Anticipate your customer’s needs, eliminate inconveniences

John Wayne Airport saw that customers were inconvenienced and came up with a simple solution, showing that sometimes more (power plugs) is better… and need not be expensive.

Picture this, frequent air travelers: you’re at the airport, awaiting a flight, and unable to get to the airline lounge. You don’t want to run down the battery on your notebook PC or other important portable electronic gadget, so you search out a convenient electric power plug… only to find that the only rare ones available are either in use by another traveler recharging their menagerie of devices, or no where near a convenient place to sit or use your PC.

This won’t happen to you in southern California… Orange County, to be specific.

One of the reasons I like John Wayne Airport: they put the traveler first.

Anaheim power plugsThree words: plentiful electrical plugs.

In this case, a long power bar tracks the back of the seating at the gate, with the plugs easily accessible as you recline in the well-worn leather seats.  My kids were able to power their Nintendos, Zunes and leave me a plug for my laptop and phone.

This is a good example of how one airport — which I’ve seen grow from my traveling trade show days from a small municipal airport to a very nice, modern regional hub — recognized that their customers were inconvenienced by a lack of a key resource (power) and made more ports available.  Cheaper than touch down stations or another lounge area,  unobtrusive, and conveniently located. 

“Gates 2 – 14, in Terminals A and B of the Riley Terminal now have custom-designed power receptacles located between the backs of the passenger seating rows. The outlets are surge protected, ensuring safe usage.

“We are pleased to be able to offer new and improved services in the Terminal providing our passengers with more convenience and a positive travel experience,” said Alan L. Murphy, Airport Director.”

You can read about other improvements at the airport here.  This is also one of the few airports that actually seems to have ample seating for all passengers awaiting their flight. (For more information about the Airport Improvement Program, email

What barrier or nuisance can you eliminate today that will benefit your customer?  What can you provide that will lower their frustration?

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