Airport conducts survey on recharging batteries on the fly
09:05 AM CST on Thursday, January 11, 2007
By SUZANNE MARTA / The Dallas Morning News
When Robert Justice arrives at his gate for a flight, he automatically scans for any available outlets under chairs or along the walls. "I've even moved furniture and displays to be able to plug in," said Mr. Justice, who travels 42 weeks a year for his job as a systems engineer.
Keeping electronic gadgetry juiced up is a growing frustration for business travelers, who are carrying more devices and waiting
longer in airports, in part because of added security.
Replenishing computer and cellphone batteries between flights often entails sitting on the airport floor. Some travelers inadvertently create tripwires as their power cords stretch between power outlets and their seats.
For Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, that frustration may prove to be an opportunity. With help from a group of graduate business students at Texas Christian University, D/FW is studying whether adding amenitiessuch as power outlets could attract more connecting passengers.
Connecting passengers are crucial for D/FW, accounting for about two-thirds of the airport's 60 million passengers each year.
Through their spending on concessions and services, those travelers benefit the airport.
As D/FW handles more connecting passengers, it's able to add flights, offering better travel choices for local fliers.
The group from TCU will spend several months conducting surveys of D/FW passengers, comparing services at other airports, creating benchmarks and developing a strategy that makes the most of the airport's investments and sales opportunities.