Margo Bowie is marketing manager at Advanced Kiosks.
By Margo Bowie
For about a decade now airports have been implementing self-serve check-in airport kiosks to cut down on increasing wait times and give passengers multiple check-in options. As a result, major airports saw wait times drop 30 percent from 27 minutes to under 20 minutes average wait at check in.
After witnessing the immediate benefits of an airport kiosk, the self-serve technology industry began to plan what else computer kiosks could do for airports and the thousands of travelers passing through each day.
Following are the top five uses for airport kiosks.
1. Wayfinding and navigation
As we all know, airports can be difficult to navigate and oftentimes travelers may have limited time between flights to find what they are looking for. Nothing is worse than walking to the end of an airport wing only to find that the gate you are looking for is actually in the opposite direction.
By implementing interactive wayfinding maps on airport kiosks throughout the airport, this confusion can be greatly decreased.
Depending upon the wayfinding software chosen, users can be presented with a fully interactive overview of the entire airport with a clear indication of "you are here." This interface can allow the user to choose what they are looking for, whether it be a gate number, restrooms, food, gifts or anything else. The airport kiosk screen can then display the quickest route to that service and even print out a map for the user. Wayfinding services are often displayed alongside up-to-date flight information on these airport kiosks as a convenience for the traveler.
2. Hotel, food and entertainment information
We have all had the experience of exiting a long flight and having no knowledge of the area we've landed in. An airport kiosk can be placed right in the pickup/transportation zone that provides information about local accommodations, hotels, restaurants and entertainment. This is a great way for the city to advertise up and coming shows, concerts, casinos, sports events and more. By giving a visitor all the opportunity to get a taste of the city's best, they are more likely to come back. This improves the visitor experience, while increasing local tourism. A popular airport kiosk for this purpose is an outdoor airport kiosk with homepage software for easy navigation.
3. Lost and found
Losing something in the terminal or leaving something behind on the plane is an everyday occurrence. As a result, there are a number of lost and found software options available for airports to choose from.
Combine this software with an interactive airport kiosk to deliver the best solution for lost and found services. Depending upon the interface, the user can type into the kiosk what the missing item is, and the airport kiosk will let you know if the item has been found and what steps to take in order to promptly retrieve it.
A VOIP phone handset can also be installed on the airport kiosk to allow the user to call the lost and found hotline if one is available.
This system is a huge benefit for the traveler and can be a life saver depending upon the value and necessity of the misplaced item.
4. Advertisements and promotion
The average person is using touchscreen technology more and more each year, and we are trained as a society to pay attention to something when presented on a screen. As a result, airport kiosks are an ideal vehicle for advertisers to effectively get a message out to the public. This can be a great way to generate revenue to fund the kiosk or software options, engage tourists to use local businesses and communicate any other kind of promotion that might benefit the airport, such as parking notices or policy reminders.
This sort of function can be implemented in the form of smaller ads or reminders that accompany other select content or as large visual splash screens and screen savers when the airport kiosk is not being used. Not only is this ROI aspect seen in dollars, this is also a great way to incorporate customer surveys and get real public feedback about the facility and identify needs. Having satisfied customers is arguably the best ROI you could ask for.
5. Security warnings
Security is the top priority for airport authorities. One way to improve security in an airport is to enhance every means of mass communication to travelers to aid in urgent situations, and an airport kiosk is a very effective tool for doing just that.
The list of potential uses for airport kiosks is growing, with new and improved software platforms becoming available as well as custom solutions.