In today’s age of the connected traveller, more people rely on their mobile phones than ever before as part of their travel experience. An unfamiliar airport can be confusing to even the most seasoned traveller, with its multiple terminals, piers, halls and specific internal transit systems to navigate in a timely manner and still making a tight connection.
Airports have recognized the opportunity to use mobile technology to help passengers as well providing an efficient communication tool during times of service disruption.
Mobile apps can give passengers more control of their journey and enable real-time communication of flight information. By coupling mobile apps with beacon technology, airports, airlines and terminal operators can push contextual and location-based messages to passengers focused around where they are located in the airport. This enables richer and more targeted information to be provided to passengers — where and when they need it.
A beacon is a small device that broadcasts a short-range Bluetooth signal that can be detected by apps on mobile devices in close proximity. Contrary to popular belief, beacons do not store any information; rather they deliver information about the location so that the app can respond to the user.
Beacons have potential for major growth within airports. They broadcast in different zones and can be used by airport tenants, including airlines and retailers to:
Among all this, beacon technology also forms a grid to deliver turn-by-turn directions to understand how passengers are moving through an airport. For a passenger who is navigating multiple terminals on a tight connection this kind of application can make or break their journey. For more information on digital technologies in airports, download the Airport Digital Transformation: Best Practices.