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3 ways “frictionless travel” will change the future of airports

Betros Wakim

Senior Vice President Americas, Airport IT, Amadeus

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When you think of your last trek through the airport, what comes to mind? If you’re like 47% of American travelers, long lines, crowded terminals, and moving from one part of the airport to another will make you think twice about taking another trip.

According to a US Travel Association survey, two in five frequent business and leisure travelers said they would take at least three more trips per year if such airport “frictions” could be reduced or eliminated.

It’s no secret that today’s airports face mounting pressure to improve their infrastructures, staffing and technology to enhance and improve the overall passenger experience. At Amadeus, we understand airports’ need to keep pace, remain relevant, and operate profitably. Here are three Amadeus technology innovations that are helping airports across North America scale, grow, and operate in today’s rapidly evolving industry.

1. Bid adieu to the queue

Imagine getting out of your car, and walking into the airport where biometric equipment “reads” your facial profile. You confidently drop your bag on the conveyor belt, because an embedded chip in your luggage ensures it will be routed properly to greet you at your destination. No more waiting in security, customs and border control lines, because Amadeus’ biometric technology has cleared you to walk onto the plane.

This February, Amadeus successfully implemented our biometric boarding solution at Norman Y. Mineta San Jose International Airport in California. In addition to offering travelers smooth passage through the airport, this technology is enabling airports and airlines to save costs, grow revenue, improve efficiency, enhance security, and manage fluctuating passenger volumes.

2. Banish boring gate waits

According to US Travel’s Research Trends, the number of passengers traveling on US airlines this spring is slated to reach an all-time high of 158.2 million, a 4.3% increase over 2018. As a result, today’s airports face added pressure to attract, handle and process more passengers, while improving profitability. In situations where airports must realign or restructure gate and terminal assignments, Amadeus offers a flexible “mirroring” environment that lets multiple airlines share common facilities and run their own check-in and boarding software without modifications or limitations, enabling them to work in their own proprietary  passenger environment.

Any airport, regardless of size, can implement the system, and the solution costs far less than traditional systems that require legacy software, dedicated servers, hardware-based operating systems, computers and peripherals.

Over a three-night span – one of the quickest “terminal turnarounds” in airport history – Amadeus successfully facilitated the move of 13 airlines to two new terminals at Los Angeles International Airport (LAX). Since then, 14 additional airports have implemented the same technology strategy to create an installed base of nearly 70 North American airports that benefit from the unique capabilities of the solution. This is a wise move, considering that it’s more cost-effective for an airport to conduct a capital improvement program to remodel and create capacity, rather than initiate a costly new construction (greenfield) project.

3. Eliminate hardware hassles

Because Amadeus solutions rely on open, cloud-based systems, airlines can use “off the shelf” hardware and peripherals to connect directly to host systems, and run their own native applications. In addition, Amadeus offers a Local Departure Control System (LDCS) that allows charter operators to deploy our common use check-in and boarding software. Our system also connects to baggage sorting and reconciliation systems, and even interfaces with customs, immigration and government agencies. Because the solution is so easy to use, airports can retain valued technicians who are accustomed to working with familiar equipment and software.

Nine North American airports choose Amadeus

Over the past year, nine new airports have upgraded operations with various Amadeus solutions. Our vision is to offer technology that helps them build sustainable models for the future, so they can grow revenues and reduce costs, manage operations more efficiently, and serve their travelers better. Going back to the 47% frazzled passengers, it’s about creating a “frictionless” journey that every traveler can enjoy, and every airport will be proud to offer.

To learn more about Amadeus airport solutions, click here. Download our research report on digital transformation today!

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