The trend among major airports and airlines of adopting beacons to help improve the passenger experience has now reached KLM, and the Dutch carrier has embraced the technology to assist with wayfinding at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol.
Following successful trials of beacons across the airport’s piers and KLM lounges, travellers with the KLM app installed on their smartphone will now have access to a detailed map complete with personalised directions. Passengers will receive a notification via the app – as long as they also have Bluetooth enabled and are connected to the airport’s free Wi-Fi – asking them if they need help finding their departure gate.
The app then shows them the route they need to take, and informs the passenger how long it will take to walk there. The walking route and time are automatically updated every time the passenger passes a beacon. At present, the service is available on Android smartphones, but will also be available for free on iOS devices in the near future.
Martijn van der Zee, Senior Vice President E-Commerce, Air France-KLM, explained that the new service will be especially helpful for passengers who are transferring in Amsterdam.
He said: “Customer feedback, especially on social media, has told us that passengers – even experienced travellers – often worry about transferring to another flight. 67% of our passengers at Amsterdam Airport Schiphol are transfer passengers. KLM aims to improve customers’ travel experience with this service.”
Beacons have emerged as a key tool that can help to enhance the passenger experience on the ground in recent months, with the likes of American Airlines, Virgin Atlantic, Miami International Airport and Japan Airlines also investing in the technology.