Brussels Airport is Belgium’s largest airport, serving over 25 million passengers in a typical year. It connects the European capital with 248 destinations worldwide served by 80 different airlines. The airport puts a strong focus on visitor experience, aiming to position itself as the preferred gateway to Europe and the world.
To reinforce its position in Europe – against rivalling regional hubs like Frankfurt – Brussels Airport continuously invests in enhancing its attractiveness to passengers.
By offering an outstanding passenger experience, it aims to increase passengers' loyalty to the airport as a preferred hub along their journey. This group of loyal fans forms a key bargaining chip in attracting new airlines – who are all looking for ways to differentiate themselves now that prices have hit rock bottom – and new routes, both of which are key growth drivers for any airport.
Together we set out to create a digital passenger experience that drives a loyal following of travellers that matters to airlines.
To define the key strategic drivers for the airport’s long-term strategic vision, we embarked on an in-depth research trajectory to map the entire customer journey and identify the touchpoints that mattered most to different types of airport visitor.
With this groundwork in place, we built a detailed blueprint of the optimised customer journeys, and translated this into a user-friendly digital platform that integrates with the airport’s existing IT infrastructure and information systems.
Following the launch, the airport saw a significant increase in the number of monthly returning visitors, signalling a successful start to their digital transformation.
monthly returning online visitors
of passenger experience research
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As a partner with a broad, cross-industry experience, November Five brings a solid understanding of how consumers in general view and use digital solutions. But to establish the key strategic drivers that would shape Brussels Airport’s digital vision, we needed more insights into the behaviours and needs of passengers themselves.
By enriching the airport’s own intelligence with desk research, user interviews, analytics and on-site observation, we discovered that self-service technology has created a rising expectation at every point of the passenger’s journey.
This reinforced the need for a consistent brand experience both online and offline, as well as the importance of imparting a sense of control, empowerment, and reassurance throughout the online journey.
One size doesn’t fit all, especially when airport visitors have very different needs depending on their situation at a certain moment in time – departing or arriving, catching a connecting flight, dropping somebody off or picking someone up.
Working closely with the Brussels Airport team, our strategist mapped the different intents of these visitor types. Based on this mapping, we created a framework that our UX and UI experts could use to design an intuitive, user-friendly platform to support and guide every visitor, whatever their needs.
Understanding the consumer is one thing. Translating their needs into a highly performant, trustworthy online platform that concretely improves their airport experience is something else.
To ensure passengers felt reassured and empowered, we needed to integrate real-time information from the airport’s existing systems into the platform, e.g. flight information, details of check-in desks and boarding gates, security screening waiting times, baggage belts etc.
Working closely with the airport’s IT department, we did a technical analysis to assess how each system could be connected to guarantee a real-time sync, while ensuring fast loading times and a smooth experience.