Unpredictable weather, long security lines and extremely time sensitive logistical planning makes it easy to imagine that your last trip to the airport could have involved overstressed airport staff rescheduling a flight for a bunch of cranky travelers that cannot understand why they have to spend the night in Frankfurt and pay 10 euros for a 4-pack of batteries.
It’s not the same at every airport, but I have a feeling we’ve all been there at some point in our travel history. This being said, mobile apps provide airports with a huge opportunity to simplify the travel experience as well as provide travel services and tools to minimize stress.
Receive delay notifications on your mobile before leaving the house
Look for alternative flights when your flight is cancelled
Pre-purchase your ticket for the Heathrow Express on your tablet
Breeze through security with your digital boarding pass
Forward yourself your flight, hotel and car rental info an automatically create a travel itinerary
Snap a pic of your parking spot and tag on a map with GPS
Receive a discount coupon from Starbucks after checking-in at the airport via Facebook
What’s really exciting about this space is that all the features listed above already exist and would impact your travel experience in such a positive way.
But if you took a second to think about what’s to come with NFC, QR codes and ERP solutions – mobile could literally revolutionize what we know today as ‘just another trip to the airport.’
Airport apps: It’s win-win
While the ‘Time Killer App’ you played during your 2-hour delay in Amsterdam was a life-saver, the reality now-a-days is that we are always connected to our mobile devices. Airports can take advantage of this opportunity to positively impact their bottom line pre-during-and-post travel by:
Leveraging the unique power of mobile to increase revenue generation
Creating a richer channel for affiliate merchants to reach the consumer
Anticipating delay drivers, plan preventive actions and take recovery measures
Providing cutting edge customer service
This means push notifications for final boarding calls, rich promotional splash pages for seasonal offers, coupon system for airport shops, integrating booking engines for flights, hotels and transportation as well as providing city guides, airport maps and weather information for all arrival and departure cities.
How to get it right
This is a business critical app that would differentiate any airport from its peers if it effectively aligned business priorities with the evolving needs of their customers.
Accurate real-time data mixed with valuable content
Entice travelers to purchase and pre-reserve products or services
Ensure travelers get the most out of their airport visit
From there – the sky is the limit.