“Virtual” boarding agents greet passengers in Paris

Lifelike video images are an experiment at brightening the atmosphere

“Virtual” gate agents never need breaks or go on strike, and they never stop smiling. Paris’ Orly airport has introduced the amazingly lifelike video images at Hall 40 in an experiment at brightening the atmosphere in the terminals. As soon as a real boarding agent begins the boarding process, the virtual agents appear out of thin air to welcome them to the gate. “Bonjour! I invite you to go to your boarding gate. Paris Airports wishes you a bon voyage,” they say. Similar avatar agents can also be seen at airports in London and Manchester.
Children like it, the airport comments, but not all adults do. “It spooks me the way his eyes seem to follow you,” says an Air France pilot ready to board.