Air NZ’s cool new technology

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Her are some of  the high-tech changes Air New Zealand is hoping to introduce to ease the hassle of travel.

Tracking unaccompanied kids

What it does:
An electronic tracking system will provide real-time information on where your child is when they’re flying alone. Parents will be able to receive notifications about take off and landing and they’ll know when their little cherub has been picked up at the other end. In a smart move, Junior gets to keep the wristband (and they get to choose the colour), giving the airline a long-term marketing boost in the playground. This technology will replace a paper trail system.

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Coffee on arrival

What it does:
You’ve reached the airport, bustled your way through security and headed for the Koru Lounge. As soon as you walk in, your coffee is ready – made just the way you like it. No more queuing up for a flat white, no more waiting around wondering if the next latte up is yours. The app on your phone or smart watch will alert you when your coffee is ready.

Departure cards

Electronic departure cards

What it does:
It saves you one minute. Those unwieldy orange forms are destined for the recycling bin – and not a moment too soon. If you’re using the airline’s app, they already have most of the information needed for the forms. So click a couple more buttons and it’s job done.

How cool is it?
Anything that spares us from hastily looking for a pen, with our carry-on luggage aching on our shoulders is a very cool thing.

When will it be in place?
No date in sight. They’re still working on it with Customs.

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Biometric scanners for luggage dropoff

What it does

Self check-in machines have speeded up the business of international departures – they’ve reduced queues and found that floating staff are able to assist with passengers having difficulties. But there’s still a queue at the bag drop area

Biometric scanning – similar to that used on the SmartGate systems at Customs and developed by the same company – will speed up the business of dropping off your bag. The machine scans your passport, checks that you are who you say you are and processes your bag.

At the moment, Air New Zealand has up to four drop-off points for bags at Auckland International Airport; with biometric scanners, they could have up to 11. They will be the first in the world to have these machines.

How cool is it?
I asked how much time passengers could expect to save in queuing. The airline said they expected to have no more queues. None. That’s very cool.

When will it be in place?
They’re hoping to have the first machines in place before the end of the year.

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Electronic bag tags

What it does:
Rather than sticking one of those fiddly tags on their luggage, travellers could have a permanent tag secured to their bag. The tag will update electronically with the touch of a button on your app.

How cool is it?
I don’t mind sticking the luggage tag on my bag – it takes just a few seconds and is kind of part of the ritual of travel. So, for me, the appeal of this one is limited. But ultimately it’s about convenience. Electronic tags will save a few seconds and are less likely to come off.

When will it be in place?
No date in sight.


Source: www.nzherald.co.nz