Music For Airports: Towards A Better Traveller Experience
The concept of travel has majorly evolved in the past few decades, with more and more people now planning vacations. While trains and road travel were popular in the past, it is air travel that is the most exciting option today. With such a rise of frequent flyers, airports are doing all they can to provide the best experience possible to all those who use their facilities. Good food and beverage options may be one important factor in air travel. But creating a relaxing and conducive environment is an equally essential aspect. That’s where music for airports comes in.
Travel worries at the airport
As with all modes of travel, airports are not immune to stressful situations. From booking prices and airline choices to actually getting through all the airport procedures, passengers have enough to be anxious about.
Studies show that baggage collection is the most stressful part of airport travel, followed by security and the wait before boarding. The actual in-flight experience ranks low in terms of inducing stress, making it clear that airports have the potential to make travelling less nerve-racking.
Give travellers an excuse to unwind
Before jumping to the idea of music for airports, however, it is important to consider the requirements of each stage of the airport journey. Travellers experience different emotions and rhythms during the different procedures at airports.
Emotions are generally neutral at the first point of contact – the check-in counter. From here, passengers experience more stress as they head into the security check. After crossing this hurdle, they begin to feel more hopeful and excited for their journey ahead.
Before their flight, they kill time by visiting the duty-free stores, grabbing a bite to eat or picking a book to read. The space between the security check and the boarding gate thus becomes the busiest part of the airport. Finally, they relax either in private lounge areas or near the boarding gate as they prepare themselves for the journey ahead.
The power of ambient music for airports
With the scene now set, music for airports can take centre stage and create the right environment for travellers. However, it is very different from how soundtracks are used in other public spaces like malls and clothing stores. Music for airports tends to take a very specific form of ambient music.
Airports are viewed as a ‘transient’ space where people do not linger for very long. Thus, the music needs to play in the background for listening without the need for concentration. The primary aim of this kind of music is to subtly reduce the general anxiety that travellers experience. But it can be adapted to be used in different ways. The ‘Music For Airports’ album (1978) by Brian Eno was designed for this specific purpose – to be ignorable yet interesting.
This does not mean travel anxiety can only be reduced by late 70s ambient music. Most travellers usually listen to music on their own devices while at the airport. But finding the right music might just add to the existing stress. By choosing the right ambient music for airports that cuts across preferences, travellers can be encouraged to simply relax. In the end, the music can create just the right space to generate a sense of peace overall.
Ambient music, hence, is the way to go for airports in their quest to smoothen the travel journey for passengers.
Unlocking the full potential of music for airports
By harnessing the power of ambient music, airports can equip themselves to support all travellers in the best possible way. Each stage requires a different type of music. With the help of Soundsuit, they can be selected to guide the passengers through the airport in the smoothest way possible.
Setting the mood at check-in
As the gateway to the airport, the arrival hall is the perfect place to set the mood for the airport journey. A sense of anticipation for the journey ahead can be created through music with upbeat tones, from nostalgic 80s for older audiences to modern tunes for younger travellers. It helps in maintaining a calm, neutral emotional state among listeners. The perfect tune will help them begin their journey on the right note by making them feel hopeful.
Keeping calm through security
Once they check-in, the next stage is rife with emotions as stress levels begin to build. In order to combat this, instrumental music has the best effect. Upbeat, simple folk music with minimal or no vocals works best in this situation. It even helps travellers stay calm and collected during their anxious moments.
Revel in the duty-free
After the security check, passengers can have a little breathing space. They can cut loose and enjoy all the luxuries that the airport has to offer. The area dedicated to food and beverages as well as the duty-free zone needs music that is cheerful and fast-paced. This keeps the travellers alert, increases concentration and lets them truly indulge in their desire for retail therapy. Thus, stores and passengers benefit mutually from this simple choice of music for airports.
Chill out with Jazz or Bossa Nova before taking off
After all the stress of security and the excitement of shopping, this is the perfect time for passengers to rest and relax a little before boarding their flights. Irrespective of where they decide to bide their time, the choice of music should remain the same: tune with a slow tempo to relax the muscles and quieten the mind. Smooth jazz and soulful bossa nova are often the go-to in situations like these, giving travellers some much-needed rest before they reach their vacation destinations.
The Secret Weapon of Lo-fi Downtempo Electronic Music
While certain genres work best at each stage, airports can also use chill lo-fi tracks as a secret weapon at any stage.
These tracks have been designed specifically to create a sense of calm among their listeners, something that is perfect for the high-energy space that is an airport. This music also cuts across passenger preferences, making it the best tool for ultimate relaxation.
Have a safe flight!
With airports welcoming greater crowds as times go by, air travel in the post-pandemic era is alive and well. Music for airports, hence, is an important part of this travel evolution. By adopting the right music for airports, travellers can be made to feel at home no matter where their flights may take them to. Soundsuit offers airports the right tools to truly embrace the power of music as a tool for crowd control and make sure every journey has the best beginning possible.
So the next time you visit the airport, keep an ear out for some of your favourite tunes as you dream about all the happiness to come!
Soundsuit helps you plan music in advance using its smart scheduling function. You can not only play different moods and styles of music at different times of the day and on different days or moments of the week, but you can also target your music to specific customer segments, e.g. “Mixed, over 50 years, trendy + relaxing” or “Female, 18 to 30 years, old-school + alternative”. Your music playground is now infinite while very precise and predictable. You can spend your time and energy managing your business and customers while getting peace of mind that the right jazz music will play for the right patrons at the right time of the day.
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