Airport IoT – The Mobile And Connected Passenger

Not so long ago, traveling was a not-so-exciting experience where passengers had to kill hours in waiting time at the airport.Most of them would wait in serpentine queues for security checks, or nibbled at random food stores, did window shopping and mostly, were unequipped with any information relevant to their travel.

Quite certainly, those times have changed – drastically.

The Age of the Millennials

IoT SITA Study

Today, millennials are the privileged cohort who are completely surrounded by and adapted to high-tech gadgets, the internet, social networks and a perennial feeling of being plugged in 24/7.

What also sets them apart is the sheer size of this generation who are adventurous, keep business and social networking on top, and those who like to follow their dreams. It’s, no wonder that they consist of the largest segment who like to …..travel.

Consider these stats:

  • Nearly 90% of millennials browse through multiple sites before booking their itinerary
  • Almost 50% book travel through a smartphone or a tablet
  • More than half will upgrade their travel experience by using gadgets, wifi to upgrade on things like shopping, dining, and faster checkout.
  • A great experience in the airport will have them social sharing in minutes
  • They are not shy to remain loyal to programs that offer the most rewards, for example, case/freebies, upgrades or discounts.

How IOT Creates Smarter Airports

The Anatomy of Smart AerotropolisAirports need to deal with humongous amounts of information for airlines, baggage handlers, internal staff, and passengers. Multiple revenue gateways are new options for airports who embrace technology vis-a-vis every layer of their operations.

From Bluetooth beacons that attract travelers to their favorite retail kiosks to RFID tags, intelligent video processing and airport mobile applications that help streamline various processes – various manifestations of technological advancements through the use of IoT can enrich the overall airport experience for the traveler.

A befitting example is Qantas, who have a fully automated system that allows for passengers to drop or check-in their baggage without any intervention from the Qantas staff.

Navigation within airports also enables major visibility for passengers. They can receive ultra-local directions to reach their outlets of choice or find great deals that add value for them. Once beacons are active it also serves the purpose to find gate information, flight status to be delivered to passengers directly to their smartphone.

One of the foremost benefits for passengers is a more efficient travel experience. They will be able to take full advantage and navigate through the vast sea of information provided to them.

Secondly, airport staff and airlines can also deliver native advertising to those passengers who would most likely require their services or products.

The backbone of this technological revolution in an airport environment with a connectivity that is enabled through a robust wireless infrastructure.

One critical issue of security can also benefit from IoT as there will be less manual checking of each passenger and it shall be replaced with active monitoring systems that would provide summarized information for agents to act in real-time.

An airport that offers free wireless connectivity entices the passengers and eases the load on the workforce and also gives the air carriers another reason to choose that particular airport to anchor up.

Quite true to the fact that no sign of technological modernism has ever come without challenges, airports need to battle them out too.

Thus the question today isn’t whether to implement a wireless network, but how!

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