How Big Data Is Changing Air Travel

How Big Data Is Changing Air Travel

How Big Data Is Changing Air Travel

Long check-in queues, delayed flights and lost baggage – the typical airport experience is all too familiar to business travelers and holidaymakers alike. However, the emergence of big data is slowly changing the reality of using an airport. Transport hubs around the world are slowly trying to migrate away from being places of frustration and dissatisfaction by making use of available big data to become ‘smart airports’ – oases of calm that won’t make you feel like you need another holiday.

airport

Sydney airport is one of the busiest airports in the world. It sees 37 million passengers and 300,000 flights per year. It is the gateway to Australia and is a key transit hub for travelers moving around Oceania and South-East Asia. It is just one of a new breed of smart airports.

Information about passengers, airlines, and baggage is key to effectively planning an airport’s service capacity, resource distribution, and staffing levels. In Sydney’s case the delay between the on-the-ground reality and production of charts, figures and reports led to a difficulty in offering a world-class customer service. The airport therefore took the decision to utilize big data to build detailed models of passenger and airline behavior so the airport could better plan its services.

The airport collaborated with IBM to use its SPSS Statistics package, a set of predictive analysis tools that allowed the airport operators to collate data from customs, baggage handlers, airline carriers, passengers, and in-airport shops. This allowed them to improve the customer experience by optimizing services as diverse as managing airport parking congestion, improving passenger lounge access, and optimizing the flow of product through duty-free shops.

Similar projects are underway in both London Gatwick and London Heathrow. The former has created an app that can follow a passenger from the moment of arrival to departure and can offer personalized services and information as they move through the airport, while the latter now combines sales data and flight information to give retailers an opportunity to improve their revenues.

It’s not just on the ground where big data is having an effect. Leading airlines are now using big data to improve their in-the-air safety. Many planes are now connected in real time to a control centre on the ground which can analyse the data streams that flow from on-board sensors and signal when maintenance is required. It means maintenance crews know the problem before a plane arrives at its destination and they can have the necessary parts ready, thus reducing delays and improving operating efficiency.

The in-flight experience is also being improved with big data. Qantas now combines several sources of passenger data in real-time to tailor their in-flight services. There are tangible benefits for its customers – for example – when a passenger had a dinner in the terminal prior to the flight Qantas can leave the person alone during the journey so they can enjoy sleep without being disturbed.

The shift towards smart air travel is undoubtedly transforming the way we use and interact with airports, as customer experiences improve and travelling frustrations decrease. Have you noticed big data improving your airport experience? Do you feel like airports and airlines already know too much of your personal information and you are uneasy with them knowing all of your habits? Let us know in the comments below.

By Daniel Price

Follow Me!

Daniel Price

Daniel is a Manchester-born UK native who has abandoned cold and wet Northern Europe and currently lives on the Caribbean coast of Mexico. A former Financial Consultant, he now balances his time between writing articles for several industry-leading tech (CloudTweaks.com & MakeUseOf.com), sports, and travel sites and looking after his three dogs.
Follow Me!

One Response to How Big Data Is Changing Air Travel

  1. This is a great case for how technology is being used not only to improve the user experience but will help costs over time.

Join Our Newsletter

Receive updates each week on news, tips, events, comics and much more...

Can I Contribute To CloudTweaks?

Yes, much of our focus in 2015 will be on working with other influencers in a collaborative manner. If you're a technology influencer looking to collaborate with CloudTweaks – a globally recognized leader in cloud computing information – drop us an email with “tech influencer” in the subject line.

What is the 12/12 Program?

This program is designed to better handle the thousands of requests we receive from people looking to submit articles. The 12/12 program is the commitment of 12 articles delivered over a 12-month period.  

Wait! What if I just want to submit one article?

Our popular pay as you go sponsorship program provides the flexibility to submit as you wish and is designed for all budgets.

Contributors

Ten Tips For Successful Business Intelligence Implementation

Ten Tips For Successful Business Intelligence Implementation

Ten Tips for Successful Business Intelligence Implementation The cost of Business Intelligence (BI) software goes far beyond the purchase price. Time spent researching, implementing, and maintaining your BI investment can snowball quickly and mistakes are often expensive. Your time is valuable – save it by learning from other businesses’ experiences. We’ve compiled the top ten

Knots And Cloud Service Providers

Knots And Cloud Service Providers

How Do These Two Compare? In Boy Scouts, I learned how to tie knots. The quickest knot you can tie is the slipknot. It’s very effective for connecting one thing to another via the rope you have. It was used in setting up tents, mooring boats to docks temporarily and lifting your food up into

What Ever Happened To Google Glass?

What Ever Happened To Google Glass?

What Ever Happened to Google Glass? It was supposed to be the next big thing in tech so where did it go? Last year you could not go anywhere without hearing about some insane new use for the product and now it seems to have vanished in a plume of smoke. A Lackluster Rollout Back

Posted on by

Big Data

To Have and Have Not: Big Data Initiatives In Developing Countries

To Have and Have Not: Big Data Initiatives In Developing Countries

Big Data Initiatives In Developing Countries The poor of the developing countries are becoming increasingly connected, to the point where they too are part of the Big Data revolution that’s happening across the globe. It didn’t come with laptops, though, as some supposed it would. Whereas it costs a fortune to connect broadband to a

Big Data In Your Garden: Initiatives For Better Understanding Nature

Big Data In Your Garden: Initiatives For Better Understanding Nature

Big Data in Your Garden Big Data and IoT initiatives are springing up all across the globe, making cities, protesters–and just about everything else–smarter. However, thus far there’s been little attention paid to the interactions between these bizarre technologies and living things other than humans. Biology, that is, human biology is one field where Big

Who Holds the Key to the City: Big Data and City Management

Who Holds the Key to the City: Big Data and City Management

Big Data and City Management Cities like New York, Madrid, and especially Rio de Janeiro are augmented with Big Data-powered initiatives that range from combating crime with predictive analytics (New York & Madrid) to providing real-time data for improved management. Although Big Data is no panacea and is mainly used in conjunction with a greater

Internet of Things

Where’s the Capital of the Internet of Things?

Where’s the Capital of the Internet of Things?

Where’s the Capital? We all know the capitals of fashion are London, New York and Paris, while the capital of film is Hollywood (or Bollywood!) – but what’s the new capital of the internet? Specifically, the internet of things? The answer – according to new research by Ozy – might surprise you. It’s not Tokyo, Seoul,

Smart Cities – How Big Data Is Changing The Power Grid

Smart Cities – How Big Data Is Changing The Power Grid

Smart Cities And Big Data As Anthony Townsend argues in his SMART CITIES, even though the communications industry has changed beyond recognition since its inception, the way we consume power has remained stubbornly anachronistic. The rules of physics are, of course, partially to blame, for making grid networks harder to decentralize, as opposed to communication

Aggregated News

Popular News Sources

Microsoft to enter the STRUGGLE of the Human Wrist

Microsoft to enter the STRUGGLE of the Human Wrist

It’s not just a thumb war, it’s total digit war The battle for the future of the human wrist entered a new phase on Monday after it was claimed that tech goliath Microsoft is planning to release its own wearable computer in the coming weeks.…Read the source article at The Register About Latest Posts Follow

Standards Organization ISO Takes on Cloud Computing Standards

Standards Organization ISO Takes on Cloud Computing Standards

Given the quality differences in different cloud services and issues of compatibility, ISO, the world’s best known standards body has issued two standards related to cloud computing…. Read the source article at Web Host Industry Review About Latest Posts Follow Me!Daniel PriceDaniel is a Manchester-born UK native who has abandoned cold and wet Northern Europe

IBM Paying $1.5 Billion to Shed Its Chip Division

IBM Paying $1.5 Billion to Shed Its Chip Division

IBM will pay $1.5 billion to Globalfoundries in order to shed its costly chip division. IBM will make payments to the chipmaker over three years, but it took a $4.7 billion charge for the third quarter when it reported earnings Monday. Read the source article at Mashable About Latest Posts Follow Me!Daniel PriceDaniel is a Manchester-born