The experience of the older leisure traveller at an airport: the case of Frankfurt airport

Wolf, Natalie (2016) The experience of the older leisure traveller at an airport: the case of Frankfurt airport. PhD thesis, University of Nottingham.

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Abstract

This thesis is about the experience of older people who travel through an airport. The research reported took place at the interface of population ageing, tourism travel and airport management. Although air transport is influenced by population ageing, older people’s experiences within this specific environment are largely untold. This is surprising, as flying is the preferred form of travel for much of international tourism and airports represent key infrastructure for the provision of dependable services. Thus, there are gaps in knowledge on older travellers at an airport and the airport’s role in this part of leisure travel. In particular, a holistic examination of older travellers’ experiences within the airport environment is missing.

This research uses different approaches to the experience concept to explore the expectations, needs and demands of older travellers. It investigates the airport experience of older travellers, in light of the changing roles of airports in society. In the form of a qualitative single-case study, it examines the situation of the older leisure traveller at Frankfurt Airport in Germany. Data was collected through 66 interviews with older leisure travellers, frontline employees and managers, complemented by 50 observations. This provides a comprehensive perspective of the older travellers’ airport experience and represents a novel approach.

The thesis makes several contributions to experience, travel and tourism literature. On the demand side, the findings allow for a better understanding of the experience of the older passengers. The effect of ageing on an airport’s customer base is investigated. It is discussed whether this group needs special treatment within the regular passenger process. On the supply side, the emerging role of the airport as part of the overall holiday journey is explored. Furthermore, the findings show how airport management deals with this particular passenger group.

Item Type: Thesis (University of Nottingham only) (PhD)
Supervisors: Tempest, Sue
Lyth, Peter
Keywords: role of the airport, older air passengers, service experience
Subjects: G Geography. Anthropology. Recreation > G Geography (General)
Faculties/Schools: UK Campuses > Faculty of Social Sciences, Law and Education > Nottingham University Business School
Item ID: 33175
Depositing User: Wolf, Natalie
Date Deposited: 18 Jul 2016 06:40
Last Modified: 22 Nov 2016 23:07
URI: http://eprints.nottingham.ac.uk/id/eprint/33175

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