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KLM Improves Customer Experience By Taking Lead In Augmented Reality

KLM use of augmented reality to measure carry on baggages.

Augmented reality has been slowly evolving from cutting edge technology to every day life savers in the past two years. Both Apple (see post) and Google (see post) announced big plans on incorporating augmented reality elements into their iOS and Android mobile operating systems for the past two years. KLM, known for the building customer facing technologies is one of the first in the world to use augmented reality to assist customers measure their carry on baggages for compliance. Experience The Skies takes a look at how it works.

 

KLM and Augmented Reality

What Is It?

Augmented Reality is an interactive experience of a real-world environment whereby the objects that reside in the real-world are “augmented” by computer-generated perceptual information including visual, auditory, haptic elements from sometimes across multiple devices.  Apple and Google’s implementation of this technology has been applied to three main scenarios: Play, Learn and Life.  Play has the most success out of three so far with the popularity of games like Pokémon Go. For travel experiences, the best use case has been wayfinding where customers are able to follow the instructions on their phones to locate gates, restaurants, etc.

Augmented reality used for travel
Augmented reality used for travel (Picture from Apple and American Airlines)

KLM’s New Idea

First introduced in the latest version of the KLM mobile application on the iOS platform, customers with the right mobile devices can virtually measure their carry on baggages for size prior to departure to the airport. This will significantly reduce the probability of these baggages not meeting the specific guidelines set out by the Dutch airline which will require gate check to the final destination.  Instructions are very simple to follow and can be completed within three steps by using the back camera as the measuring tool.

 

 

In the rollout, Pieter Groeneveld, Senior Vice President Digital Air France – KLM said that “By harnessing the potential of AR, KLM is taking the next step in terms of digital service provision. With the AR hand baggage check, passengers can now see at a glance whether their hand baggage is the correct size. By offering this service, we are placing the needs of our customers first. We also continue to be pioneers of innovation in our passengers’ best interests.”

 

Analysis

The use of augmented reality to measure full size carry on baggages in real time allows KLM to improve customer experience by lowering their anxiety and fees associated with checked bags at the airport due to irregular sizes and reducing wait time in lineups at the airport. For airline agent, this implementation improves productivity by reducing bottlenecks created by checking these bags at the airport. This enables agents to assist customers with more complicated travel matters.

Besides virtual baggage measurement, KLM has also implemented augmented reality to display its Boeing Dreamliner aircraft in 360-degrees. Additionally, the airline showcased the story of Anthony Fokker’s House 98 with the technology in its own KLM Houses App.
KLM aircrafts in augmented reality
KLM aircrafts in augmented reality (Picture provided by KLM)

Just The Beginning

KLM has been able to use augmented reality to engagement customers’ imagination, reduces their travel anxiety with a new measuring tool and improve airport agents’ productivity. This is just the beginning as airlines around the world find new use cases to implement augmented reality through out the travel journey. If implemented successfully, this technology can enhance travel through engagement with unique experiences and create new ancillary revenue streams for airlines in partnership with airports and third party vendors.  Find out more about these tailored use cases and opportunities by contacting Experience The Skies.

 


About Larry Leung and Experience The Skies

Larry Leung is the Director of Research and Strategy at Experience The Skies. He is a certified avgeek, a public speaker and a dessert and design enthusiast. Contact him through LinkedIn or Twitter.

Experience The Skies is a consulting company based in Toronto, Canada that specializes in the travel industry with focus on the assessment, competitive analysis and development of loyalty programs, technologies, marketing, ancillary revenue solutions.  Follow Experience The Skies on TwitterFacebookFlipboard, and Instagram.

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