Delta Airlines partnered with Californian start-up Misapplied Sciences with the aim of “personalising the airport experience.” The partnership brought PARRALLEL REALITY™ technology to Detroit Metropolitan Airport and materialised as a large flight information display screen which multiple customers can look to and only see their personalised flight information shining back.
How it works
The screen utilises multi-view pixel technology to project millions of coloured lights to numerous viewing zones. This enables the screen to be entirely tailored to each viewer’s journey. The experience is one that passengers can opt in to using either their boarding pass or facial recognition (if they have enrolled with digital ID).
The screen has been active in the airport since July 2022 and welcomes each passenger by name, presents their flight departure time, gate number, how long it will take to get there, and even which direction to walk. The display continuously adjusts to your location enabling the screen to be effective even as you move. It can also work for up to 100 passengers simultaneously.
Vice President of Innovation at Delta, Matt Muta described all innovation at the company as “incredibly human-centric.” Delta positioned the screen as a solution to a common problem faced by customers: scouring an overcrowded and slow information board for a single line of important flight information. Muta explained “we’re looking for ways to make our customers’ lives easier […] we saw an opportunity to personalise and simplify what can be a confusing experience.” The application of this technology aims to make the experience of navigating the airport tailored and streamlined.
Currently there are no plans to roll out the technology in Europe, but Delta has assured they would “gladly consider European airports as possible future installation sites if there is a strong customer appetite for it.” The CEO of Misapplied Sciences has said this first application of the technology is “simply the tip of the iceberg […] a glimpse into what the future could look like.”
Alaska’s Electronic Bag Tags Set to Reduce Time Spent Checking Luggage by 40 Per Cent
Alaska airlines are the first US airline to launch an electronic bag tag program. The tags will enable passengers to “tag their own bags in seconds” and crucially will “make the entire check-in process almost all off-airport.”
How does it work?
The electronic tag can be activated from any location up to 24-hours before a passenger’s flight. All the passenger must do is physically touch the tag to the phone used for check-in. The tag will then display the corresponding flight information. These new tags are durable and are said to last a lifetime.
Alaska Airlines will be the first US airline to adopt BagTag’s technology joining Lufhansa, SWISS, Austrian Airlines, Air Dolomiti, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, China Southern Airlines, and soon Qatar Airways. The tag is robust, “battery-less,” and never needs to be recharged. As such, Alaska have argued that this will eventually offer a more sustainable alternative to the traditional paper system.
The tags will initially be rolled out for free to 2,500 of the airline’s Mileage Plan elites.
How will this improve the current system?
The electronic bag tags will make the “entire check-in process almost all off-airport.” When passengers do arrive at the airport they will just take their luggage to a self-service bag drop instead of waiting to print anything off.
The introduction of these electronic bag tags aims to improve passenger experience. Having identified bag check-in and drop-off as “the bottleneck at the airport,” Alaska expect the introduction of this technology to reduce the time spent dropping off checked luggage by nearly 40 per cent.
By cutting down the time spent printing off a luggage tag and checking in a bag in person, the airport experience will be simplified and accelerated for the passenger, enhancing their overall experience.
For airports and airlines facing staff shortages, the streamlining of the process is paramount to continuing to meet customer expectations. Alaska have also identified the technology as providing an opportunity to spend “more one-on-one time with guests who ask for assistance” which would further contribute to passenger experience as well as utilise airport staff more efficiently.
The electronic tags will assist in modernising the airport experience and help streamline resources to maximise passenger experience. However, it will be a long time before the tags will have been used often enough to make the argument that this new system is better for the environment.