Thursday, May 20, 2010

From a solo to symphony

Even frequent travelers cannot believe that the different organizations at an airport do not work together to provide one common "airport product" as part of their journey. For instance, when they have to wait for their bags at the bag carousel they would blame the lousy airport or maybe their airline. Insiders will tell them that it is a bit more complex and many parties are involved in processing a bag.

Now, should we educate passengers to better understand the complexity of an airport operation? Or, should we make sure that somebody is responsible for the overall quality and efficiency? And, who should that be? There are different models to handle the responsibility for the overall performance of an airport. The one that has not really worked is not to define it at all. Result is, problems are pushed around, there is a blame culture where anybody else is responsible and there are no action plans and unclear responsibilities in irregular situations.

I think that airport operators have a great opportunity to move from a landlord to a more active role driving operational performance. They can make sure that the solo played by individual organizations using their infrastructure becomes a symphony of great passenger experience.

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