Air Passenger Perceptions of On-airport Transfer Costs



Air Passenger Perceptions of On-airport Transfer Costs

Authors

R Wood, I Siviter, K Kenny, SKM, UK

Description

Many passengers on arrival at multi-terminal airports are required to make a terminal-transfer, which can be significant in terms of time. Do passengers perceive and therefore allow for terminal transfer costs when deciding on their mode of access?

Abstract

When deciding how to travel to an airport, air passengers often face a large set of alternatives with complex and varying attributes. For example, access is often available via rail, coach, taxi, private vehicle and a variety of other alternatives. Airport operators have great interest in how air passengers access their airports and how their behaviour is likely to change should access costs vary. As such, considerable resources are invested to understand the respective consumer preferences that define consumer behaviour.

Many passengers upon arriving at such airports are required to make a terminal-transfer. Passengers making such transfers will incur a cost (i.e. a time penalty) associated with the inconvenience of having to do so. The question we seek to answer in this paper is: do passengers perceive and therefore allow for such terminal transfer costs when deciding on their mode of access? If so, how do they value such transfer costs? The answer to this question has direct implications for the surface access strategies of airports. For example, if the answer is yes, the case for greater integration of local public transport with the terminal buildings is strengthened.

The geographic characteristics of London Gatwick airport provide a unique case study for the analysis of terminal transfer costs. The airport consists of two terminals, connected via a tracked-transit system. Both terminals are more-or-less equally accessible by all modes, with the exception of rail which serves the South Terminal only. In this paper, a quantitative analysis is presented from which it is demonstrated that terminal transfer costs do have a measurable impact on air passenger choice of access mode.

Publisher

Association for European Transport