*In an industry first, airport visitors are encouraged to rate facilities using the social network Qype*
From today (London) Gatwick Airport’s 33 million passengers are being encouraged to rate retailers, facilities and restaurants via their mobile phones and computers with these reviews appearing directly - uncensored - on the airport’s website.
In an airport industry first, Gatwick (www.gatwickairport.com) is integrating an external ratings and review system into its business.
Underpinning its commitment to transparency and listening to passenger feedback, reviews left via the social network Qype (www.qype.com) will both be used to inform Gatwick management about passenger satisfactionlevels as well letting anyone travelling through Gatwick see what other travellers think.
Qype is a social network that integrates location based check-ins along with community recommendations and reviews. The largest user generated review site in Europe, claiming 22 million unique visitors a month, Qype reviews can be left online or via a smartphone.
According to head of airport information Samantha Holgate, “our aim is to set the industry standard for the airport passenger experience. That means heavily investing in the airport facilities. However, it also means continuously giving passengers a way to feed back to us on what they think - so that we can act on that information.
“Rather than create our own ratings system from scratch, we wanted to work with a network that offers third party credibility as well as compatibility with every major smartphone platform, which is why we chose to work with Qype, which was already listing most Gatwick retailers and restaurants.
“We extended Qype’s reach to cover every facility and built the network’s API into our own website so that in future an average Qype star rating will be displayed beside each restaurant and retailer entry.”
Throughout April, Gatwick will be working with Qype to actively encourage passengers to download the Qype app onto their phones and leave reviews while in the terminals. This will include messages on the airport information screens as well as point of sale material in the airport and at retailers.
Qype’s integration into Gatwick is one of a number of airport initiatives where online social tools are being used to improve passenger - airport communication.
Twitter is being used round the clock as a customer services tool during peak periods. One example where this happened was before Christmas when snow caused flight disruptions throughout Europe and North America and Gatwick’s Twitter feed was operational 24 hours a day.
Gatwick has also become the first airport to use giant mobile barcodes as information points.
Mobile barcodes are being placed around the airport in a Gatwick Discovery Tour. Using the stickybits mobile application, passengers scan barcodes on construction hoardings to be presented with either a piece of video or images showcasing the new Gatwick.