Airports & Airlines: The Connected Traveller

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We recently connected with various airports and airlines at the Routes Europe Aviation conference in the UK and here are our top findings.

There are a few areas Airports and Airlines are most concerned about when it comes to innovation, these include:

  • Connectivity - Opening new routes in and out of their existing locations

  • Improving operations – such as automation of services such as check-in and baggage drop-off

  • How to drive non-aeronautical revenues

  • Improving customer experience

  • Maintaining and developing relationships with key Strategic Partners

For the purpose of this article, we will focus on discussing how to drive non-aeronautical revenues and improving customer experience.

For an airport, the perfect customer would be a one that comes early to the airport by car, parks at their car park, uses fast lane check-in, spends time and money within the duty free section and finally reaches the flight in time. However that often isn’t the case. At the moment, the airports lack the data to pinpoint insights such as “when do customers arrive and can we make them arrive earlier”, ”how can we entice customers to spend more time/money at the airport”, “how can we increase the range of services we offer?” and “what type of traveller should we focus on?”.

All of these questions will have different answers depending on the route, airport and airline in question. However answering these questions would be much easier when based on the data captured using Pointr technology.

Pointr's Airport Technology can accurately provide indoor positioning and wayfinding, meaning that when a user searches for a point of interest, they can get turn-by-turn navigation from their exact location to their destination. Things such as average queue length at check-in, bag drop-off and security can be factored into a customer’s journey through the airport to make it as seamless as possible. In addition to this, the ability to guide visually impaired people through the airport helps give travellers some autonomy back.

The other side of the story is that the data gathered, with the consent of the app user, can provide very powerful insights for both the airport and the airline.

  • How often does a user travel?
  • How long does a user spend in the car park/terminal?
  • What route do users take through duty free and a heatmap of their time there?
  • Do behaviour patterns change before security control?

All of these give a great insight into the world of the connected traveller.

So, where is the industry going?

As far as innovation goes, in our opinion, the steps involved are:

  • Discovery/Invention of technology
  • R&D of tech within the industry as a whole
  • Educating the buyers and decision makers on the tech
  • Trials & Pilots
  • Full project deployment

The iBeacon industry is still quite a young one, however, a couple of years have passed since the discovery of the technology and there are now some great platforms for managing them. Software R&D is also progressing, numerous companies have emerged claiming to do indoor navigation accurately, but we have yet to find one who can match the performance of the Pointr product. As iBeacons move into the pilot & full project deployment stage airlines and airports are becoming more aware of what the future might look like.

Airlines and airports who are trialling iBeacon technology today are helping pave the way for innovation in their industry, so the question is, who will be the first to have the full circle completed? Stay tuned to find out!