Virgin Atlantic has adopted beacons usage in London Heathrow Airport, automatically showing relevant information for travelers on their iOS devices when near any of the newly deployed beacons.
For example, “Upper class” passengers – Virgin Atlantic’s special high end flight experience- have their boarding pass brought on screen automatically as they approach the checkpoint. Saving them the trouble of having to hold on to a physical ticket or spend precious time digging through their mails.
In a release made by Virgin Airlines, Reuben Arnold, Virgin Atlantic’s Brand & Customer Engagement Director, shared that "At this stage, we've only skimmed the surface on the advantages that this technology can offer our customers, In the future, we expect it to further personalize our passenger's journey, such as notifying an Upper Class passenger that there is an open appointment in the Clubhouse spa or introducing the crew members on their flight as they board the aircraft."
“Our passengers are increasingly more connected as they travel and by using advanced technology we can improve customer experience and continue to put innovation at the heart of the flying experience.“
Other uses are also being looked at. The beacons come with a thermometer and an accelerometer, potentially in the future could be used to notify Clubhouse staff to temperature changes so that they can react accordingly to serve the passengers.
Delivering rich and relevant content to passengers on the smart phones are also on Virgin Atlantic’s priority list. Useful things like boarding gate location or amenities on a map, or advanced information on inflight entertainment options.
"The way we're looking at iBeacon is probably not quite the standard use of it," said James Shanahan, our Head of Development for eBusiness. "We're talking in terms of the surprise and delight factor, and so while there may be the potential for future discounts and offers, we're actually looking at how we can provide a greater customer experience."