Airline Mobile Apps: The Future To Finding The Closest Airport Bathroom

Thursday, October 13, 2011

The future of airline mobile apps are here, and it apparently involves helping you find the closest airport bathroom. As people rely more on mobile computing, apps are increasingly growing in importance, and the airliners are racing to keep up. Though many airliners allow you to perform basic tasks like book flights and receive boarding passes through their apps, they are now looking ahead at what else they can offer fliers on the go.

As CNN reports, Delta is soon going to offer fliers the ability to track their baggage via their app (watch your bag fly to Dakar as you head to Atlanta from 30,000 feet!), while others are putting an emphasis on expanding the AirMall services to the palm of your hand.

And in an exciting breakthrough in mobile computing is the implementation of something called augmented reality technology, a service that allows fliers to find the nearest bathroom or pretzel shop all by just by snapping a phone picture.

Augmented reality technology . . . allows users to point the camera on their smartphone at their surroundings and receive corresponding information about their current location, such as which restaurants and stores are nearby. Amadeus’s report estimates it will take three to five years for most airlines to find a way to integrate augmented reality into an airline app.

And not that anyone asked, but if I were to throw my hat in the ring, why don’t airliners take a cue from Groupon here? While fliers are sitting in the terminal waiting to board, why not offer them location-based deals such as hotel discounts, ticket specials or restaurant coupons based upon their destination? Then they could use a fraction of those profits and put money toward installing free wi-fi within their terminals, thus creating a win-win situation for all.

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