5 tips for airports to guarantee passenger satisfaction this holiday season

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The days before Christmas eve (December 23rd) and New Years eve (December 30th) have been predicted to be the busiest travel days this year. Long distance travel is said to increase by 23 percent compared to the rest of the year. Add to this, snowstorms, extra cold weather and additional security measures, managing airport operations and ensuring passenger experience will literally be the ‘Nightmare before Christmas’ for airport officials. How is your team equipped to handle the extra traffic, long lines and chaos this holiday season?

According to a study, a satisfied passenger is defined as one who spends the shortest time from the curb to the gate. This means that airports have to focus on ensuring short wait times at check-in lanes, immigration and TSA, an easily navigable airport, on-time flights and an efficient baggage delivery system. The question is – how can airports achieve all of this amidst disruptions like weather, security issues, staffing problems, inoperable equipment and more than normal traffic? According to SITA’s 2015 Airport IT Trends survey, the answer lies in beacons that use Bluetooth LE technology. However, not many airports are using the technology to its full potential. Bluvision, apart from being the market leaders in beacons, is leading innovation in terms of indoor location with RTLS (real time location system) and ToF. Here are 5 tips on how your airport can use beacons to enrich passenger experience this holiday season:

(i) Monitor dwell times and Queue times: Knowing the wait times at check-ins, TSA, immigration and boarding can drastically change the quality of experience you provide to your passengers. Today’s passengers demand control of their journey. Empowering them with the knowledge of how long the wait times are can help set the expectations and help airports ease the bottlenecks by reassigning workforce.

(ii) Personalized Passenger experience: Any information that can be customized and catered specifically to a passenger will not just enrich their experience at your airport, but will also add to your operational efficiency. Bluzone gives you heat maps and visibility into passenger’s history of movement so you can provide customized information on flight delays, gate changes, baggage information, promotions to a previously visited store or food joint etc., to an individual.

(iii) Ensure your assets (personnel & equipment) are where they need to be: Do you know where your baggage carts, wheelchairs or personnel are at this precise minute? Having the right asset at the right place at the right time is crucial for the smooth flow of operations. Being able to track an individual or a cart in an airport is a herculean task but with Bluvision’s sophisticated tracking you can not just track your assets but do so remotely through their cloud solution.

(iv) Avoid lost capacity: Picture the chaos a failed motor in an escalator can cause during the peak traffic season. Motors fail. You cannot stop that from happening but you can predict when it is about to fail and take remedial actions to mitigate downtime. Again with Bluvision beacons and Bluzone, you can create user-defined policies and alerts to let you know when a motor is overheating or has slowed down and is showing signs of breaking down.

(v) Directional guides at airports: A simple yet invaluable information to equip your passengers with are path-finding solutions and directional guides. Information on how to navigate through the airport, how far they are to the gate, an F&B spot, or a retail outlet, not only help with frustration-free navigation but can also encourage non-aeronautical revenue for airports. This is also a great opportunity to use passenger’s proximity and location to push relevant promotions.

Airports are complex environments to begin with and the holidays just add to challenge of providing optimum passenger experience. However, gaining visibility to and understanding that long queues will happen, motors will fail and assets will be misplaced or go missing, and keeping the passenger informed will make the nightmare of travel a merry one for your passengers!


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