Mobile tech to change tomorrow's airport

Do­n’t worry, as mobile technology could soon make such stresses a thing of the past.
When you walk into an airport in a few years’ time, what will it look like? The first clue is that the rows of check-in counters will probably be gone.

And rather than looking for a departures board, you’ll probably be checking a personalised, location-sensitive update on the smartphone in your pocket, reports the Age.

“Indoor location tracking” via smartphones is expected to become widespread in airports in coming years, allowing airlines to know exactly where passengers are in the airport and send reminder messages to those who are not where they need to be.

“We are at the dawn of a new age in airport passenger processing,” said a new report, commissioned by technology provider Amadeus and written by respected industry consultancy Travel Tech, Navigating the Airport of Tomorrow.

“Mobile technology is providing a new platform to help airlines and airports transform the travel experience into something to look forward to rather than dread,” the report added. It suggested that the key to making airline travel a seamless journey is mobile technology, which would allow airlines to keep passengers updated on all aspects of their journey, from what time their flight will depart to the location of their luggage.

“The always-connected passenger will demand information and services delivered on their preferred personal computing device at all points of their journey,” the report said.

“Mobile devices are extremely personal and, thus, passengers expect not just generic updates ... but personalised communication that addresses their specific concerns,” the report added.

Mobile technology should also simplify the check-in process, theoretically making check-in counters and long queues a thing of the past.

Fast-forward a few more years and it may not even be necessary to check in.

The adoption of “near field communication” (NFC) could allow airlines to automatically check in passengers (with their permission) once they are inside the terminal.

Near field technology could also be used for boarding, payments and personalised promotions on an opt-in basis.

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