An airport shouldn’t feel like a prehistoric cave, and yet, technologically speaking, many do. Their off-colour white walls contain no information points, their check-in process might as well be undertaken via quill and parchment, and their live flight updates might as well be dead.
In the 21st century, there’s no place for a technologically bereft airport. We should be able to breeze through security checks on a light wind of moving walkways, soothingly voiced robots and minimal fuss. Our time beyond the security gate should be aided by a variety of all-purpose apps which communicate with the airport, allowing us to order food from an eatery before we get there, or present us with push notifications about our flight.
A decade ago, an app tailored to the airport you’re visiting would have seemed like the wild imagining of a fantasist, but that dream has become a reality for most international flight hubs.
So what of those airports that are dragging their heels, that are being left behind like yesterday’s stale leftovers?
Well, they’re going to have to pull up their bootstraps and get with the times. To give them a spot of inspiration, here are a few airports that have bolstered their user experience with shiny new tech.
San Diego Airport
San Diego Airport is already brimming with brilliant amenities, whether it’s Looking4.com’s San Diego Airport meet and greet service, acclaimed fresh food from Ciao Gourmet Market or brand name electronics from Tech on the Go.
But what ties all these exceptional amenities together is the airport’s use of mobile apps. The AtYourGate service allows you to browse menus from all eateries in the airport, order them from your phone and have them delivered to you at your departure gate. So you won’t have to worry about queueing for a meal before your flight.
Munich Airport feels a decade ahead of other flight hubs in its embrace of technology. It’s already brimming with all the mod cons – free Wi-Fi, complementary computer usage, touch screens. But its MVP is its InfoGate counters, which come replete with built-in cameras so you can video chat with airport staff about your flight, nearby hotels or any other information you need.
What’s more, the InfoGate’s touch screen functionality makes it easy to use and simple to master.
Singapore Changi Airport
Despite the rush and buzz of people around you, most airports are duller than a dreich Scottish day. But that’s not the case in Singapore Changi Airport, which has embraced the dawn of tech to create an impressive suite of entertainment for restless travellers.
The airport’s Entertainment Deck is kitted out with a free interactive movie theatre and a host of games consoles loaded with the latest in gaming entertainment. Because who doesn’t want to play Super Smash Bros. while they wait for a flight?
That’s our list! Can you think of any other airports that are breaking the boundaries of tech? We’d love to hear about them! Let us know in the comments below!