HOUSTON, TX – Providing excellent customer service is one of the Houston Airport System’s (HAS) top priorities, and recent survey results show passenger satisfaction is at an all-time high.
According to a recent passenger satisfaction assessment conducted by Phoenix Marketing International, both George Bush Intercontinental Airport (IAH) and William P. Hobby Airport (HOU) received significant increases in Overall Passenger Satisfaction scores in Spring 2015. The latest results revealed 80 percent of passengers were quite satisfied with their overall experience at Bush Intercontinental — a slight increase over the previous year. The uptrend continued at Hobby Airport with more than 9 out of 10 of passengers — 92 percent — being quite satisfied with their overall experience.
The improvement in scores were driven by several factors including improved customer service and capital investment projects such as new roadway signage leading into the airport, faster and more reliable free Wi-Fi throughout the airport as well as terminal improvements.
“These types of results don’t just happen on their own,” Houston Aviation Director Mario C. Diaz said. “They can only occur when you have dedicated employees who are committed to creating a positive atmosphere and memorable experience for the 53 million guests that we encounter each year.”
HAS implemented several projects aimed at enhancing the travel experience for passengers over the last year:
- City Council recently approved funding for construction of ecopark II, which will bring an additional 2,200 covered parking spots to Bush Airport.
- With the approval of a new $1.6 billion in concessions contracts, a wide variety of restaurants and shops are coming to both airports — including both big-name vendors and local-flavor restaurants — to better meet the needs of the growing and diverse number of travelers.
- In September 2014, HAS rolled out a much faster and free Wi-Fi network at both airports.
- In 2014 and continuing this year, HAS is increasing the number of power outlets for charging personal devices in the gate area at both airports.
- In early 2014, HAS unveiled new roadway signage at Bush Intercontinental Airport to enhance way-finding to the terminals and parking areas.
- In August 2014, HAS converted 724 uncovered spaces in the economy parking lot at IAH to covered. The ecopark lot at Bush Intercontinental Airport now offers more than 1,650 covered spaces for customers who prefer to park their vehicle in a shaded area.
- In October 2014, HAS rolled out new seating that provides a relaxing space near the ticketing counters located at Terminal D. HAS purchased and installed area rugs and lounge seating with convenient outlets for charging devices.
- In November 2013, HAS launched the Houston Friendly Service Standards — a set of standards that all employees working at Houston Airports must adhere to. The six-hour mandatory training covers everything from appearance to behavior and service. More than 1,500 employees have completed the airport-wide course in 2014.
The survey revealed that these changes were helpful for HAS customers. Nearly 80 percent of departing passengers at IAH were quite satisfied with their overall experience at Bush Intercontinental Airport — an increase of 15 percent over last year. The top three areas within the airport driving passenger’s satisfaction scores are the gate area, Wi-Fi and terminal facilities, all of which saw increases in satisfaction scores over last year. Wi-Fi showed the largest gains with a 38 percent increase over last year.
At Hobby Airport, 86 percent of departing passengers were quite satisfied with their overall experience and 98 percent of arriving passengers were quite satisfied. While terminal facilities and gate areas showed increases, the launch of free Wi-Fi scored well with passengers —jumping by 32 percent over the previous survey. Getting to the terminal showed a slight decrease of four percent, which airport officials expect will increase significantly next year once construction on the $156 million international and roadway modifications are complete.
A total of 4,032 passengers at IAH and 805 passengers at Hobby were randomly selected and surveyed over a two-week period from March 15-31. Surveys were conducted all days of the week and during all travel times of the day. Passengers were asked to rate the respective airport on different aspects of service.