Efficiency and Entertainment at the Security Checkpoint


Efficiency and Entertainment at the Security Checkpoint

Synect’s flexible digital media solution for the security checkpoint experience provides speed, efficiency and an improved passenger experience.

Passenger anxiety at the airport typically spikes to its highest peak at the security checkpoint. Long waits, customer service concerns and the possibility of unanticipated delays all contribute to a stressful experience. For this reason, security is often considered the last major obstacle a passenger encounters before they can explore airside concessions and gates with relative leisure.

Passengers who don’t understand the security process frequently show up at the checkpoint unprepared and still carrying items they need to divest, which causes delays. Similarly, a study at the Dallas Fort Worth Airport confirmed that many people wait until they are at the X-rays to begin the process. Agents communicate the rules near the end of the queue at high volumes—contributing to the often chaotic, stressful experience. The DFW study also noted that passenger anxiety increased with the appearance of disorganization at the checkpoint, and increased anxiety compounded passenger confusion regarding the divesting process, causing further delays.

The delays contribute to extended wait times, and wait times are a significant operational challenge for airports as well as an anxiety-inducing concern for passengers at security. Maister, a leading expert in business management processes, demonstrates how the waiting experience can be influenced with several principals: People want to get started. Anxiety makes waits seem longer. Occupied time feels shorter than unoccupied time. Uncertain waits are longer than known, finite waits.

Passengers commonly encounter all of these factors at the security checkpoint, compounded with personal concerns. Will they make their flight? Will there be unexpected issues? Will their items be confiscated? Advancements in screening procedures and technology help make passengers safer, but they do little to improve passenger experience or customer service, which are key objectives for any airport for myriad reasons, including the fact that happier customers spend significantly more at the airport. This is not a nominal increase. In 2016, JD Power reported that passengers who rank as “disappointed” spend an average of $18.00 at the airport, while passengers who rank as “delighted” spend an average of $42.00 at the airport.

The reasons to improve passenger experience at the checkpoint is clear, but how can airports decrease anxiety and improve efficiency in an area not under their direct control? And how can they deliver a pleasant, memorable passenger experience at what’s often the most stressful point of the traveler journey?

Synect has created an elegant, streamlined digital experience for the security checkpoint that keeps passengers entertained while educating them on the process to come. The solution to the challenge is a smart application of dynamic displays, called security checkpoint totems, that provides education and entertainment with minimal distractions. The security checkpoint totems can be moved as needed based on the changing length of the security line, but this solution and strategy can also be implemented into different configurations of digital media displays, including video walls.

The content strategy for the totem is custom designed to prepare passengers to move through security smoothly. Information and instructions teach the passengers what to do, what to remove from their pockets and more—and its all delivered with eye-catching and whimsical animations to keep passengers entertained and engaged.

People waiting in line tend to overestimate how long they’ve waited by as much as 36%. The security totems display a dynamic estimated wait time, which updates automatically based on airport systems. This helps normalize a passenger’s understanding of their wait time and, along with the entertainment the motion provides, it can even decrease a passenger’s perceived wait.

But it’s more than just perception. As passengers are better educated on the process, confusion and delays are minimized, resulting in an overall lower wait time and improved passenger experience. This all contributes to move passengers away from disappointment and towards delight, thus increasing airport revenues. Give the captive audience at the security checkpoint an experience that will help them, help airport operations and ultimately help drive spending at the airport with this new solution from Synect.

Synect works with the world’s premier airports, airlines, retailers and brands to design brilliant ways to connect them with their audiences in the real world. Contact us for more information.