Travellers want airports to use new technologies like artificial intelligence (AI) and virtual reality (VR) to enhance their airport experience, according to a YouGov poll commissioned by inflight entertainment company Spafax.
The survey asked 2,110 UK adults what technologies should feature in the airport lounge of the future, Airport World reports.
Younger travellers in particular want a more engaging and interactive experience before their flight, with 37% of respondents aged 18 to 34 saying they would play augmented reality (AR) board games with other passengers, compared with just 9% of those over 55.
Similarly, 17% of participants aged 18 to 24 said they would like to try on hologram clothes at an airport, while only 6% of over-55s would.
Using VR, airports could also offer passengers an interactive preview of tourist attractions at their destination.
Asked whether they would take up the opportunity to “walk” along the Great Wall of China using a treadmill and a VR headset at the airport, nearly half (44%) of the full-time students surveyed suggested they would enjoy that experience while only 23% of retirees were interested.
Meanwhile, 38% of respondents want AI to help speed up the airport process ahead of a long-haul flight and 68% want AI to help them get the most out of their time at the airport.
“The findings of this survey support our proprietary research which highlights that airport lounges and the airport experience as a whole are going through a radical change,” Charles Vine, head of brand alliances at Spafax, told the Airline Passenger Experience Association. “Customers expect an experience before they even get on the plane — and brands can take advantage of that moment where the customer is in repose and attentive or let it pass.
“We predict an increasing appetite for the clever use of lounge space by brands. AI, AR and VR are vehicles through which to enhance the travelling experience.”