UK/UAE. Blackjack Promotions has cited “massive growth” in the demand for market research services in airports during 2017.

The staffing solutions, travel retail and experiential specialist has recently won new or extended contracts with London Stansted, London Luton and Dubai International airports. The company said its clients are intent on understanding how passengers use airports and their feelings about the service they receive.

Blackjack Promotions has noted “massive growth” in the demand for market research services in airports

Blackjack Promotions Head of Domestic Retail Fiona Tindall commented: “Airports can be incredibly challenging locations to carry out face-to-face research. Travellers can be tired, distracted and stressed, while there may be restrictions on how and where staff can deliver marketing activities and what they can say to people, particularly when you’re working airside, beyond the security barriers.”

Blackjack said its large database of experienced brand ambassadors, who are security cleared to work airside, gave it an advantage over other providers of market research staff for face-to-face interviewing.

“It’s vital that brand ambassadors working within the airport environment understand how travellers think and how to approach them in a way that reduces stress levels, rather than adding to them,” Tindall said.

“Staff need much higher levels of diplomacy and general customer service skills than they would need, say, in a traditional retail environment, public space or festival or event.”

“It’s vital that brand ambassadors working within the airport environment understand how travellers think and how to approach them in a way that reduces stress levels, rather than adding to them”

At London Stansted, Blackjack staff members worked over the summer period to monitor the quality of user experience, including queue lengths, passenger traffic flow, congestion points and other issues relevant to the journey through the terminal. This is the second consecutive year that Blackjack has delivered face-to-face research services at the airport.

Brand ambassadors in airports need to know how to approach passengers in a way that reduces stress levels, rather than adding to them, Blackjack says

London Luton Airport appointed Blackjack in 2016 to provide field agents to support an airport quality survey programme. Blackjack said the airport monitors all aspects of the passenger experience and was keen to understand how passengers felt about its redevelopment programme, which was launched in 2016. Its contract with London Luton has been extended for three years.

A 2016 contract to deliver research services at Dubai International Airport has also been extended until May 2018 and includes a ‘mystery shopper’ function. For Dubai, Blackjack had to source multilingual research staff to cover 32 passenger interaction points across four terminals, 365 days a year.