The Digital Airport Index is a recurring evaluation of the digital performance of Europe and America’s 50 largest airports, performed by Mijksenaar’s Digital Team. Since we worked on the first Digital AIrport Index (DAI) in 2017, a lot has changed for airports.
First of all, digital has gone mainstream. Airports are aware of the importance of digital products in the communication with passengers. Airports have not only invested in better websites and smartphone apps, but also in the digitalization and automation of products and processes: self-service check-in, self-service passport control, reservation of parking spaces, on-line payments, social media teams to help passengers in need, the list is endless. Technologies that were once considered fringe, such as facial recognition, have passed the trial stage and are seen in regular deployment.
Secondly, there’s 2020. A year that has shaken the airline industry to its core. A year that has had many airports scale back their investments in digital technology. But also a year in which many end-users made a digital leap forwards that they won’t take back, and a year in which the need for a ‘touchless airport’ has accelerated to use of on-line check in and self-service bag drop. Since we did the research for this edition in the summer of 2020, the effects of the shake-up will not be visible in this Digital Airport Index. But it sure does make us curious what we’ll find in the next Europe edition, scheduled for 2022.
In our research we take the perspective of the end user. We gather all of the information for the index using only the sources that would normally be available for the passengers:
search engines, google maps, official communication channels of the airports and their websites.
In 2020 we based the index on the following research points:
- Consistency of naming and design
- Website performance
- WiFi availability and connectivity
- Online accessibility
- Use of live information
- Map interactivity
- Availability of contact via social media
- Availability of API’s for 3rd party developers
- Parking and payments
- Digital commerce
- Transport to and from airport
- Automation of passenger processes
- Digital entertainment