Creating The Perfect Airport: A Dream Come True
- Faster Check-In – At London Heathrow’s Terminal 2, passengers can get boarding passes and drop bags at any kiosk, no matter which airline they’re flying, going from curb to immigration in just 70 seconds on average, even at busy times. (Maybe there is time for room-service breakfast before that flight….)
- Fewer Document Checks – Aruba’s international airport uses cameras with facial-recognition software to verify passengers at security, customs, and the gate, meaning you’ll only have to show your passport once.
- Accelerated Security Screening – Delta spent $1 million this year to develop a new checkpoint layout that lets five passengers at a time—rather than just one—put their laptops, coats, etc. on the X-ray machine conveyor belt. Lines moved about 30 percent faster.
- Sharper Carry-On Scanners – New devices that use technology based on hospital CT machines have halved wait times at Amsterdam Schiphol and London Luton—and passengers can even leave liquids (gasp!) in their carry-ons.
- Personalized Navigation – New Bluetooth “beacons” at Miami International and Amsterdam Schiphol send gate info, directions, and in-airport dining recs to your phone based on exactly where you’re standing in the terminal—meaning no more puzzling over “you are here” maps.
- Less Waiting at Customs – New self-service eGates at eight Australian airports have replaced human agents with cameras and digital passport readers. Assuming that the system trims just three seconds off each passenger’s travel time, fliers will collectively be spared more than a year’s worth of waiting.
- Shorter Schleps – It’s still three years out, but Beijing Daxing International has a radial design, like spokes of a wheel, that means the farthest a flier will ever have to hike is 2,000 feet. Now that’s genius.
- Better Airport Transportation – Among easy, comfortable rail connections between terminals and city centers, Toronto’s new Union Pearson Express and Denver’s just-opened A Line trains are praiseworthy alternatives to painfully long (and pricey) cab rides.