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Airlines Can Turn to Tablets to Speed Up Lines During Holiday Travel

@SamShankman

Dec 24, 2013 9:00 am

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Airlines have been faster at rolling out tablets to in-flight crews than airport employees, but both places present valuable opportunities for carriers to improve the customer experiences.

— Samantha Shankman

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Michael Ocampo  / Flickr

The long line for a Swiss ticket counter at ZĂĽrich airport. Michael Ocampo / Flickr


Many flyers are heading to the airport this week with two or more devices in hand. And they’ve come to expect the same speed and productivity that tablets and smartphones can offer them from their airlines’ staff.

Sixty percent of U.S. flyers would be more likely to fly with an airline again if its staff used tablets to speed up wait times during the holidays, according to a survey of 1,539 American adults by mobile point-of-sale provider I Love Velvet.

The survey also found that almost 60% of participants would feel like an airline cared about their time and preferences if it provided lounge employees with tablets to note the flyers’ flight preferences.

The survey may be skewed as the company that commissioned the survey provides the technology in question, but its results highlight how airlines could be using tablets to create a more efficient airport experience. The technology is available from several providers, but its roll out is just beginning for most airlines.

The survey also found that almost 40 percent of participants found waiting in security lines to be the worst part of the airport process, and that almost 25 percent of flyers expect to wait no more than 30 minutes to rebook a cancelled or delayed flight.

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