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boarding passes, the company says.
"Passengers need not print their boarding passes
[beforehand] whilst they check-in at the airport
and go through various airport touch points with
the boarding passes," adds Martin. "Instead, with
NFC, all boarding pass information is stored in the
passenger's mobile phone. Passengers will only have
to present their mobile NFC phone in close proximity
to the target reader for the boarding pass data to
Baggage drop off has been a key stumbling block
to the goal of seamless, technology-enabled travel.
Passengers check in on their mobile phone, only to
end up queuing to drop off their bags in much the
same manner as with old-fashioned standard check-in.
This is one area in particular where NFC could make
a noticeable difference. "NFC payment can be used
if the passenger needs to pay additional fees. A
NFC bag tag receipt can be transmitted to the NFC
phone," SITA says.
"Upon check-in, passengers with NFC mobile
phones can get their baggage tags printed and
dropped off at the baggage drop point. Travellers
get to enjoy a reduced transaction time and queuing
time at kiosks or counters -- enhancing their travel
experience further," Martin adds.
Another application would be at airport shops and
restaurants, says SITA. "NFC can be used to make
cash or credit card payments at airport shops and
loyalty cards can be deployed to gather points."
The passenger can simply 'tap and go' with a NFC
boarding pass, SITA says, eliminating the need for
passengers to look for their paper boarding passes.
NFC can also hold passengers' passport or identity
details. "In addition, NFC will help increase the
return on investments for self-boarding gates," SITA
Airports will have the opportunity to utilize NFC
to provide more ancillary services and options for
passengers, such as enabling them to pay excess
baggage or other fees on-the-go instead of waiting
at a payment counter.
With centralised security checkpoints being
implemented at most airports, NFC allows airports
and custom officers much easier passenger
segregation without impeding the passenger flow,
notes Martin. "Airlines will have real-time information
about passengers whereabouts and this enhances
the decision making process for flight departure and
flight operation management," he says.
At the boarding stage, NFC brings better
ergonomics with a more user-friendly scanning
process. "Passengers will just have to present their
mobile NFC phone in close proximity to the boarding
gate reader to be granted access to the aircraft,"
In short, each stage has the capacity to improve
the passenger experience at airports and change the
way airports, airlines, service providers and retailers
interact, he adds.
"By scanning an NFC reader or touchpoint
located in or around advertising or retail outlets,
passengers will be able to access personalized,
location-based advertising, specifically targeted
to their interests," says Martin. "This may take
the form of a specific, time-based offer created
for the individual, or through integration with
loyalty schemes, be one based on thorough
understanding of the passenger's travel history,
behaviour and likes/dislikes."
Arinc sees an important role for NFC. "As with all
next-generation technologies, NFC will play a key
part in airport solutions in the future," says Martin.
"With this technology, the process of self-boarding
will be further encouraged and passengers will be
able to have more control over their journey and
complete airport formalities faster."
As a result, back office productivity will also
increase, Martin predicts: "Airlines and airports are
also able to provide more ancillary services and
options for passengers."
Arinc also believes that NFC technology offers
a big opportunity to improve customer service in
the future. "There will be convergence between
each step of the passenger process, from booking
through the entire check-in process -- be that on- or
off-airport. In addition, NFC will also be able to aid
travel to airports -- either by public transport, or, if
in a private vehicle, by integrating with airport car-
parking systems, etcetera," says Martin.
"NFC can also be used to help passengers
navigate their way in airports and help to enhance
airport operations such as streamlined luggage-
tagging and automated security checkpoints. The
technology can also be used to better facilitate
access to lounges and retail stores within the
airport - all prior to boarding the aircraft and with
the use of their boarding pass," he adds.
"In addition, NFC allows simplified airport
operations, speeds up passenger process flow
and hence reduces queues at the airports," Martin
says. "There are also significant additional revenue-
generation opportunities through personalised,
interactive marketing as integrations with both
loyalty schemes and dynamic, targeted advertising
offered by retailers in and around airports."
"NFC will bring a convergence between each step of the passenger process, from
booking through the entire check-in process -- be that on- or off-airport."- Jim
Martin, Arinc managing director, Asia-pacific operations
With NFC, passengers will no longer need printed boarding passes.
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