DFW Airport’s pilot program at Terminal E18 checkpoint offers innovation and relaxation for passengers

North Dallas Gazette
October 24, 2013

DFW AIRPORT — Passengers traveling through Dallas/Fort Worth (DFW) International Airport’s security checkpoint at Terminal E, E18 will experience an unexpected respite for the next three months – a stylish comfort zone courtesy of SpringHill Suites by Marriott.

Partnering with SpringHill Suites by Marriott, SecurityPoint Media, and the Transportation Security Administration (TSA), DFW has transformed the checkpoint into a welcoming and aesthetically appealing space designed to offer travelers a new level of comfort inside a security checkpoint. The three-month pilot program is labeled “The Next Level Experience.”

“Airports want to deliver a positive experience for passengers from the moment they step out of their car all the way to the boarding door, and screening checkpoints are a major part of that passenger experience,” said Ken Buchanan, executive vice president of revenue management at DFW Airport. “We want to lead the way in making passenger screening a positive encounter, while maintaining the highest levels of security.”

The objective was to create an atmosphere that reflects an overall enhanced experience while going through security. The design features stylish decor, soothing wall art, vibrant lighting and relaxing ambient music. The enhancements span the entire checkpoint area, offering lounge seating at the entrance and a re-composure area featuring furnishings from SpringHill Suites, allowing passengers to collect their belongings in a comfortable environment after the screening process.

“SpringHill Suites delivers stylish spaces that allow guests to relax and refresh, and the idea was to extend that same hospitality to the airport, where so many travelers’ journeys begin,” said Craig Fowler, Marriott International’s Senior Director of Brand Marketing, Select Service Brands. “We hope travelers will enjoy the unexpected and pleasant surprises they’ll experience in what can often be a stressful environment.”

SecurityPoint Media directed the checkpoint’s conversion in a partnership with media and creative agencies, MEC, Kinetic, McGarry Bowen and Ferocious Cow. This program was executed by Aviator, Kinetic’s aviation media specialist division.

“We bring a decade of experience at more than 40 major airports and extensive research on the passenger screening experience,” said SecurityPoint Media President and CEO Joseph T. Ambrefe, Jr. “We’re pleased to be working with DFW and SpringHill Suites in cooperation with the TSA to deliver an atmosphere that enhances the security process, upgrades the traveler journey, and delivers a positive service experience through innovation and the latest in technology.”

“This enhanced checkpoint gives our passengers a next level experience when it comes to security screening,” said James Crites, executive vice president of operations at DFW. “Wait times are automatically calculated and displayed on monitors and audio messages replace the need for TSA officers to shout instructions and security messages are available to guide travelers throughout the screening process.”

The E18 checkpoint is a brand new security checkpoint opened earlier this month at DFW Terminal E under the Terminal Renewal and Improvement Program to renovate and redefine the Airport experience in DFW’s four original terminals. The checkpoint was part of an additional 50,000 square feet of space added to Terminal E for passenger arrivals, ticketing and baggage claim.

Following the three-month pilot, the development team will study the results of passenger interaction with “The Next Level Experience” checkpoint and subsequently decide on future plans for the concept.

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