Global report commissioned by Amadeus identifies emerging technologies set to solve passenger pain points at the airport
- Navigating the Airport of Tomorrow’ shows that problems with baggage management, security processes and flight disruptions cause the greatest frustration for passengers
- Technologies investigated in the report include near-field communications (NFC), location-aware baggage systems and indoor location tracking
Authored by Norm Rose of Travel Tech Consulting, Inc., the report reveals that passengers across the world are regularly still suffering significant problems while at the airport, including when checking-in, collecting and dropping off baggage and passing through security checks.
Designed to stimulate new thinking and innovation in the travel sector, Navigating the Airport of Tomorrow uses primary data from a global traveler study conducted by JD Power on behalf of Amadeus, which surveyed 2,978 travelers.
Travelers demand improvements in disruption management and baggage handlingAt 43%, disruption management ranked as the single most important area where travelers would like to see improvement. Furthermore, innovations and improvements in baggage handling are important to 34% of travelers with a similar percentage having suffered delays when checking-in, depositing or picking up baggage.
Demand for new information services and self-service is highJust under 40% of travelers would adopt services that delivered real-time information to their mobile devices on flight and baggage status, as well as directions at the airport. A third of respondents require greater self-service options, including the ability to purchase additional services at airport kiosks and self-tagging options for luggage.
Airport experiences impact perceptions of airlinesOn average, if customers are made to wait in line for longer than 30 minutes in order to check-in, their perception of the airline used swings negatively by 10%.
Looking ahead to 2020, the report paints an optimistic picture of how specific emerging technologies will be applied to solve the challenges of the airport experience including:
- One-touch check-in and progress tracking: Near field communication (NFC) enabled smartphones and tablet computers could unlock the possibility of one-touch check-in, if airports deploy NFC sensors throughout the airport. This would maximize ease of check-in for the passenger, and could even enable airlines to track their passengers through the airport, achieving greater efficiencies.
- Permanent baggage tags: Radio Frequency Identification (RFID) technology is being introduced to create permanent baggage tags that recognize the passenger’s frequent flyer details and allow the tracking of the bag through the airport, onto the airplane and off again at the final destination. This will enable real-time baggage information – an especially valuable service in times of disruption.
- Roaming agents with tablet computers: Given the proliferation of tablet computers, roaming agents could soon be available within the airport to provide information to passengers as necessary, or to aid the desk check-in process at peak times.
Julia Sattel, VP Airline IT, Amadeus, said, “We see a bright future for those players that are willing to collaborate in order to overcome the challenges presented by airport operations. Airlines, airport operators, ground handlers and retailers must work together if the vision presented in this report is to be realized. Our priority is to help deliver a better experience for the passenger by providing solutions that underpin how airlines and airports better relate to their customers.”
Norm Rose, Travel Tech Consulting, Inc., said, “It is clear that self service and mobility are key themes of the airport of tomorrow. Ubiquitous connectivity means the passenger is always online and therefore in turn expects real-time communication. Even simple advances such as verifying that a passenger’s baggage is on-board the aircraft can greatly help to minimize frustration and uncertainty. That said, in order to genuinely achieve this vision of the airport of tomorrow, airlines and airports must invest in new systems that automate manual tasks, share information and provide proactive communication to the passenger.”