Tablet Flight Manuals:
Passengers aren’t the only ones enjoying high flying tech toys
. Pilots—who typically carry 25+ pounds of paper navigation charts, aircraft manuals, systems handbooks, checklists, and so on—are lightening their loads by using electronic flight decks for the iPad
. These tablets save trees and boost fuel efficiency while delivering real-time information not previously available on board, including airplane maintenance trackers, security updates, and crew rest calculators for lengthy flights. In the case of an emergency, electronic search ability has the potential to save precious time. American Airlines was the first to make flight decks paperless in 2010, with Alaska
and other airlines
following close behind.
Virtual Boarding Agents:
Paris’ Orly Airport is testing virtual boarding agents
that can direct travelers to their respective gates. Created by audiovisual marketing agency L’Oeil Du Chat
, the lifelike 2-D holograms make eye contact, blink and smile while emitting automated phrases, such as “bonjour” and “bon voyage.” The simulated avatars
—actually pre-recorded images of real-life boarding agents projected on sheets of human-shaped plexiglass—replicate actual attendants (who require wages) while serving as an engaging way to assist passengers to their appointed destinations. While some visitors have deemed the holograms spooky
, similar virtual agents have already been implemented in London and Manchester airports.