Have you been in an airport lately?
I traveled out of Cleveland and into Phoenix over Thanksgiving and I was struck by the overload of electronics used by passengers in the airport. In the snack bars passengers hunkered down over dueling laptops, companion travelers looking like they were playing some fancy game ofwith multiple computers open on a single table. Everywhere you look people talked into headsets while texting or listening to iPods and playing video games.
What happened to the day when you sat and watched the planes come and go while waiting for your flight to be called? Where are those reading books and magazines or knitting a sweater.
Well, the folks in Dallas know their customer. They understand that travelers today crave to be constantly connected and therefore have set up FreeCharge stations in DFW International.
FreeChargeā¢ has, not surprisingly, been very popular with passengers flying in and out of our busy airport. They provide not only free power but also free internet with CAT 5 and USB ports; even the travelers without laptops, will find the FreeChargeā¢ user friendly with the built-in laptops," said Dana Cassidy, Manager Airport Concession, Dallas/Fort Worth International. "We congratulate Clear Channel Airports on its innovative concept, which help us better serve and keep happy the 60 million travelers that pass through our airport annually."
Clear Channel Airport announced Thursday, December 6th that FreeCharge was the latest recipient of the Best New Consumer Services Concept in North America prize.
The award recognizes the leading personal services offering available to airport travelers. FreeChargeā¢ edged out competing concepts such as spa, manicure, business center and shoeshine amenities. Twenty other airports of various sizes also received recognition at this year's conference, which examined trends and best practices in airport retail planning, goal setting, and key operational and management issues.
The developers of FreeCharge took the time to analyze what travelers needed most and would benefit from the most. Although a spa or shoe shine is a "nice to have," the reality is for many time is their primary product and any service that allows them to stay connected and productive while waiting in an airport is a benefit.
"This award showcases our commitment to delivering clever, useful consumer services to Clear Channel Airports' growing network," said Michael Riley, President, Clear Channel Airports. "Our FreeChargeā¢ Power Stations ensure that DFW International patrons have a convenient outlet to where they can power up the electronic devices they need for a productive travel experience."
Although when I travel for personal time I would prefer a good magazine and a manicure, I can certainly appreciate the benefit of being technically connected, especially in the event of a layover or plane delay. Congrats to DFW and the makers of FreeCharge for hitting a home run!
Deborah Chaddock Brown