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Music improves security check experience at London City Airport

25 August 2016  •  Author: Katie Sadler, Digital Content Producer

The security check process at London City Airport has gone musical in an attempt to improve the passenger experience.

Music London City Airport

London City Airport has introduced music to its main security search area. Two different playlists – either ambient electronica or upbeat acoustic music – are broadcast throughout the day as passengers prepare their hand luggage for screening and proceed through the security lanes. Musical artists played through the speaker system include Adele, Ed Sheeran, Ben Howard, Jason Mraz, and Gavin James.

London City Airport introduces two different playlists at security check

Dr Stephanie Bramley, a music psychologist from The University of Sheffield, has suggested the introduction of background music has a positive impact on airport passenger experience and can create an appropriate atmosphere for the security search area whilst passengers proceed through the screening lanes.

The introduction follows research carried out by the U.S. Transportation Security Administration (TSA) on the role of music at security checkpoints. Likewise, the study suggests a positive impact in relaxing the passenger.

Commenting on the introduction, Dr Bramley said: “Music is a flexible resource which can be used to serve a number of functions in retail and commercial environments. In an airport, playing music which is subtle, fits in with the overall ambiance of the security search area, deemed to be familiar, and liked by passengers, might act as a positive distraction where passengers focus on the music instead of the time spent completing the security search process. The music at London City Airport may also enhance passenger experience by helping to create a pleasant environment and potentially improving their mood.”  

“So far we’ve had a very positive reaction to the musical addition”

Melanie Burnley, Director of Customer Experience at London City Airport, explains why the airport has decided to introduce music at the security check area:  “It takes passengers just 20 minutes or less to get from the front door of London City Airport to the departure lounge, and we wanted to enhance the customer experience with a soundtrack to security. So far we’ve had a very positive reaction to the musical addition – from staff and passengers alike – with Ed Sheeran currently the most popular artist.”

London City Airport Music

To coincide with the airport’s introduction of music during security, the airport has created a special playlist.

The top 13 air travel-inspired songs according to London City Airport

  • Brian Eno – Ambient 1: Music for Airports
  • Joni Mitchell – This Flight Tonight
  • John Denver – Leaving on a Jet Plane
  • Red Hot Chili Peppers – Aeroplane
  • Frank Sinatra – Come Fly With Me
  • Iggy Pop – The Passenger
  • Daft Punk – Around the World
  • MIA – Paper Planes
  • Madonna – Holiday
  • Randy Crawford – One Day I’ll Fly Away
  • Lenny Kravitz – Fly Away
  • Simon and Garfunkel – Homeward Bound
  • Vengaboys – We’re Going To Ibiza

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