Measuring passengers’ emotional engagement was Athens International Airport’s (AIA’s) most recent initiative to engage with its customers and become better amid the unprecedented repercussions of the pandemic. The initiative addressed, in real time and in real life, the stress levels and subconscious emotions heightened in every passenger interaction. In collaboration with Canadian tech company PathosAI and using unstructured passenger-generated digital data, Athens International Airport measured subconscious drivers of passenger experience with Artificial Intelligence (AI), Natural Language Processing (NLP) and a wide array of digital tools.
With the human factor and the passenger being consistently the centerpiece of all its actions, AIA continues to enhance its customer experience strategy with a set of innovative measurement tools. Through AI, NLP and state-of-the-art digital tools, it has already replaced traditional pen and paper and high-touch methods, and successfully produces engagement performance metrics, pinpointing specific action areas to improve passenger experience. Based on this novel approach, AIA measures real-time passenger experience and delivers personalized services that, among other AIA initiatives, led to the European-wide distinction that Athens airport recently won, i.e. the ACI-Europe Best Airport Award in its category (annual traffic 25 – 40 million passengers, according to 2019 levels).
“Measuring Passengers’ Emotional Engagement: Your Emotions Count” is a groundbreaking tool that goes beyond just measuring satisfaction levels, allowing airports for the first time to measure emotional engagement by analyzing data from their existing communication channels [call centers, social media, comment management, customer care, etc.]. Emotional Engagement assists airports in understanding what is driving passengers’ emotions and in planning actions that create world class experiences, while increasing consumer spending. It paves the way for continuous enhancement of passenger services, under the sustainability principles in line with ACI Europe’s guidelines for passenger services, i.e. placing travelers in the heart of every airport and enhancing their experience by investing in the three elements that form passenger experience: people, processes and premises.
Athens International Airport’s Communications & Marketing Director Ioanna Papadopoulou, stated: “People are the centerpiece of all our actions. Aiming at creating the optimum environment for our passengers, especially during these unprecedented times, we have embarked on this pilot project in collaboration with PathosAI; through Artificial Intelligence and state-of-the-art- digital tools, we measure and identify stress levels, emotions and subconscious drivers of passenger experience, in an effort to pinpoint specific action areas and become better.”
Sumair Sayani, founder of PathosAI, stated: “Congratulations to Athens International Airport for winning the prestigious ACI-Europe Best Airport award 2021! It is a proud moment for us to support AIA in its pioneering work. It has long been a challenge for consumer facing organizations, including airports, to understand how interactions impact emotions. With PathosAI, AIA unearthed its passengers’ emotions, their true motivations, and the context, allowing, for the first time, the measurement of passenger emotional engagement. This enabled us to design specific action areas to maximize passenger satisfaction. AIA has established a highly effective real-time measurement and monitoring CX platform that will support the design and implementation of its award-winning customer experience strategy, and we are excited to be part of this journey.”