Friday, September 9, 2011

Into the Future! Meet the Best of them all

 Posted by- Neelam Mathews
Sept 9, 2011

Seven organizations were recognized for their outstanding efforts to improve the passenger experience at the first Future Travel Experience Awards, which were presented at Future Travel Experience 2011, at the Westin Bayshore in Vancouver.

The awards provides a unique forum for travel industry stakeholders to learn how passenger and baggage processing practices will evolve in the long-term and what impact this will have on systems, facilities and business strategies. Through the theme of 'Innovation to enhance the passenger experience on the ground', FTE 2011 champions the latest thinking and concepts that truly have the passenger experience in mind, and also debate the progressive initiatives that will need buy-in from the industry as a whole if they are to gain the traction they need.

The innovative awards:

Best Check-in Initiative – Qantas was awarded the Best Check-in Initiative for its brave and bold approach to enhancing the entire check-in process. The Next Generation Check-In Program, which has been rolled out across Qantas' domestic network, has embraced RFID (Radio Frequency Identification) technology to allow passengers to check-in within just five seconds using the innovative Q Card, while permanent, re-useable RFID bag tags have also been developed.

Best Baggage Initiative – Amsterdam Airport Schiphol & KLM for their permanent implementation of self-service bag drop facilities. Following a successful trial period alongside BagDrop Systems, six of the latest generation BagDrop units entered operation in August, and plans are in place to implement 12 further units for KLM and SkyTeam partners in February 2012. The BagDrop units are already allowing passengers to check their bags in themselves within just 30 seconds.

Best Initiative at the Gate – Lufthansa Airlines won the Best Initiative at the Gate Award for its widespread implementation of next generation Quick-Boarding-Gates (QBG) across German airports. Eight years after the initial self-boarding implementation at Munich Airport, the latest QBGs have recently been deployed at Frankfurt Airport to further accelerate the boarding process, and plans are in place to implement 50 more self-boarding gates at German airports in the next three years.

Best Arrivals Experience – Christchurch International Airport won the Best Arrivals Experience Award following its implementation of the innovative 'Sensory Arrivals Experience'. Beginning at the airbridge corridors and running right through to the Customs area, passengers are treated to a multi-sensory experience designed to reflect New Zealand's South Island.

Best Use of Mobile Technology – Air France KLM won the Best Use of Mobile Technology Award for the way it has embraced the use of smartphones through apps, automatic check-in and the free mobile service – Air France Connect – which automatically informs passengers of any changes to their flight details, such as delays, change of boarding gate and delayed baggage.

Best Airport Security & Immigration Experience – Vancouver International Airport -Awarded for its unwavering approach to simplifying the border processing experience. The dedication to enhancing the security and immigration experience for passengers is highlighted by the expedited trusted traveler program – NEXUS – which was developed along with Canada Border Services Agency and US Customs and Border Protection, and more recently, the implementation of Automated Border Clearance kiosks for returning Canadian residents, offering average processing times of less than one minute.

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