Travel Tips

Sun, 25 Nov, 2018Danielle McCarthy

The big changes coming to Aussie airports

The big changes coming to Aussie airports

Although embarking on a holiday is an exciting thrill, sometimes the mayhem of a busy airport can dampen the beginning of your getaway.

To make the experience less stressful, Aussie airports are testing three innovative technologies.

1. Biometric scanners

This year, Qantas trialled biometric scanners for their flights departing from Sydney International Airport. The technology, which recognises a person after scanning their physical attributes, allows passengers to only take their passport out once as they check-in and board their flight.

In the future, it is likely that biometric scanners will be integrated across all touchpoints in the airport, including check-in, bag drop, immigration, airside security and boarding.

As well as improving airport security, biometric scanners will make it quicker for travellers to pass through the airport.

In the future, it is expected that passengers will be able to select one physical feature or “key”, such as their eyes, to pass through all checkpoints.

Many airports and airlines around the world are trialling the sophisticated technology.

2. Baggage-free travel

A new program is removing the hassle of hauling heavy luggage around the airport or around the city after hotel check-out.

Baggage-free travel will allow travellers to use off-site “pop-up” check-in desks so that the airline or airport carries your bags from door-to-door across your entire journey.

Off Airport Check-In Solutions (OACIS) is one company introducing baggage-free travel in Australia. Recently, the company teamed-up with Virgin Australia to offer off-site check-in service for travellers disembarking from Sydney’s Overseas Passenger Terminal and White Bay Cruise Terminal.

The service uses cloud technology to confirm check-in and baggage on Virgin Australia’s system.

As these services continue to get rolled out across Australia, it is expected that many airport check-in counters will also be available at hotels, train stations and cruise terminals.

3. Robot assistance

Airports will soon be introducing robots to assist travellers who need help. While human staff won’t be replaced, airports and airlines are testing how robotics can be used to speed up check-ins and provide helpful information to passengers.

Last year at Sydney Airport, Air New Zealand and Commonwealth Bank collaborated on the “Chip CANdroid”, a robot which was designed to help customers during check-in and boarding.

Dutch airline KLM used robotics to design a “self-driving trolley” to reduce crowing and carry 38kg of luggage. This service may be particularly helpful for the elderly and less mobile.

Are you excited to see these changes come to Aussie airports? Let us know in the comments below.