Airlines and airports: ideas speed up travel

Airlines and airports adapt ideas from other industries

Airlines are studying how other industries handle areas such as service delivery, seating comfort and ancillary sales. They are looking at the retail, hospitality and automotive sectors, for example, in an effort to raise best practices.

On the ground, airports are trying low-tech innovations from other industries to try to free up bottlenecks at security and boarding.

Pittsburgh International Airport was inspired by supermarkets to launch an express security checkpoint lane for passengers with only one carry-on bag.

Montreal’s Pierre Elliott Trudeau airport was inspired by theme parks to launch an online service, SecurXpress, which gives passengers a time slot to pass through security rather than queue up at a random time. The passengers put their mobile number and flight information into the airport’s website and are then texted a time to go through security.

KLM, meanwhile, was inspired by post offices and deli shops to create its Smart Boarding system. To speed up boarding, passengers are given a number at the gate based on their seat positions. When boarding starts, the numbers are displayed one by one at five-second intervals on screens at the gate. This allows passengers with window seats and further from the doors to get on first.

[photo courtesy Montreal-Trudeau]


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