A best-in-class wayfinding and digital directory solution is helping travellers navigate the airport and locate shops, restaurants and services available when flying from Luton Airport, one of the UK’s largest airports.
Housed in three highly visible, touch-activated kiosks, the wayfinding solution was designed to be fully accessible and inclusive, catering for all types of customers by identifying the quickest route to their destination, showing accessibility options available at each step of their journey and including height adjustable content for wheelchair users.
System integrators, SPC Group, were awarded the contract alongside long-term software partner, Interdirect, to support the delivery of this important project. Having previously collaborated on similar wayfinding solutions at Gatwick Airport, their demonstrable success in delivering major projects together was a key factor in winning the bid.
Jon Swain, Managing Director of SPC Group, is the lead for the team and said: “SPC has worked in the airport industry for more than 20 years and Interdirect has 18 years’ experience creating public facing touch screen solutions. Therefore, our joint bid was best placed to ensure the successful delivery to meet our customers’ expectations”.
The airport needed to introduce a way for customers to discover what shops, restaurants, services and facilities are available, no matter the time of day. They were designed to drive footfall and improve per-passenger spend while promoting offers, events and the latest deals by giving customers the information they need to plan their journey through the terminal.
The key to its success was adopting a mobile device user interface to create an intuitive, personalised and inclusive service. This means it is familiar to those using it, so the learning curve is short. The airport has more than 140 destinations throughout Europe, Africa and Asia, so helping customers find what they need in their native language is important to increase dwell time, whether that is buying a coffee, exploring what’s on the menu or finding out real-time flight information.
Mark Jennings, Head of Commercial Development at Luton Airport, said: “As well as providing essential travel information, the kiosks play an important role in promoting our retail and food and beverage partners, providing a unique platform to advertise the latest offers.
The user experience has been carefully considered and has been designed with future development in mind. We will shortly be able to extend content management so that brands can update offers or new product content in real time. Data analytics will assist in our understanding of how passengers interact with the content to drive better decision making.”
With the near ubiquitous use of smart phones and mobile devices, touchscreen technology was the obvious solution for the LLA totems, with elements like the pinch zoom on the map being a familiar and accessible feature for passengers. Fitted into each totem is a 55-inch LG touch display, a high-resolution scanner and a high-specified small format PC. The content management system is cloud based to provide additional security, defined by best practice, which is operated throughout the airport.
Boarding passes can be scanned for personalised flight details – boarding time, gate number with the route to the gate and average transit time. If there is plenty of time before the flight, the system will suggest places to eat or shop with their latest offers and shows the simplest and quickest route to get there.
For arriving passengers into LLA, touchscreens will provide onward journey information on car hire, car parks, bus and rail timetables, as well as local traffic information and weather forecasts. Plans are already in place to include the DART (Direct-Air-Rail-Transit via Luton Airport Parkway railway station), which is due to open in 2021.
Nicholas Mann, Managing Director at Interdirect, said: “Given our experience in developing wayfinding solutions for Gatwick Airport, John Lewis Partnership, Birmingham Grand Central and Telford Town Centre, Interdirect was chosen to create a bespoke solution that would give access to much better information about London Luton Airport and its dining, shopping and facilities to the millions of passengers arriving at and departing the airport each year.”
The use of an intercom, speakers and camera are in development, facilitating remote video assistance to help customers by controlling the screen, two-way video calling and subtitled live translations to overcome the language barrier. A mobile hand-off capability will allow customers to take the directions with them on their mobile device without needing to download an app, putting decision making back in the hands of the customer.
In light of the coronavirus pandemic, measures such as hand sanitisers, antimicrobial coating and key messages on hand washing and face coverings are shown on the kiosk.
Matt Mullen, Passenger Environment Manager at Luton Airport, said: “Designing a bespoke solution for that catered for all of customers and a variety of needs required both creativity and technical expertise. We are delighted with the result and this customer-first solution. The kiosks provide the latest information for customers and personify the LLA brand by making the customer experience at LLA both easy and enjoyable.”
For more information visit www.spcgroup.co.uk