Charlotte Airport Experience

I spent Friday and Saturday in New Orleans for WordCamp NOLA and part of my traveling experience was going through the Charlotte International Airport to catch a connection flight (each way). I’ve been to a lot of airports and I have to say that Charlotte is one of the nicest ones I’ve been to for a few reasons.

Nice amenities. It is a little (but pleasantly) surprising to see a live pianist when you walk into the central terminal area in a big airport. There was a nice business center, lots of restaurants that served real food, lots of places to shop, plenty of nice seating, wi-fi, and all of that. It was definitely a step up from the plastic chairs in weird rows that you see at most airports.

Lots of bathrooms. My local airport has like two bathrooms per terminal. Charlotte had a set of bathrooms like every 200 feet. Even more importantly, the bathrooms were large and clean. They even had mouthwash and little cups that you could use to freshen yourself up after a long flight. I’ve never seen that in an airport before, but it makes for a nice touch.

Kept clean. The entire airport (not just the bathrooms) was kept quite clean. You walk through some airports that are grungy and nasty, but Charlotte’s airport was kept extremely and consistently clean.

Air travel is tough, so it’s especially nice to see and go through an airport that is nicer than most. You can apply the same idea to your businesses – check out your competition and see what you can do better. Try to understand your customers’ pains and troubles and work to address them. That’s what Charlotte International Airport did and it worked for them.

2 Responses to “Charlotte Airport Experience”

  1. Ben Marbury said:

    Apr 15, 09 at 12:46 am

    A labor of love must be involved. Can you imagine trying to sell the concept of improving customer satisfaction to an airport authority? It flys against common wisdom which says when “you have captive customers you don’t need to worry about satisfying them.” How many competing airports do you know of? I live half way between Ontario and San Diego, California, and fly out of San Diego instead of Ontario, John Wayne or LAX any time I can.

    But, it would still be a tough sell.

  2. Service Untitled said:

    Apr 15, 09 at 5:56 pm

    Ben,

    You’re right. Airports don’t really need to make their customers happy, but there might be other values. A nice airport can attract higher rents, have more satisfied people willing to spend more, etc. I’m not familiar with the airport business, but I’m sure there is some value to improving service and overall satisfaction at an airport.