Shaken & Stirred - Influential Brand Profiling and Positioning

57% of UK adults online who have been in an airport lounge find them boring

An online YouGov poll commissioned by leading entertainment and passenger engagement company Spafax published today reveals that 57% of UK adults online who have been in an airport lounge find them boring, with 49% agreeing that lounges need to change to become more interesting.

YouGov surveyed 2,131 respondents (gen UK adult population of 18+) asking those who had visited an airport lounge how they spend their time in them, what experiences they would be interested in while in the lounge and what they would consider purchasing in them.

The survey revealed, while in the lounge, top activities include:

  • 39% eat or drink the food provided by the lounge

  • 38% read

  • 33% browse the internet on a personal device

What people want from airport lounges

When asked what they would like to be offered while in the lounge – 39% of respondents selected free samples of exclusive products such as mini pots of luxury jam or a centenary ale from a craft brewery.

Additional interest was noted for pop-up stores and innovative brand experiences involving product testing. 17% would like a pop-up store experience created exclusively for the lounge and 16% would like an innovative brand experience like test driving a car or product testing.

Full-time students showed the most interest in innovative brand experience with nearly 1 in 3 (32%) selecting this option.

Charles Vine, Head of Brand Alliances at Spafax, who sponsored the survey, said:

“The data in this poll makes a strong argument for revamping and zipping up airport lounges with a whopping 57 % of adults that have been in an airport lounge agreeing that they’re boring,

“The issue is dead simple – we need to make airport lounges worthwhile places to be in, places where you discover things. This presents a strong opportunity for brands to develop new experiences.

“You have the most sought-after consumers in the world, effectively captive in airport lounges. With sophisticated tastes and busy lives, these passengers are usually inundated with information overload, but in airport lounges, they are reporting down time, where they are receptive.

“The sky is one of the most effective marketing environments and Spafax is on a mission to make airport lounges worthwhile places to be – places where travellers experience new things.”

When asked what they would consider purchasing while in the lounge, with options ranging from alcohol to health and beauty products to clothing, shoes and watches to transports and entertainment tickets, respondents showed enthusiasm for:

  • Alcohol: 28%

  • Health and beauty products (makeup, perfume, skincare) 27 %

  • Transport tickets for their destination (trains, buses, taxis, etc.) 21%

Vine, who has built a host of alliances between airlines and brands, said:

“There is a huge opportunity with high dwell time to take advantage of the moment of repose that passengers have in lounges.

“The survey showed strong showings for pop up stores and innovative brand experiences. The space is ripe for clever, relevant creative thinking. A lounge can be the first time you tried a gin, worked out on a Peloton cycle, bought some West End tickets or bought yourself a Centenary whisky cask. Both the airline and the brand get to benefit and gain wow factor.”

Difference between men and women

The survey showed that the most significant differences between male and female respondents arose when asked what they would like to be offered in the lounge and what they would consider purchasing.

While men are interested in free exclusive product sampling with 34% selecting the option, this figure was ever higher for women, 43% choosing the option.

Women and men were similarly interested in purchasing alcohol, transport tickets, electronics and watches.

However, women were significantly more interested in purchasing health and beauty products, jewellery, clothes, shoes and entertainment tickets compared to men.

Forty per cent of women would purchase health and beauty products in the lounge, with only 14% of men showing interest. Twenty-five per cent of women would purchase clothes and accessories, while 13% of men would.