Air Travel Operators Rely on Augmented Reality (AR) to Address Market Pressures

Justin Corbell, VP of Sales, Scandit Inc.

The world is getting smaller and more connected by the day. In 2019, 4.6 billion passengers will be transported by global commercial airlines (according to IATA). And this figure is set to grow exponentially to a staggering 7.8 billion by 2036. Airports and airlines are under sustained pressure to increase capacity, improve passenger experience and manage long-term traffic growth safely, cost- effectively and with less impact on the environment.  

The drive to implement time and cost-saving digital technologies is gathering momentum and is seen as crucial to the future of air travel. Market Research Future expects the aviation IoT market to reach a valuation of $25.1 billion by 2023. It’s clear that air and ground travel workflows must adapt not only to reduce costs but, crucially, to give passengers a better, hassle-free travelling experience – whether that’s by receiving timely travel information throughout their journey or knowing that baggage is guaranteed to arrive at their destination.

On the ground or onboard the flight, Scandit can play a critical role in transforming airline operations and customer experience with market-leading mobile computer vision and augmented reality. Alaska Airlines have implemented mobile scanning at boarding gates, where gate agents scan documentation with iPad Minis – read the Alaska Airlines story.

Today, let’s explore the impact augmented reality has on improving airline operations and unlocking air travel innovation.

Augmented Reality Adds Real-Time Information To Any Air Travel Workflow

Augmented reality (AR) overlays digital information to the image of the real world on the device screen. This could be showing passengers boarding information in a terminal concourse, or helping a baggage handler search and find a specific piece in a baggage claim area. This blending of the physical and digital worlds brings real operational benefits as well as superior user experiences. Watch this video to see how it works.

In the context of air travel, augmented reality supports a wide range of operations and customer service initiatives, including the following:

Instant Passenger Information

A mobile app offering augmented reality travel features enables passengers to get real-time updates on their flight. From the moment customers arrive at the airport, they can use any smartphone to access detailed information on flight schedules, gate assignments, and upgrades—creating smoother traveling experiences across the board.

Passport Self-Scanning

Passengers can also use augmented reality-enabled mobile apps to scan their own passport during online check-ins. Not only does this option provide more convenience for customers, but it also reduces the risk of passport data entry errors—and alerts users of an expired passport. The result? Faster check-in operations, less frustration and more accommodating flying experiences. 

In-Flight Service

Equipping flight attendants with augmented reality-enabled mobile devices enables them to help passengers with flight connection information, frequent flyer discounts and mobile point of sale purchases. 

Baggage Tracking

Smart device-based scanning solutions can reduce the time it takes to track baggage by up to 40 percent. Scandit mobile data capture software transforms any smart device into a powerful airport baggage scanner, supporting more intuitive and cost-effective tracking efforts. Augmented reality adds essential passenger, flight and destination information to the image on the device screen. Airport staff can use MatrixScan to read multiple codes in a single scan —making it simple to identify, reroute and manage baggage with smart devices. They can also search and find the baggage of ‘no-show’ passengers and quickly remove items from the aircraft. Gate agents are also able to scan oversized bags and below-the-wing workers can use Scandit-powered mobile devices or smart glasses to scan open bins and Unit Load Devices.

Flight Maintenance

Airline staff can track serial numbers easily from the warehouse to the aircraft and in service. Scandit’s computer vision and augmented reality (AR) enables airport operators to lower maintenance costs by increasing the efficiency of part identification; tracking their use and managing stock inventories.

ID & Boarding Pass Checks

Mobile computer vision and AR turn simple smart devices into powerful mobile boarding pass scanners. Agents can process passenger information from anywhere in the check-in area. They can also use Scandit-enabled smart devices to verify passenger IDs anywhere on the concourse, creating more flexible and dependable passenger-facing workflows.

These are just a few of the exciting ways that mobile scanning and augmented reality are advancing the field of air travel today. Check out this video to see these services in action.

Fly High with Scandit Technology

Fly High, One Mobile Scan at a Time

Interested in exploring how augmented reality can help air travel operators innovate and excel? Get our whitepaper, Fly High, One Mobile Scan at a Time. This free resource will show you how mobile computer vision-enabled smart devices featuring AR can reduce costs, improve air travel operations and drive passenger satisfaction—all while minimizing impact on the environment. It’ll also give you some insight into the importance of capturing multiple barcodes in a single scan and harnessing AR overlays to improve your air travel processes. 

Last but not least, please connect with us if you have other questions about the future of augmented reality in air travel—or how your own team can utilize this mobile airline tech to gain an edge over competitors.