Synthesis Topics

Implementing airport measures to reduce Aviophobia in a post-pandemic era trending idea

About 15% of American adults suffer some level of fear (aviophobia). While some of them avoid flying almost totally, there are 15% that are passengers* passing through a US airport and experiencing aviophobia from boarding their upcoming flight. This fear, exacerbated to some extent by various factors within the airport's control, impacts passenger experience, their behavior before, during, and after boarding their plane.

Our goal with this synthesis is to study the various factors within an airport's environment and outline possible measures that could be implemented across the country to change the customer experience, reduce stress levels and ultimately fly with ease.

Background (Describe the current situation or problem in the industry, and how your idea would address it.)

Aviophobia, prevalent in the adult US population, is debilitating anxiety impacting the number of potential travelers frequenting airports and boarding airplanes. We are not aware of any current best practices, guidelines, or formal protocols implemented consistently across US airports that are used to reduce the fear of flying and the anxiety that accompanies it within an airport environment.

To an airport, a relaxed passenger is a customer that spends time in the airport, enjoys their pre-flight time to rest, dine or shop, and returns to that airport in the future should their experience be a favorable one. With an important focus on increasing passenger traffic while simultaneously implementing measures to enhance customer experience, reducing preflight and postflight stress has the potential to impact the ability of airports to achieve their goals.

Objective (What is the desired product or result that will help the airport industry?)

The objective of this synthesis would be an overview of the various factors, within the setting of an airport environment, that directly contribute to increased anxiety of fearful flyers, and the measures that could be taken by airports to considerably reduce this anxiety in the pre-flight and pre-boarding stages. Airports implementing aviophobia-reducing programs, including informing fearful flyers of the measures taken to alleviate their concerns within the airport and prior to boarding could see increased passenger traffic, increased satisfaction, and improved ratings. We foresee creating a set of recommended measures that could be implemented by airports to make the passenger journey more comfortable and relaxing. This set will be created in such a way that will enable implementation in whole or in parts.

Approach (Describe in general terms the steps you think are needed to achieve the objective.)


(Total 45 weeks):

1. Creating a model of the existing customer journey from the planning of the trip until reaching the destination. (2 weeks)

2. Creating a list of potential contingencies that a passenger may experience in the above-mentioned path. (1 week)

3. Planning a customer survey to learn more about potentially stressful situations along the way. (4 weeks)

4. Defining locations and methodology for collecting answers to the survey (2)

5. Performing the survey (4 weeks)

6. Survey analysis (4 weeks)

7. Developing methods of mitigating stressful issues. (12 weeks)

8. Implementation of the methods on a model and testing it in several airports (12 weeks)

9. Final conclusion (4 weeks)


1. Research report.

2. Customer experience journey map with potential stressors

3. Recommendation plan for stress-reducing measures

4. Proposal for airport pilot implementation project

Related Research - List related ACRP and other industry research; describe gaps (see link to Research Roadmaps above), and describe how your idea would address these gaps. This is a critical element of a synthesis topic submission.

Our proposed topic addresses the customer experience issue, as it pertains to airports. We can use cooperation with the following proposals: 

1. A Primer: Using Customer Experience Measurement Tools and Data Analytics to Monitor and Improve the Passenger Experience

2. Airport Volunteer Programs that Enhance the Customer Experience: such programs can be very helpful in the implementation of any means that will be used to reduce passengers' anxiety.



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Topic Collection
Idea No. 796