, we expect to take baby steps from monthly, to twice monthly, weekly and then daily reporting. With our wealth of information, we can now advise the business to focus on specific pain points that will have the most impact.”

Want to learn more about how Heathrow’s individual stakeholders are taking advantage of Dapresy Pro? Read on

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