Signature Clean is a blog series by Flagship that addresses the unique cleaning and maintenance requirements of various industries and environments. This series provides insights and strategies for supporting the highest standards of cleanliness and efficiency at your facility – no matter its classification or function. Join us as we explore the nuances of specialized facilities maintenance and share expert advice for achieving and sustaining operational excellence.
In the bustling world of air travel, where cleanliness and comfort are key, airport lounges play a pivotal role in shaping the passenger experience. These lounges are not just waiting areas; they’re sanctuaries where passengers can enjoy a heightened level of luxury.
However, delivering this standard of excellence is a huge challenge, made more difficult by the relentless foot traffic and elevated expectations of discerning passengers.
In this blog post, we’ll highlight the complexities involved in maintaining airport lounges and explore strategies for transforming your space into a haven that meets passenger expectations and reinforces your brand’s reputation for excellence.
In this episode of Flagship Features, Courtney Wright, VP of Business Development for Flagship Aviation Services, shares tips for delivering an enhanced passenger experience.
Terminals vs. Lounges
Airport terminals are hubs of activity where travelers from all corners of the globe converge. These areas are purposefully designed to manage high volumes of passengers quickly and efficiently, prioritizing functionality and flow.
Lounges, on the other hand, offer an escape from the chaos of airport terminals and convey an air of exclusivity. The clientele who frequent lounges are often seasoned travelers seeking comfort, privacy, and premium service.
As the number of passengers continues to rise and lounges grow in popularity, upholding this level of service becomes increasingly difficult. Today, passengers expect more than just upscale food and drinks; they expect a clean and well-maintained space as well as modern amenities.
Especially in the post-pandemic era, lounges must prioritize customer health and well-being, which requires extreme diligence and impeccable cleanliness. Unlike airport terminals, lounges typically feature high-quality fabrics and fixtures that require specialized cleaning and upkeep.
Customizing Cleaning & Schedules
Airport lounges, designed to offer comfort and luxury, demand a nuanced approach to cleaning and maintenance. Furnished with a variety of upholstery, carpeting, fixtures, and fabrics, they typically require specialized care. For example, carpets are subject to high foot traffic and need regular, thorough cleaning to maintain their appearance and longevity. Meanwhile, upholstery, often made from premium materials, necessitates gentle cleaning to preserve texture and color.
Here are some tips for maintaining the various materials found throughout your lounge:
- Vacuum regularly to remove dust and prevent dirt from embedding into the fibers.
- Treat spills immediately with the appropriate cleaner for the upholstery material.
- Use upholstery-specific cleaning agents to avoid damage to fabrics.
- Rotate and fluff cushions frequently to retain their shape and ensure even wear.
- Vacuum carpets daily, especially in high-traffic areas, to prevent dirt accumulation.
- Implement spot cleaning procedures for spills to avoid permanent staining.
- Place walk-off mats at entrances to minimize the amount of dirt tracked onto the carpet.
- Use carpet protectants to repel stains and facilitate easier cleaning.
- Dust fixtures regularly to preserve a clean appearance and prevent grime build-up.
- Check and tighten loose screws or parts periodically to ensure stability.
- Use soft cloths for cleaning to avoid scratching or damaging surfaces.
- Avoid using abrasive cleaners or pads that can damage the finish.
- Vacuum frequently or brush fabrics to remove dust and prevent soil accumulation.
- Clean any spills immediately to prevent staining, following the fabric manufacturer’s guidelines.
- Protect fabrics from direct sunlight to prevent fading.
- Rotate any cushions or movable fabric elements to ensure even wear and color fading.
Airport lounges experience a constant ebb and flow of guests, with peak and off-peak hours dictating operations. It’s crucial that cleaning and maintenance schedules are developed with these patterns in mind to ensure minimal disruption to passengers. Cleaning during off-peak hours or overnight can help maintain your lounge’s appearance and hygiene standards without impinging on the passenger experience.
Additionally, unexpected events such as spills can happen at any time. That’s why it’s vital to have quick-response cleaning teams and procedures in place. These teams can guarantee that any issues are addressed promptly, minimizing the potential for passenger inconvenience, avoiding long-term material damage, and maintaining the lounge’s standard of cleanliness and order.
Training for Excellence
The presence of professional, well-trained staff is yet another key to the success of your lounge. The staff’s attention to detail, commitment to customer service, and discreet conduct collectively ensure that the lounge remains a sanctuary of cleanliness and comfort.
All staff – from janitors to concierges – should receive specialized training, as they commonly interact with passengers and contribute to the lounge’s reputation. This training should be comprehensive and encompass not only the latest cleaning and maintenance techniques but also customer service.
Understanding and respecting the privacy and security of passengers is another critical component of training. Staff should be adept at maintaining discretion, especially in spaces where business is conducted and confidentiality is paramount. Additionally, the handling of lost and found items or sensitive materials requires adherence to strict protocols.
Harnessing Feedback for Better Service
Regularly gathering input from both staff and passengers is crucial for identifying areas for improvement and implementing changes that enhance overall service standards. Technology has made it easier than ever to solicit and manage this type of feedback. Furthermore, it has enabled passengers to notify operators of areas that need attention so that issues can be resolved quickly. This proactive maintenance approach enhances operational efficiency and greatly improves the passenger experience.
Flagship is proud to partner with TRAX Analytics, which uses a unique blend of technology, sensor integrations, and data analysis to streamline operations and improve customer satisfaction. TRAX's facility analytics platform enables us to capture, analyze, manage, and display data on our janitorial operations to identify areas that may need improvement and take corrective action to ensure a clean and safe facility for both customers and employees.
Investing in the maintenance of your airport lounge is essential to providing a positive passenger experience and maximizing revenue. When passengers enjoy cleanliness and comfort, they’re more likely to return and remain loyal to your brand. Similarly, a hygienic workspace protects employees’ health and boosts job satisfaction. This leads to a more stable workforce with fewer employees calling in sick.
With 35 years of experience in the aviation industry and a presence in more than 25 airports across the country, Flagship knows how to navigate airport environments. Thanks to our existing infrastructure, we can provide seamless support to your airport lounge, ensuring that operations run smoothly and without interruption.
We also incorporate cutting-edge technology – including a robust CMMS and SmartRestroom monitoring solutions – to help reduce downtime, streamline janitorial and maintenance processes, and prioritize high-traffic areas.
For more information about our offerings, visit the Flagship Aviation Services page.