Is the answer to better experiences about tech or people…or both?

We were recently reading a blog about reducing the pain of the taxi queue at airports as another component of improving the elusive passenger experience.

The solution offered in the blog (coming from a tech company) was live information on waiting times. Such an approach could have the added benefit of feeding data back to the taxi companies so they could alter their services in response.

Is this the answer? It would seem that tech could remove that well known source of human frustration, not knowing how long something like a queue is going to take.

But it struck us that this is not the only source of frustration and stress. At many airports, passengers also get worked up about understanding how the queue is being managed, will their taxi get nicked when the get near the front, etc. Often the solution for all of this is about the management of the queue…by people.  Good people.  When done well, it removes this stress by the passengers understanding the process, seeing that there is going to be fairness and control, etc.

We think the important message for airports is the answer is probably both…don’t make the mistake of thinking that the tech solution replaces the people. In this case, the tech can help with waiting time information and it can help ensure a good feed of taxis to avoid the situation in the photo above. But it won’t help with the other parts of what passengers “experience” in the line. This still needs good people to provide a human face to the process, to interact with the passengers, to help control behaviours that go against the rules, etc.



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