Airports are leveraging IoT technologies to improve customer experience, sending the important—and high value—message that passengers matter, and their happiness is important.
As the third busiest airport in the world by aircraft movements and the ninth busiest by passenger traffic, Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport takes every passengers’ airport experience seriously.
Managing the flow of the nearly 174,000 passengers each day is no easy task, and the competition among airports for customers has grown fierce. The customer is king, and a positive travel experience is key to retaining customers. To improve customer experiences, DFW’s leadership set its sights on building the “airport of the future.”
The DFW Challenge
DFW leadership established the DFW challenge, which focused on improving five key areas:
- Reducing passenger stress at security checkpoints
- Better managing wait times in queues throughout the airport
- Optimizing resource utilization and agent productivity
- Improving restroom cleanliness and resulting passenger satisfaction
- Making the passenger journey as pleasing as possible
Intel partner Lavi Industries responded to DFW’s challenge with smart solutions across the passenger journey, and was tapped by the airport to implement their improvement plan. With the help of IoT technology, Lavi and DFW achieved the airport’s goals, and then some.
How’d they do it? Better solutions at security checkpoints, customs and border patrol, superior airport-wide solutions and improved facility maintenance.
Improvement Goals: Avoid surprises in the queue while keeping passenger expectations in check
Solutions: Qtrac iQ and Digital Signage
Security lines are one of the least enjoyable parts of air travel. And being stuck in a slow line with no sense of how long it will take to get through only makes it worse. Lavi jumped in and got to work addressing the problems in one of DFW’s particularly troublesome terminals.
The company added Qtrac iQ to assess wait times, enabling them to publish accurate estimates that are displayed via digital signage at the head and throughout the security queue, giving passengers a much better sense of what lay ahead.
Source: Lavi Industries
In addition, staff also monitors queue activity through dashboards and receives text alerts when wait times exceed acceptable limits. By doing this, the airport staff is able to address issues before they become unmanageable.
The published wait times coupled with these proactive behaviors have helped ease passenger stress. And these more relaxed customers are spending more. Knowing how long the security line will take has given customers the confidence that they have time to grab an item or two before getting in line, which has increased concession sales just outside the checkpoint.
Customs and Border Patrol
Improvement Goals: Monitor queues and improve agent productivity
Solutions: Qtrac iQ and QtracCF
Global travelers are much too familiar with the notoriously long wait at Customs and Border Patrol (CBP) when making their way through an international airport terminal. With wait times often exceeding 2 hours at DFW, the airport was seeing a measurable negative impact on their passengers’ satisfaction as a result.
The management team’s goal was to bring wait times down to 45 minutes or less. To achieve this goal Lavi again turned to Qtrac iQ to monitor and report on wait times using an easy-to-install sensor-based solution. Real-time alerts and historical data collected from the queue through Qtrac iQ gives airport managers the ability to better manage staffing to keep wait times in check. The airport also utilizes QtracCF, Lavi’s call-forwarding solution, to optimize agent productivity and improve customer hailing.
Since implementing Lavi’s solutions, DFW’s CBP wait times have gone from more than 2 hours to under 30 minutes on average.
Improvement Goals: Manage queues and project a clean and modern look
Solutions: Panel signage
Lavi helped the airport broaden its advertising approach by leveraging the use of a sleek, rigid rail panel for signage for wayfinding and advertising. These changes give the airport a more modern, appealing queue design, and additional revenue from concessioners for advertising in the queue.
Improvement Goals: Maintain restroom cleanliness and optimize resource utilization
Solutions: Qtrac iM
Another important component to ensuring customers are happy is providing clean and convenient restroom facilities. In researching the qualities of a great passenger experience, DFW found that restroom cleanliness played an important role in overall satisfaction with the airport. Implementing Lavi’s Qtrac iM system allowed the airport management to easily capture passenger feedback, and better understand what’s going on in the restrooms when it comes to usage and cleaning. The Qtrac iM system is also integrated with the airport’s maintenance management software.
After Lavi’s successful initial test run of two restrooms, the airport is rolling out Qtrac iM to another 20 bathrooms.
Smart Solutions Equal Myriad Benefits
As a result of implementing Lavi’s IoT-connected solutions across its airport, DFW is flying into new zones of customer satisfaction. The airport is realizing multiple benefits, including greater insight into queue conditions, increased agent productivity, decreased perceived wait times, greater resource optimization, a cleaner more modern look, enhanced integrity of the queue structure and an overall improvement in passenger experience.
Boarding Now: IOT at an Airport Near You