Terminal branding

I’m a bit tired of writing about employer brands, so today I’m going to write about airports and their attributes. I believe that I am somewhat of an expert in this area given my travels over the years. Although my guess is, that these days, there are many more of us who qualify as airport experts.

Here is my list of airports that I have strong positive associations about:
Reagan National
Manchester
Ft. Lauderdale

Here is my list of airports that I have strong negative associations about:
Logan
Dulles
Atlanta
O’Hare
Dallas
Miami
LaGuardia
Minneapolis
Las Vegas
San Francisco
Los Angeles
Memphis

You will notice that there are many more airports on the negative list than on the positive list. That is because I judge airports based on the delayed flight criteria. The delayed flight criteria centers on the concept that no matter where you are, your flight is going to be delayed at least an hour. So with that in mind, what does the airport have to offer while you sit in transportation limbo, hundreds, if not thousands of miles away from where you want to be?

What I look for is fairly basic:
• A variety of restaurants (an open-faced refrigerator stocked with day-old sandwiches does not qualify)
• Open, well-lit space (I’m depressed enough as it is – don’t make it worse by skimping on the windows and the wattage)
• Someplace to sit (the floor does not count)
• Free wi-fi (I really resent the captive consumer attitude)

Now that I think about it, there is a very lucrative business opportunity in the airport brand development arena. Too bad it requires flying.

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Thomas Delorme
Written by Thomas Delorme

VP, Digital Products & Strategy

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