Airline & Airport Innovations. 10 Great Ideas For Travellers.

By Hélène Dubos | Trends & Innovation

May 17

In 2014, management consultants PwC carried out a survey (link below) about ‘Transformation and Innovation’ for airlines. To quote PwC: “Technological advances, shifts in the global economy, as well as demographic changes are the top trends expected to transform the airline industry.”

At Conztanz, we see a lot of innovation being driven by data. But IT is just part of the innovation mix. Here’s ten ideas from the world of airlines and airports that could interest you.

1. Tigerair Australia uses iPads for flexible passenger check-in.

Tigerair checkin ipad

Instead of making passengers wait in line, the check-in staff at Tigerair can wander around the airport with an iPad to manage check-ins.

Introduced at Melbourne airport in 2014, the ‘MAX Airport by Levarti’ enables Tigerair staff to have less formal check-in processes.

2. Siemens automated baggage check-in.

Siemens baggage checkin

Starting 2014, Iberia passengers at Madrid Barajas airport were able to use the new Siemens automated baggage check-in device.

Technology like this is another great way to reduce queues at airports, and leave employees free to offer better customer service. For example, check-in staff with the iPad app that Tigerair use could wait by the Siemens machine to do the check-ins there.

3. Aeroports de Paris launches iBeacon business networking.


ADP has launched a “Let’s Network” service at the Espace business lounge at Paris orly airport. Around 58% of the 9,000 passengers who use the wifi lounge are business users … and now they can arrange ad hoc meetings.

Based on bluetooth beacon technology, Espace users can announce that they are available for business meetings, and invite other passengers in the lounge to contact them. It could be a great way to turn waiting time into a sales meeting.

4. Helsinki airport installs sleeping pods.

Helsinki sleep pod

The GoSleep pods feature an ergonomic seat that can be turned into a bed, plus a sliding cover for passengers who are in serious need of the some sleep.

Helsinki was a pioneer in installing sleeping pods for its transfer passengers. Each pod also contains a charging socket, plus secure storage for hand luggage.

5. Schiphol airport introduces centralized security experience.

Schiphol security experience

Every traveller appreciates the need for airport security, but few enjoy the experience of waiting in line, then shuffling around without their shoes and trouser belt.

Amsterdam’s Schiphol airport has recognized this and introduced the concept of ‘security as a service’ experience. The airport has installed five large central checkpoints, replacing the 130 security lanes it used to employ.

6. Aruba airport trials facial-recognition for passenger processing.

Flight facial recognition

When passengers check-in their bag at Aruba airport, a facial recognition system records their biometric data. This enables the passenger to then pass through bag drop, border control and aircraft boarding without further documentation.

Called the ‘Happy Flow’ project, the initiative is a collaboration between Aruba airport authority, Schiphol Group and KLM. The biometric technology was provided by Vision Box.

7. Boeing 737 space bin for easier hand luggage storage.

Boeing space bin

No more standing on seats and trying to fit your bag in the overhead rack. Designed for the 737 aircraft, Boeing’s new Space Bins hold 50% more luggage, plus they feature a lower lip for easier access.

Boeing says that Space Bins will also speed up the embarkation procedure as passengers will spend less time managing their luggage.

8. Airbus A330 business class seats for Qantas.

Qantas business bed

Qantas business class passengers between Australia and the US can ensure some privacy with the airline’s new seats.

Fitted with partition that can be raised to separate passengers from their neighbor, the seat also turns into a comfortable bed. Perfect for long flights from Oz to the US.

9. iPad Mini for hire on Hawaiian Airlines.

Airline ipad rental

Even if your budget doesn’t stretch to a business class seat, passengers on Hawaiian Airlines can hire an iPad Mini for $15 per flight.

It’s a smart move from HA, as the iPad Mini is an inexpensive way for the airline to deliver in-flight entertainment services and provide an extra revenue source. The airline has invested in 1500 iPad Minis.

10. IATA FAST program for ‘mobile self service’ at airports.

Businessman with baggage in airport

IATA’s FAST program enables airline passengers toself-manage their progress through the flight process. It covers six key areas: check-in, bag tagging, document scanning, self-boarding, flight re-booking and bag recovery.

Components of FAST are already available to 30% of airline passengers, and IATA reckon that figure will rise to 80% by 2020. If you’d like to know more, please read our blog post: ‘Enabling IATA’s Vision for ‘Mobile Self Service’ FAST Travel at Airports.

Reference sources used in this article.

PwC 2014 Global Airline Survey: Strategic sights set on transformation and innovation

Airport Business : The Top 10 Airport Innovations of 2015.

Airline Trends : 10 interesting airline product and service innovations.

Over Sixty ; 7 things changing with airline travel you’ll want to know about.

Boeing : 737 Space Bins.

Hawaiian Airlines : In-flight entertainment.