The Next Normal Airport Experience

The Next Normal Airport Experience

Safe, contactless, AI app-enabled




February 5, 2021
Keith Yates

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In this era of Covid-19 we have learnt that it is essential to avoid contact with others if we are to survive.

We have discovered how to locate and order what we need through apps and the internet.

When we begin to travel again on the other side of this pandemic, our requirements and expectations of the airport experience will have fundamentally changed.

Anxieties around congested, queue-driven environments will remain paramount.

We will no longer want to touch screens or put our passport on surfaces that others have touched.

We may not feel comfortable giving our passport and ticket to be handled by others or receiving paper boarding passes or other travel documents from the hands of others.


that enable contactless journeys through airports will be an essential part of the next normal travel experience.Apps that tell us it is safe to travel, or warn us against traveling, will also be highly valued.

From the best supermarkets, we have learned the importance of controlled distancing, parking facilitation and the absence of queuing.

All these enablers will be necessary features of the next normal airport experience – safe, contactless, AI app-driven.

Fewer ground staff will be required as the app will do the work of some 50 percent of current staff.

AI will eliminate check-in altogether. Baggage drop will be effortless and contactless.Very few counters will be required.

Customers will control the environment through their app.Those few staff present will be comfortably distanced but able to provide excellent hospitality, reassurance and support when required.

The Next Normal

means hassle-free, seamless journeys from curb to aircraft door, with boarding by app command to avoid congestion in the jet bridge and facilitate seating on board.

Once on board, guests will communicate with crew, order meals and operate the

in-flight entertainment via the app.

Keith Yates

Keith is a leading voice in experience design.

For more than thirty years he has been widely recognised for disruption and innovation in guest experience and hospitality.

He has transformed the end to end experience of recognized airlines and five star hotels globally.

Keith is best known as the ‘architect of five-star experience’.

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