The SEA Group, always keenly aware of the opinion of its users – passengers, accompanying persons, visitors and employees – continued in 2017 to implement a monitoring and improvement policy of the quality level of services offered to the various parties which interact with the Group. The improvement of the “Passenger Experience” is assuming across the airport industry an increasingly significant role, in that Quality Perception, which is the principal measurement, is recognised as an essential element to support business profitability.
The SEA Group has therefore followed, in line with European best practice, an approach which identifies and intervenes on the more crucial aspects in relation to passenger expectations, introducing new services which improve the passenger experience at Group managed airports.
Quality of airport services delivered: European context and ranking of our airports
Data on punctuality 2017 collected from the members of the working group ACI Europe-EAPN (European Airport Punctuality Network) highlight a slight deterioration in punctuality both for departures and arrivals compared to 2016. On average, the punctuality of departing flights in November was 75.7% compared to 77.9% recorded in the previous year, with significant monthly fluctuations ranging from 83% in March and November, to 66% in July. Arriving flights recorded average punctuality of 78.6%, slightly reducing on last year (80.6%), with monthly fluctuations similar to those for departing flights.
The first quarter of the year saw the highest yearly values recorded per airport category, whilst the third quarter, characterised by an overall increase in summer traffic, on the contrary, recorded the lowest yearly values both for arriving and departing flights, highlighting airport capacity problems or difficulties experienced by the European airport traffic controllers in managing system capacity.
Average European departure delays increased in comparison to arrivals (downturn in punctuality), except for Malpensa, London Heathrow and London Gatwick.
The European segment with the greatest delays in the first quarter (average delays in minutes per departing flight), was Amsterdam-London Heathrow, significantly impacted by winter weather conditions; the European segment with the highest delays in the second quarter (average delays in minutes per departing flight) was Palma di Majorca-Cologne, due to internal airline problems; the European segment with the highest delays in the third quarter (average delays in minutes per departing flight) was London Gatwick-Barcelona followed by Palma di Majorca - Cologne due to intense traffic occurring over Spain.
Linate, with 86%7 of punctual departing flights, ranks as the leader in terms of punctuality across all the airports in this category, ahead of the other comparable Italian airports of Bologna and Naples.
With departure punctuality confirmed at around 80.3%8, Malpensa ranks above the average European and is the best amongst the European airports of similar size within its group (15-to 25 million passengers) (including Vienna and Athens). It is also far ahead in comparison to the main larger airport hubs such as Rome Fiumicino, Munich and Frankfurt.
Detailed data from a performance analysis of both airports, solely for passenger flights, is shown below:
- At Malpensa, departing flight punctuality for 2017 was 82%9 with a recovery of punctuality (difference between arrival punctuality and departure punctuality) of 3.1%. The analysis by Terminals also shows a similar trend: Terminal 1 reports departing punctuality of 81.8% (+2.9% recovery), with Terminal 2 indicating a year to date value of 82.6% (+3.6% recovery).
- Performance in terms of baggage delivery times confirms, for this year also, values well ahead of the values set out in the Service Charter, which covers 90% of cases: in Terminal 1 delivery of the first bag within 22'50" was achieved for 95.2% of the flights, whereas the delivery of the last bag within 35'50” was achieved in 94.5% of cases; in Terminal 2, the delivery of the 1st bag within 26 minutes was achieved for 97.6% of the flights, whereas the delivery of the last bag within 37 minutes was achieved in 99.2% of the cases.
- Regarding misdirected luggage, Terminal 1 recorded a value of 2.19 misdirected bags for every 1000 departing passengers (2.29 in 2016), whilst Terminal 2 recorded 0.33 misdirected bags for every 1000 departing passengers (0.48 in 2016).
- The hand baggage security screening waiting timeswere comfortably within that required by the Regulatory Agreement: 7’32” (weighted average of the two terminals) in 2017 against a required standard of 7’50”. Breakdown of the values for both Terminals is as follows:
- Terminal 1: 8’19’’ vs 7’00’’
- Terminal 2: 6’05” vs 8’00”
- Linate airport closes 2017 with punctuality values for passenger flights at 86.8%10, compared to punctuality for arrivals at 87%.
- Delivery of the 1st bag within 17 minutes and the last bag within 24 minutes was achieved for 93.9% of the flights, with 95.4% of the flights in the second case. Bags delivered after 45 minutes were 0.2%.
- Data on misdirected luggage indicates 1.8 pieces of luggage misdirected for every 1000 passengers departing in 2017 (1.7 bags in 2016).
Overall passenger satisfaction: assessment of perceived Quality
The perceived quality perception of passengers, Customer Satisfaction with the services provided at the SEA managed airports (assessed through CAPI interviews by a leading Market Research Institute). SEA used an internationally utilised overall satisfaction index11 – the CSI (ACSI model – American Customer Satisfaction Index), a sector and individual business level parameter. The CSI 2016 Customer Satisfaction index of our airports was:
CSI 2017 2016 Malpensa Terminal 1
Malpensa Terminal 2
Results are stable compared to 2016 at the Malpensa Terminals and could be considered positive taking into account a robust increase in traffic to the airport. The negative data for Linate is justifiable due to the disruptions caused by the launch of the 1st phase of facade restructuring works.
2017 also saw the continued use of the new perceived-quality monitoring instrument, introduced in 2015 and which collects information on passenger satisfaction for individual services 24/7, giving them the opportunity to express their opinions, through dedicated totems, immediately after using the service. There are 30 totems spread across the 3 Terminals, monitoring security areas, sanitary services, commercial businesses and general maintenance areas and recorded 2,215,000 clicks in 2017.
Customer relationship and the development of B2C services
SEA’s customer relationship management system
In 2017, more than 2,110,000 users were registered at the Customer Relationship Management (CRM) platform, a 50% growth rate from the previous year. This very encouraging trend was mainly attributable to the Wi-Fi system and e-commerce. More than 1,485,000 subscribers agreed to receive newsletters and survey questionnaires intended to keep airport users informed and to survey customer expectations and opinions so as to guide our provision of airport services.
Perceived quality: satisfaction expressed by passengers and the positioning of our airports internationally
SEA continues taking part in the ACI ASQ (Airport Service Quality) programme that involves some 320 airports worldwide and about 110 in Europe, each of which supplies the interviews it conducts of departing passengers using a uniform questionnaire. This enables setting a single benchmark for the degree of satisfaction expressed regarding the services received at different airports worldwide, to identify the highlights and the most significant experiences (best practice).
In the data available for the third quarter of 2017, Malpensa Terminal 1 stood out among European airports for the satisfaction expressed with its catering services, for its wide variety of shops and for the efficiency of its passport inspection. This last item is due to the efficiency achieved thanks to SEA’s smooth cooperation with the border police to ease passenger flow. Another factor is the adoption of the new passport inspection procedures as required by the European Regulation starting from April 7, 2017.
The rank of Malpensa Terminal 2 is improving in passengers’ estimations regarding transport to and from the airport, thanks to the new railway station at Terminal 2 which opened in December 2016.
In 2017, 742 complaints were received and processed. The number of complaints increased 5.7% compared to 2016. It should be noted that the Company also handles complaints about the Orio al Serio car parks.
Family Friendly Airport
SEA’s initiative focused on families travelling together continued and was consolidated.
Throughout the year at Malpensa and during the summer and Christmas holidays at Linate, SEA again proposed various services offering passengers travelling with children aged up to 12 years a Family Friendly airport:
- priority security passage through a “Family lane”, used by approx. 1,060,000 passengers at Malpensa and 270,000 at Linate with a very high satisfaction index level.
- distribution of 90,000 illustrative brochures (with games for kids) featuring useful airport services and procedures;
- games area with videos and interactive flooring;
- special priced menus for children and dedicated shopping promotions;
- webpage dedicated to the initiative and a mini-site with games;
- Pet Therapy.
Autism project, a journey through the airport
This project was designed by ENAC to assist travellers with autism. It allows them to make a virtual visit to the airport before they travel, so they know what to expect. SEA began offering this service in July 2017, after it had completed the requirements. It is intended to protect the rights of passengers and of people with disabilities.
Information screen system
During the year 2017 the airport assistance service was strengthened by adding a video conference system: passengers can receive assistance directly from a customer service employee who talks to them from one of the 16 video screens in the two airports.
Comparing September 2015, the month in which the installation of all totems at the 2 airports was completed, with the same month of 2017, video conference calls increased 20%.
Customer Service for e-commerce customers and assistance through the social media channels and apps
The call centre service in 2017 reported a 20% increase in calls, indicating in percentage terms a link with the general increase in traffic.
Specifically, requests increased for information on flights (33%) and on parking (26%); the remaining 40% is broken down between airport services and commercial, check-in and boarding information, Lost & Found and baggage.
From August, a daily transfer of calls was introduced to the outsourced call centre company for those concerning the lost and found service and connections to and from the airport (from 800 to more than 1000 calls a month), in order to recover the operating capacity of the call centre staff.
In fact, the success of SEA’s social media space saw development of the channels managed by our call centre (currently Twitter, Facebook and the chat and recall service which may be activated by app), requiring the continued presence of a dedicated operator: the opening of a chat bot platform and the WhatsApp channel are currently in progress.
Contingency Plan and Airport Helper service
Again in 2017, 2 informational meetings were organised with SEA personnel involved in the Airport Helper project and those taking part in the Contingency Plan (APCP), a position united by a single objective i.e. to offer assistance to passengers in difficulty. In particular, the Contingency structure (introduced by the company in 2010) also demonstrated in 2017 its usefulness in intervening also in emergency situations due both to a regulatory change, e.g. changes to the Schengen code, and the higher than expected traffic levels and particular events, such as the visit of the Pope which required significant levels of organisation and security.
7 Source EAPN
8 Source EAPN
9 Source: Services Charter/Masterplan
10 Source: Services Charter/Masterplan
11 The index is measured on a scale of 0-100, with 75 representing excellence and 60 indicating sufficiency.