London City Airport eases tension with security music

Ed Sheeran is most popular among passengers (credit: yakub88)
Ed Sheeran is most popular among passengers (credit: yakub88)

London City has become the first airport in the UK to play music to passengers in security screening areas.

The airport taken the advice of music psychologists from the University of Sheffield, who say that background music may provide a positive distraction for passengers in security areas. The airport has now started playing a series of tunes to its passengers, including Adele and Ed Sheeran.

“Music is a flexible resource which can be used to serve a number of functions in retail and commercial environments,” explained music psychologist Dr Stephanie Bramley, an honorary research fellow in the Psychology of Music at the University of Sheffield.

“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,” Dr Bramley added.

Two different playlists have been created for the airport, featuring either ambient electronica or upbeat acoustic music.

Melanie Burnley, director of customer experience at London City Airport, said that the response to the music had been “very positive… from staff and passengers alike”. Ed Sheeran is reportedly the most popular artist.

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