Hamburg/ Amsterdam: Navigating an airport and boarding a flight can be a grueling experience. Instead of asking for directions left and right, when you know there are minutes before you should board, you should turn towards your trusted smartphone and see what it has to say. Of course, that if you happen to be in one of the – so far – few airports in the world where the beacon technology has arrived and is being implemented to make travelers’ experience nothing but a breeze. With Virgin Atlantic and easyJet breaking the ice in Europe with their innovative apps that help travelers navigate through airports such as Heathrow, Luton, Gatwick and Charles de Gaulle, it was only a matter of time until others would jump the bandwagon.
In Germany, a new startup called Yoints has just launched its beacon technology app in the Hamburg Airport, while at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines makes it easier for transfer flights to happen with a new navigation system.
The Hamburg Airport experiment – what to do to keep customers loyal
The battle for customers is not new and airports have to fight for clients just like any other business. While the beacon technology used so far for airports made a standpoint from easing the travelers’ navigation and overall experience, Yoints is taking things a bit further, and offers the possibility to create new and interesting customer loyalty programs.
Travelers with the new app installed on their phones and stationing at the Hamburg Airports, waiting for their flights, will be offered special deals from the nearby shops via their smartphones. The uniqueness of this approach stems from the fact that travelers receive points while spending time in the shops gathered under the Hamburg City Center umbrella, located inside the airport. Later on, they can exchange the points against clothes, Casio watches and even perfumes.
Even more, they can choose to donate their redeemable points to a social cause, such as the shelter Süderstraße or the initiative Viva con Agua.
Mapping the routes inside Amsterdam Airport Schiphol
According to KLM representatives, one of the most stressful experiences for passengers is having to transfer from one flight to another. Since the Amsterdam Airport Schiphol is especially used for transfer flights, the location looked like a good ground for testing a new navigation system for travelers.
After a few months of testing, KLM came up with a helpful app that delivers a map of the airport the second passengers set foot inside. A route planner is attached to the navigation system, so that passengers can see exactly how far they are from different points inside the airport, and what route to take to shorten their waiting time and the hassle.
The app is available on Android, but the airline company promises that it will come to iOS devices soon.
Beacon technology is gaining more and more ground. With passengers at Heathrow being able to show their boarding passes directly on their phones, as soon as they reach a security checkout point, and easyJet clients being carefully guided through the usual maze, the new comers just add to the benefits that can be enjoyed from this technology.