How Location Based Services Will Redefine the Traveler Experience in Airports

- 24th Jan 2017


In the past decade, global air passenger traffic grew by 70%, a substantial increase showing people are traveling more today than they have ever done in history. Millennials, in particular, are a globe-trotting generation; traveling and nurturing life experiences happen to be one of their prominent life goals. They are constantly on a move– from chasing business objectives to pursuing higher education to meeting their loved ones, people are traveling like never before. For the digitally connected millennial generation, convenient and comfortable traveling is a top priority. Today’s travelers are informed and updated on technologies that allow them to stay ahead and make their travel hassle free. They have high expectations and want their airport infrastructure to be state of the art; leveraged and enhanced with the latest technologies to make their journey smooth and engaging. Are your airports equipped to keep up with today’s traveler expectations?

Infrastructural facilities at modern day airports have not caught up as steadily to the burgeoning number of people arriving and departing its tarmac every day. According to Proxbook, the top ten airports in the U.S. average 61 million passengers a year, more than twice that of the top 10 shopping malls averaging 27 million customers. The FAA Aerospace Forecast stated US commercial air carriers are projected to fly 1.71 trillion ASMs by 2035 and transport 1.14 billion enplaned passengers a total of 1.44 trillion passenger miles.

As the number 0f passengers continue to grow, the expectations of passengers have risen as well. The digitally connected travelers today have expectations that proximity technology can solve.

Three Traveler Expectations and Solutions:

EXPECTATION #1: Real-time information that keeps travelers updated on gate changes and flight delays


If travelers just missed the latest announcement, forgot to check the digital signage, and have no idea which gate number to queue up for the boarding, they don’t have to worry as proximity will deliver that vital information right onto your smartphone screens. Proximity technology provides real-time information that keeps people updated on critical information such as a change in gate number, the time to leave for boarding and also the shortest queue to join.

EXPECTATION #2: Streamlined processes for check-in and boarding


Proximity provides indoor navigation to help passengers find their current location in this maze and traverse easily to their destination. It also calculates all terminal changes and tells passengers an approximate walking time needed to reach the boarding gate. Real-time analytics also helps in predicting crowd, adjusting staff accordingly, directing passengers to alternative routes and managing queues efficiently to increase the overall operation of the airport. Tools such as heat maps, crowding alerts, path analysis gives accurate people flow analytics to help airports optimize airport layouts.

EXPECTATION #3: Higher levels of personalized services, where travelers feel valued and important


Based on boarding time and interests, proximity technology recommends a personalized list of nearby activities that might interest passengers such as restrooms, shops, information, restaurant, and taxis. If people choose to opt in, then proximity platforms based on location and preferences brings personalized offers from the stores and services that are closest in distance.

To match these growing expectations, airports should leverage location-based technologies, similar to other infrastructure-based industries like retail and hospitality, to innovate, transform, and expand its facilities and improve services at the airport. Enhancing their infrastructure will provide a seamless passenger movement throughout the airport, while creating a convenient and pleasant experience for its passengers across various touch points.

Other issues that plague airports are crowded spaces, baggage issues, and service delays, all adversely impacting the guest satisfaction. In this digitally connected era, where 89% of travelers carry a smartphone, proximity technology like Bluetooth and Wi-Fi are reinventing the industry. The change is quite evident with 35% of the top 20 U.S. airports already deploying beacon technology, 84% of airports planning a sensor deployment in the next three years and 50% of airports planning to capitalize on proximity data.

Location-based technologies and platforms like Proximity MX equip airports with seamless, enhanced and uninterrupted Wi-Fi connectivity thus delivering on the most critical aspects of guest satisfaction. Click below to request a demo.