People might not like standing in line to get through security screening at the airport, but what travellers are really looking for is consistency in how long screening procedures take, according to a new study by Deb Niemeier at UC Davis and colleagues at Purdue University.
According to their survey of travellers, men were a bit less likely to be dissatisfied at the time spent waiting for screening, high-earners were a bit more likely to be satisfied, and people who were reluctant to fly after the 9/11 attacks were most likely to be dissatisfied.
“The take-home message for government and industry is that you should not focus solely on reducing wait time if you want to improve customer satisfaction. Of course, you should reduce wait time, but you should reduce the variation in wait time as well,” said co-author Fred Mannering, a professor of civil engineering at Purdue.
Niemeier is a professor of Civil and Environmental Engineering at UC Davis and director of the John Muir Institute of the Environment. Much of her work focuses on using computers and statistics to study transportation issues, especially air quality.