Hong Kong-based airport services specialist, Plaza Premium Group (PPG), has entered into new partnerships that allow it to improve customer experiences at the airport lounges it operates.
Speaking to TTG Asia on its operational and strategic change, PPG’s global business development director, Jonathan Song, said the company’s move was encouraged by its consumer survey where 83 per cent of respondents said airport lounges and in-terminal hotels would be essential when travel resumes, due to the need for private spaces. Respondents also identified hygiene and safety in the airport as their highest priority.
Bearing in mind new travel needs that have been shaped by new normals, Song said PPG has enhanced safety and hygiene protocols for its operations; brought in new digital initiatives such as self check-in capabilities, digital reading materials and smart F&B ordering processes; established a flexible refund policy for guests; and launched the Smart Traveler loyalty programme. For the latter two initiatives, PPG allows customers to convert unused lounge access purchased ahead of time into points that can be used to redeem for meet-and-greets, hotels and other services it offers.
It has also “embraced strategic partnership with various stakeholders”, added Song, citing collaboration examples with Dnata’s Marhaba to provide meet-and-greet services as well as airport lounges in markets that are not already on PPG’s network; and with UK-based YQ Now to further augment PPG’s airport meet-and-greet as well as airport concierge capabilities.
For airlines that are finding it hard to justify running their own airport lounges at the moment, PPG has struck contracts to help manage their premium passengers.
Song added: “Another interesting initiative is to integrate duty-free shopping and airport hospitality experiences by collaborating with travel retailer using O2O e-commerce. Instead of physically hopping around shops, guests come stay in our lounges and (access merchandise) at their fingertips. Their shopping is then delivered to the lounge or at the gate.”
Song told TTG Asia that PPG is keen on partnerships across a broad spectrum, from travel retailing, carparking and even currency exchange.
“(We want to provide a) one-stop-shop solution that will enhance the airport experience or help (our airport partners make) non-air revenue. From there, we will be able to sell and bundle lounge and hotel access with meet and assist services across different airports, extending our ability to take care of travellers throughout the airport journey,” he elaborated.