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NEWS Last modified on August 22, 2018

Survey claims that 68% of UK passengers would welcome AI at airports

An online YouGov poll commissioned by inflight entertainment company Spafax published today claims that younger travellers want airports to use technology to enhance their airport experience, although older travellers are more wary.

The poll of 2,110 respondents (gen UK adult population of 18+), which asked about their wish list for an airport lounge of the future, claims that:

• 37% of people aged 18 to 34 would play augmented reality (AR) board games with other passengers compared to only 9% of those over 55

• Some 17% of 18 to 24-year-olds would like to try on hologram clothes at an airport, while only 6% of those over 55 would.

• When in an airport lounge, 36% of women would choose a virtual reality (VR) preview of tourist attractions at their destination, along with the opportunity to pre-book tickets once they’d browse.
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Similarly, a second GB survey, which asked respondents to envisage an upcoming long-haul flight from London to New York, showed that 38% wanted artificial intelligence to help with speeding up the airport process and 35% wanted it to give information on news in their destination whilst on-board the flight.

The survey also revealed that retired people were possibly the most relaxed passengers, with only 2% of them saying they’d like to take part in a virtual reality boxing match to let off steam before the flight, while 17% of full-time students chose this option.

Nearly a half (48%) of retired people did not want any sort of personalised experience at an airport compared with a quarter (25%) of full time students.

Charles Vine, head of brand alliances at Spafax, said: “We commissioned this research to find out what the British public actually wants out of their airport and airport lounge experiences. 

“Airport lounges in particular are evolving from faceless waiting rooms with chairs and a coffee machine to being providers of an experience in their own right. The results send a clear message to us that people want the introduction of technology, but only in a way that enhances their trip, entertains or is enjoyable.

“Around 27% were against being helped by AI for a hypothetical upcoming trip, whereas a resounding 68% of the British public did want artificial intelligence AI to help them get the most out of their time at the airport – whether that be assistance navigating the airport terminals or speeding up the check in process.”

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