Here are a few behind-the-scenes tricks airports use to help travelers relax, get to their gates on time, and hopefully spend some money along the way.
1. They make sure you can see the tarmac
Travelers should be able to get from security to their gate without getting lost. In many new airports, passengers can see through to the tarmac immediately after they leave security.
2. The signs send (A) subliminal messages
Very, very little in the style of an airport sign is arbitrary. For example, the change of shape from one sign system to another can warn passengers that they are going the wrong way.
3. They lighten the mood
Newer airports incorporate as many windows as possible, even in stores. There's a trend that the shops face the tarmac. Passengers tend to walk into shops with access to sunlight.
4. They herd you with art
That big sculpture in your terminal isn't just there to look pretty. It's another tool to help travelers navigate. It may serve as a handy rendezvous for you and your friends.
5. They use carpeting
In many airports, the gate waiting area is carpeted. This is an attempt to make holding areas more relaxing by giving them a soft, cozy feeling. Happy, (1) laid back travelers are prone to (B) splurge.
6. The “golden hour” is key for profit
The time between when a passenger clears security and boards their plane is called “dwell time.” This is when passengers are (2) at loose ends and most likely to shell out. Especially crucial is the “golden hour,” the first 60 minutes spent beyond security.
7. They're increasing dwell time
One hour more at an airport is around $7 more spent per passenger. Anything that's automated, (C) from check-in to bag drop, is meant to speed things up so that the dwell time is increased.
8. Shops are strategically placed
Most airport spending is done (3) on the spur of the moment, so the key is getting the goods out where they can be seen by as many people as possible.
9. They go local
Airport shops are packed with souvenirs and trinkets that reflect the local culture, because that's what travelers want to buy.
10. Walkways curve to the left
The majority of humans are right-handed, which affects airport design. More sales are generated if a walkway curves from right to left with more merchandise and space on the right side.
11. A single queue puts us at ease
While the line for check-in and security may seem absurdly long, a single queue actually lowers stress levels by increasing the perceived sense of fairness.
12. The security officers get conversational
A good tactic of screening passengers is simply to have a word with them. A study has found that asking open-ended questions is 20 times more effective than trying to monitor based on behavior.
(1) Laid back 閒散
這裡的laid 是lay的過去式，laid back 是“懶散、閒適、鎮定自若”的意思。
Why are you so laid back? The exam is in 30 minutes!
(2) At loose ends 無所事事
Mary has been at loose ends ever since she graduated from college.
(3) On the spur of the moment一時心血來潮
Tom bought the car on the spur of the moment, and he has regretted it ever since.