Customer Care

The SEA Group, always keenly aware of the opinion of its users – passengers, accompanying persons, visitors and employees – continued in 2016 to implement a monitoring and improvement policy of the quality level of services offered to the various parties which interact with the Group. The improvement of the “Passenger Experience” is assuming across the airport industry an increasingly significant role, in that Quality Perception, which is the principal measurement, is recognised as an essential element to support business profitability.

Therefore, in line with European best practice, the SEA Group has continued pursuing an approach which identifies and intervenes on the more crucial aspects in terms of passenger expectations.

Quality of airport services provided: European context and positioning of our airports

The 2016 punctuality figures gathered from the members of the ACI Europe- EAPN (European Airport Punctuality Network) work group are slightly worse than 2015 both for departures and arrivals. On average, the punctuality of departing flights in November was 77.9% against 79.4% recorded last year with significant monthly fluctuations ranging from 84% in February and April to 69% and 68% registered in June and July, respectively.

The first quarter of the year, characterised by a fairly mild climate, reported the highest punctuality values of the year. The summer months of June and July reported lower values both for arrivals and departures, due to poor weather conditions and problems caused by absenteeism of ATC personnel especially in France.

With regard to the airports managed by SEA, Linate, with about 85% of flights leaving on time, ranked first in terms of punctuality of departing flights among the airports included in this ranking, ahead of the other comparable Italian airports of Bologna and Naples, while the average value of Malpensa, confirmed at around 81%, was above the European average and in line with the European airports of similar size (including Vienna and Copenhagen). It is by far ahead of the major hub, or at least large size, airports such as Rome Fiumicino, Amsterdam, Zurich, Madrid and London Heathrow. 

Detailed data are provided below for a performance analysis of the two airports related solely to passenger flights:


  • At Malpensa, passenger departing flight punctuality for 2016, had a final balance of 82.8%, with an improvement (difference between arriving punctuality and departing punctuality) of 2.7%. The analysis by Terminal also highlights a similar performance: Terminal 1 reported departing punctuality of 82.3% (+ 2.6%), with Terminal 2 reporting 84% (+ 2.8%).
  • The baggage delivery times reported were well ahead also for the year of those set by the Services Charter, which includes 90% of cases: at Terminal 1 the delivery of the first bag within 23 minutes was achieved for 93.9% of flights, while the delivery of the last bag within 36 minutes was achieved for 94.0%; at Terminal 2 the delivery of the first bag within 26 minutes was achieved for 97.8% of flights, while the delivery of the last bag within 37 minutes was reported for 99.3% of flights.
  • In terms of the number of lost bags, 2.29 bags were reported lost at Terminal 1 for every 1000 departed passengers (2.1 in 2015) and, at Terminal 2, 0.48 bags lost for every 1000 departed passenger (0.47 in 2015).
  • Hand baggage security screening waiting timeswere comfortably within those required by the Regulatory Agreement: 6’23” (weighted average of the two terminals) in 2016 against a required standard of 8’30”. The breakdown of the values for the two terminals is as follows:
    • Terminal 1: 6’44’’ vs 7’00’’
    • Terminal 2: 5’54” vs 8’00”
  • The opening of new security filters also at Terminal 2, on June 8, 2016, made it possible to reduce the waiting times.

The first phase of the "Time to Gate" project was successfully completed. It provides a changing indication (including any waiting time at the passport control) of the minutes necessary to reach the gate.

Data on the waiting time at arriving passport control have been available since December at Terminal 1; they are detected with Blue-Fi technology, already in use for monitoring waiting time at departure security filters and passport control. 


  • At Linate, passenger flight punctuality in 2016 was 86.9%. The capacity to recover arriving delays was 0.6 points.
  • The delivery of the first bag within 17 minutes and delivery of the last bag within 24 minutes was achieved for more than 92.7% of flights and 94.4% of flights in the second case. The percentage of baggage delivered after 45 minutes was 0.2%.
  • The figures for mishandled baggage show 1.7 mishandled bags for every 1,000 departing passengers in 2016 (2.8 bags in 2015), while the percentage of mishandled baggage for issues related to the sorting system was 0.17% (0.18% in 2015).
  • In terms of hand baggage security screening waiting times in 90% equal to 7’01’’ (7’40’’ is the value stated in the regulatory agreement and 2016 services charter).

Overall passenger satisfaction: assessment of perceived Quality

The perceived quality perception of passengers, Customer Satisfaction with the services provided at the SEA managed airports (assessed through CAPI interviews by a leading Market Research Institute). SEA uses an internationally utilised overall satisfaction index(1) – the CSI (ACSI model – American Customer Satisfaction Index), a sector and individual business level parameter. The CSI 2016 Customer Satisfaction index of our airports was:

Malpensa Terminal 174.872.9
Malpensa Terminal 272.071.8

The results improved compared to 2015 on all terminals, benefiting from renovation works and SEA constant efforts in priority areas for passengers, such as comfort, security control, maintenance and retail.

A new perceived quality monitoring instrument continued to be used in 2016, introduced in May 2015, that detects passenger satisfaction on individual services 24 hours a day, in which passengers, through dedicated totems, can express their views immediately after using the service. This instrument is present in more than 50 airports in the world (e.g. Heathrow UK, Orlando US, Melbourne AU and Hong Kong) and provides daily and hourly results making it possible to promptly intervene and improve quality standard by avoiding medium-long term deviations.

The positive trend of the overall judgement expressed by passengers in the Milan airports has continued. In particular the judgements expressed for Malpensa Terminal 1 have positively increased for all available services. In addition to opening of new stores there are also new services to improve the efficiency of operators and for a better travel experience of passengers: e.g. self-bag drop (autonomous shipping of bag from the hold), time-to-gate (indication on displays of the time from the display to the gate, including indication of passport control waiting time), sleeping–box (simple devices for laying down in the airport for a longer wait for departure in a functional and protected space). Generally, the offer is renewed in a modern, spacious, comfortable and welcoming environment.

In the European area Malpensa Terminal 1 is marked by the high popularity of its food & beverage services and for the vast retail offers, the efficiency of its passport services and quality-price ratio of its carparks.

Malpensa is improving its position in the European ranking thanks to these positive results. 

Relationships with customers and the development of B2C services

The SEA system for Customer Relationship Management

In 2016 users registered in SEA Customer Relationship Management platform (CRM) reached the figure of 1,400,000. This positive trend was mainly supported by the Wi-Fi system and the e-commerce. Over 950,000 subscribers have given consent to receiving newsletters and research questionnaires, designed to inform airport users and to learn about their expectations and assessments as guidance for the services to be offered at the airport.


In 2016, 702 complaints were received and processed, a slight decrease (-3.8%) compared to 2015. The company also handles the complaints relating to parking in Orio al Serio.

Dedicated services: Family Friendly Airport

The SEA initiative aimed at travelling family is continuing with success and become consolidated.

All year long at Malpensa and during the summer and Christmas holidays at Linate, SEA proposed a series of services, offering passengers travelling with infants and children up to 12 a Family Friendly airport: 

  • Priority security passage through a “Family lane”, used by approx. 180,000 passengers, with a very high satisfaction index level;
  • Distribution of 85,000 illustrative brochures (with games for kids) featuring useful airport services and procedures;
  • Games area with videos and interactive flooring.
  • Special priced menus for children and dedicated shopping promotions.
  • Web-page dedicated to the initiative and a mini-site with games.

During the Christmas holidays in 2016 SEA tried a new initiative as part of the Family Friendly Airport at Linate and Malpensa aimed at all passengers, by organising Pet therapy in the boarding areas, aimed at achieving positive effects on mood, self-control, reduction of anxiety, stress and insomnia to those getting ready to travel.

Information screen system

The airport assistance service using a video conference system became consolidated in 2016: passengers can receive assistance directly from a Customer Service operator who talks to them through one of the 16 videos located at the 2 airports.

A promotional campaign was held in the last two months of the year with the aim of making passengers aware of this new innovative way of helping them get around the airport, and the comparison with the previous year, for the months when the same number of stations was available, shows a 15% increase in use of the service.

Customer Service for e-commerce clients and assistance through social channels and apps

Pre and after sales assistance provided by the call centre for e-commerce services that can be purchased through a multi-site platform (mainly for carparks, as well as for fast track and vip sales) generated an increase in total calls in 2016 for 9% rising from 130,000 contacts to 142,000. Given the type of services sold online, the telephone service is increasingly set up a assistance to passengers already present in the airport in the phases before their trip.

Along with the development of e-commerce services assistance has also evolved thanks to the functions of new apps. Call centre operators are available to passenger through a web chat channel as well and they can directly call clients who activate a recall request.

Lastly, since December 2016 the call centre has responded promptly to passengers also via Facebook, the social channel adopted by SEA in the past few years and recently assigned to the Customer Care for operating assistance to passengers.

Volunteer service for directions and information for passengers: Airport Helper

Two informational meetings were organised again in 2016 with SEA personnel who take part in the Airport Helper project. SEA is part of the Airport Helper Community, a programme some of the major European airports participate in to develop together their common ideas and projects, aimed not at just welcoming passengers, but also an increasing involvement and promotion of all personnel who work in the airport.

(1)The index is measured on a scale of 0-100, with 75 representing excellence and 60 indicating sufficiency.