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Wall Street Journal: RFID will simplify the airline experience for travelers

We’ve covered a lot of developments in the aerospace sector when it comes to RFID and how the technology will benefit the airline industry. Airbus, which is scheduled to deliver its new A350 line beginning in 2013, says that each new plane will include from 3,000 to 10,000 RFID tags to simplify maintenance and safety checks, saving airlines thousands of hours in labor.

An article in today’s Wall Street Journal looks at some of the consumer-facing benefits that flyers can look forward to. Some, like RFID-enabled check in at airports, are currently in the pilot stage. Others, like using RFID to track the progress of trips from start to finish, are longer term projects. Either way, just the idea that RFID is going to greatly enhance the consumer travel experience is exciting news.

An excerpt from the WSJ article:

Qantas Airways Ltd. has gone a couple of steps further with a pilot program in place for domestic flights at four airports in Australia. The program allows travelers to check-in in seconds at a kiosk that reads an RFID, or radio-frequency identification, chip in their frequent-flier card. At that moment, flight details, including a gate number, are sent to the traveler’s smartphone. At the gate, passengers can simply have their card scanned again and board the plane.

Farther down the line, technology will emerge to manage every aspect of a trip, from door to door, says Brian O’Rourke, who leads the global airline team at International Business Machines Corp., which is working with Qantas on its RFID technology. “In a decade or two, there will be smart analytics around your travel itinerary that will do everything from recommending the best transport options to and from the airport to being able to update the airline, the driver, the hotelier and the rail company on the status of your flight and other travel,” he says.

 

 

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