Transport Airports

Spanish Airports Are Testing Travelers to See if They’re Happy

Jul 09, 2014 7:30 am

Skift Take

It’s a simple way to gauge how your customers are feeling, but it needs more insight into why they are feeling this way.

— Marisa Garcia

Free Report: The Changing Business of Extended-Stay Hotels

Aena Aeropuertos

The HappyOrNot button. Aena Aeropuertos


Aena Aeropuertos, the government run management company for Spain’s airport infrastructure, wants to be sure you’re happy when travelling through security at Madrid-Barajas and Barcelona-El Prat.

To verify just how happy you feel after passing through the security checks, Aena has installed an “interactive quality control measuring system” which gauges each passenger’s perception of their experience: the HappyOrNot Survey Machine.

The mechanism is really simple, consisting a small stand which prompts passengers to rate the courtesy of the security service by pressing one of four colored emoticon buttons–ranging from a rich emerald green button with a happy face for “very happy,” to a mint-green ‘OK’ face, an orange moderately annoyed ‘meh’ face, and a bright red scowl.

The Finnish company HappyOrNot, provides their quick-service machines to a large number of retailers and service providers around the world, including Carrefour shops, IKEA, and Domino’s Pizza. The HappyOrNot system has also been adopted by airports such as Heathrow Airport, and Geneva Airport, and airlines such as Emirates, SAS, and Turkish Airlines.

HappyOrNot will help Aena tally the results of these interactive surveys, which the Aena has said it will use for evaluating its processes and determining where there is room for improvement. Aena indicates that it selected HappyOrNot systems because they were quicker and less intrusive than traditional methods of passenger surveys and they anticipate a larger number of participants as a result.

The survey is completely voluntary, but Aena hopes next time you fly to Spain, you’ll take a second to push the button and help make the travel experience better for everyone.

Aena is not particularly happy lately, after news that the Spanish government may divest its ownership of the airport management company, privatizing up to 49% of the entity which would allow the Spanish government to realise capital gains from that sale, but which has raised protests from a number of parties involved in the Spanish transport sector.

And then there’s the whole Barcelona-El Prat Go-Around thing, which though reportedly not as scary as it seemed–still seemed pretty scary–getting the airport and Aena a lot of Red Emoticon press this week.

Aena need all the Very Happy bright green faces they can get from HappyOrNot.

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