Customer Feedback Provides Valuable Insight Into Airport Opportunities & Challenges


The Erie Regional Chamber of Growth Partnership (ERCGP) along with Erie Insurance Next Level Innovation (Erie NLI) recently teamed up with Harmonic Design and students at Gannon University for a design engagement project to better understand and meet the needs and expectations of Erie International Airport (ERI) customers. The initiative which centered on  direct customer feedback is part of ERCGP’s efforts to help unify public and private stakeholders around a strategic plan to stimulate growth and attract more flights to the airport.

Featuring research, surveys, a traveler experience map, and recommendations, the ERI Traveler Experience project explores the current typical customer journey, synthesizing data points into major insights that help address current challenges and identify opportunities so as to drive future action. Throughout 2024, the Erie Regional Authority Authority (ERAA) — the governing body of ERI — will be meeting monthly with the Chamber and other key stakeholders to discuss the project’s findings and consider the recommendations.

“Everyone involved in this project, including the ERAA Board, is committed to doing all we can to create an overall better customer experience and stimulate growth at the airport,” said ERAA Executive Director Derek Martin. “Getting real feedback from people in the community about what they want and expect from the airport is an important step in doing this. The valuable insights we gain from this research will help inspire innovative solutions going forward.”

The project found that travelers place a great deal of importance on their time, money, and peace of mind and that they want the airport to do the same with what they offer. It also revealed that reliable transportation to and from the airport was a priority and that travelers were interested in further amenities like retail shops, lounge area, a cafe, and new tech/entertainment such as more charging stations and the addition of Wi-Fi and TVs. Unsurprisingly, more flights and direct flight options were a top preference among stakeholders, a problem the airport has been working hard to remedy since post-pandemic lost service and pilot shortages.

After gathering and analyzing the feedback, the team facilitated a workshop that resulted in over 30 concepts to be explored as potentially viable possibilities created from identified opportunities. Some of those concepts included better and more cost-effective parking and transportation, better personalization such as app integration and concierge services, the creation of more comfortable spaces, and more ways to involve the community and tap into Erie pride.

The Erie Regional Chamber and Growth Partnership is dedicated to promoting economic growth, advocating for businesses, and driving community prosperity in the greater Erie region. Established in 1847, the Chamber serves as a catalyst for local businesses, fostering an environment where companies can thrive and make a positive impact on the community.

Erie Insurance’s Next Level Innovation team is dedicated to identifying business opportunities, experimenting with new capabilities, and developing new ideas and concepts, ERIE Next Level Innovation team keeps us moving toward the future.