Electrochromic Glass Enhances the Passenger Experience in Airports
Hedge A*, Nou D and Horton R
Journal Title:Ergonomics International Journal
Interviews were conducted with airline passengers in the flight gate areas at a major international airport under each of 2 conditions, one where the gate seating area had low-e glass, and one where the gate seating area had electrochromic glass that changes its visual transmittance (tint) as a function of predicted glare or solar gain via an automated software program. Face-to-face interviews were conducted with a total of 503 passengers over a 5 weeks period. On-site surveys and video footage of passenger behavior were collected to measure the comparative seat occupancy, seat dwell time and occupant behavior at both gates. Economic data was collected from proximate vendors at each gate. Results show that proximity to a window is important to the passenger experience and passenger opinions of electrochromic glass were either better or comparable to those for low emissivity glass. Significantly fewer passengers reported adverse glare effects with the electrochromic glass. Seat dwell times at gates with electrochromic glass was significantly longer for seats located close to the glass compared to the gate with low-e glass. There was suggestive evidence that passengers at the gate with the electrochromic class also tended to spend more money. Separately, an adjacent bar (also retrofit with electrochromic glass) reported average revenue increases of 102% for the 6 months after the glass was installed. Overall, electrochromic glass at airport gates and in retail outlets with external walls can improve the visual environment for airline passengers and may boost revenue.