VHT’s Customer Perception Report: Airport Virtual Queuing

Airport queueing has traditionally been a stressful experience. But after pioneering a virtual queueing solution at Seattle-Tacoma International Airport, you can see how customer perception has changed in this report.

Intro to the virtual queueing report

What if you didn’t have to wait in line at the airport?

Now that you’ve let out a deep breath, let it sink in. If the Covid pandemic has changed anything about customer experience, it’s in the realm of convenience.

Customers want efficiency. They want someone else to grab the items off the shelf and hand them over in a box. They expect to order online, pay online, and get carryout handed to them while they’re sitting in their car.

And just as we’ve seen other businesses align with new customer expectations, overhauling antiquated systems and procedures, now the airport experience is getting an upgrade with virtual queueing.

We partnered with Seattle-Tacoma International Airport to pilot the SEA Spot Saver program using Mindful, allowing travelers to wait in line virtually. In this report, we’ll show you how the program works, and report on feedback from 1,000 travelers that used the program.

How virtual queueing works at SEA Airport

Shuffling through the security line at any large airport is awful. It’s anathema. You’re stressed about missing your flight, disrobing in front of strangers, displaying all your personal belongings in a not-quite-big-enough bin—not to mention the worry of potentially missing your flight.

The SEA team took a hard look at their security checkpoints and knew there must be a better way. So we partnered with them to introduce virtual queueing into the security line, allowing customers to relax from anywhere and stroll right through security when their turn comes up.

To streamline the traveler flow from check-in to security, we deployed Mindful’s messaging automation and virtual queueing engine to place travelers in a virtual line and let them know when it’s their turn. Travelers can wait from anywhere, knowing their spot is saved and they can go through security at the most opportune moment for them.

 

Airport Queueing Traveler Flow diagram, showing the flow of how a traveler can enter the virtual queue for an airport security checkpoint

 

Tying it together: Once the traveler goes through the entire journey, Mindful sends them a text with a link to a quick survey. This report explores key findings and results from this survey, showcasing traveler interest in virtual queueing for airport security.

Key findings from traveler feedback

We distilled a few of the report’s trends into these three key findings, based on survey results from 1,000 participants.

1. Travelers saved time and enjoyed every minute of it.

More than 90% of travelers that used SEA Spot Saver said they saved time and had a pleasant experience along the way. One participant commented that the program “saved us so much time for a family with young children!! Loved our experience and so thankful for this worker that helped us.”

2. A relaxed airport experience leads to not only happier customers, but better revenue for concessions.

Travelers enjoyed their lounge time, with 60% reporting that they spent their extra time dining or shopping. Businesses will benefit from airports using Mindful as virtually queueing passengers are no longer confined to a line.

3. Streamlined customer experience is better for everyone.

Resoundingly positive feedback—accounting for 75% of total open-ended comments—shows that travelers of all types loved having control of their time.

Families enjoyed leisurely passage through the terminal: “My family and I were able to avoid the stress of potentially not having enough time to get to our gate and we were able to eat and relax prior to our flight which really improved our experience!”

And those with disabilities cherished options to wait from more comfortable, seated positions: “Helped a lot as I was traveling with my son who recently had surgery. Saving time and avoiding a large crowd was great.”