Passengers can use another technological advancement at Václav Havel Airport Prague. A test run of a Virtual Information Service has been launched, providing passengers with updated information regarding departures and arrivals, for example, as well as details of services provided at the airport and transport options to/from the airport. The service will also help people find their way around the airport and direct them to the right check-in counter or gate. For now, the service will only be available in Terminal 1 Departure Hall. If the new technology proves useful, Prague Airport will consider implementing it at other points of operation around the airport.
The Virtual Information Service is a kiosk with a large LCD display, operating on a video call basis. Passengers are connected in real time with an information service operator from a remote workplace. The airport expects the innovation to help increase its capacity to provide information to passengers and enhance their comfort.
“This year, Prague Airport has launched several technology development projects, focusing on five areas: customer experience, future mobility, security, virtual shopping, and a comfortable journey through the airport. The Virtual Information Service is one of the projects in the ‘comfortable journey through the airport’ category. In addition, we are considering, for example, the introduction of digital signage or airport throughput mapping technology within the same area,” Václav Řehoř, Chairman of the Prague Airport Board of Directors, said.
Alongside the camera for voice and virtual connection with the operator, the Virtual Information Service kiosk also features a scanner which the passengers can use to scan their travel documents, e.g. a ticket, and quickly review all important details of their flight. It is also possible to use the kiosk for printing a map of the Prague public transport system with highlighted points of interest.
Passengers will be able to use the Virtual Information Service technology in the test-run mode for three months. After that, based on the results and feedback collected from passengers, the airport will decide on its potential permanent implementation in regular operations. In such a case, the airport plans to install the Virtual Information Service kiosks at the busiest places with the highest passenger traffic to ensure they are easily and readily available to users.
The main benefit of the new technology, once implemented at several places around the airport, will be the ability of one information service operator to answer multiple questions asked by several users of different info points, i.e. kiosks. This will increase the capacity to answer questions while maintaining the existing number of employees and saving space.
Prague Airport was primarily inspired by Munich airport when implementing the new technology. However, within the Central European region, Prague is the first airport where such technology has emerged. Even at one of Europe's largest airports, Frankfurt, the virtual information service is yet to be launched. The technology is provided to Prague Airport by the Infogate Information System company.
The Virtual Information Service kiosk is located in the Terminal 1 Departure Hall public area, in the original location of the information desk. The regular information desk will be closed for the Virtual Information Service kiosk test run period.