How Can Airport Technology Help Your Queues?

Airport technology could be the key to tackling the long queues in peak seasons. As the aviation industry prepares for 2023, the causes of the long airport queues seen last summer should be looked at. Across the world, airports and airlines struggled to handle the bounce-back in passenger numbers due to insufficient staff numbers.

Unfortunately, recruiting airport staff is not a simple process. It involves background and security checks. As a result, the recruitment process is a long one. This results in less staff being available to help at short notice.

Interestingly, looking outside the airport sector for solutions may be the answer. Retail, for example, is no stranger to chaotic crowds and busy queues. The footfall during the festive period alone is infamous for hordes of customers descending into stores.

The use of technology in queue management is a central part of the success of a retail store. While airport staff are stuck in the recruitment process, why not look to incorporate technology used in retailing as a way to manage queues?

  • Increase staff efficiency due to queue automation.
  • Boost duty-free revenue through promotional media.
  • Speed up passenger flow to reduce queue times.

Airport technologies that help manage your passenger queues could be the cost-effective solution you need.

Electronic Queueing Airport Technology

Used in numerous sectors, including the aviation industry, the Tensator® Electronic Call Forward System optimises and controls queue flow. This means your staff can focus on helping passengers with complicated requests rather than guiding them to the next free desk.

There are two types of call forward system to choose from; manual and automatic. Each has its benefits:

Manual: Call the waiting passenger to the next available desk at the push of a button. Use this airport technology to offer staff more control over the queue flow.

Automatic: A smart airport technology that requires no manual intervention and can further speed up your queue. A combination of sensors, cameras, and digital media alerts the passenger at the head of the queue to the next available service point the moment it becomes free.

Regardless of your choice, both options help staff stay focused on helping passengers rather than guiding queues. This technology can be used in every corner of an airport, from check-in and security to passport control and baggage reclaim.

It is a simple and visible process that is proven to help staff serve up to 25% more people per hour.

Use Digital Airport Signage In Queues

There are various types of technology used in airports. Digital airport signage totems, for instance, are best used to complement your existing queue systems and solutions. Typically placed at the beginning and end of queues, they are perfect for highlighting important information to waiting passengers.

The 19-inch HD LCD screen on digital variants of the Tensator InQ-Totem® can play media while passengers wait, such as short videos describing what is needed to quickly progress through the checkpoint. The on-screen space can also be sold to third parties for advertising purposes, providing a quick return on investment.

This new airport technology is often used in central search areas to advise passengers which items need to go through the baggage scanner. It can pre-warn passengers to remove their shoes and belts and remind them to get their liquids and electronic items out of their hand luggage.

If placed at the head of passport control, a digital totem can highlight the next steps before a passport is processed. As a bonus, the videos or instructions help optimise the passenger experience because it will occupy the waiting time, making it feel shorter.

The Tensator® Virtual Assistant

Some airport technology trends point towards queue automation and minimising staff interactions. The Tensator® Virtual Assistant achieves this in an innovative way. It is able to reduce customer service requirements and allows for redeployment of staff.

Pushing the boundaries of what wayfinding solutions can offer, the Virtual Assistant combines two crucial elements to the airport passenger journey; passenger navigation and support. This airport technology innovation has the following features to achieve these goals:

  • Multi-lingual speech for international travellers
  • Customisable with your branding, artwork, and uniform
  • Bespoke programming to ensure your messaging is consistent

The Tensator® Virtual Assistant was previously installed at Boston Logan Airport. Originally installed to help inform around 6000 daily passengers of security procedures in both Spanish and English, his airport technology is proven to provide consistent messaging all day, every day.

QR Codes & Contactless Technology

If minimising staff interactions with passengers is the aim, then focusing on self-service technology in airports could also be the way forward. QR codes have grown in popularity because they can provide relevant information directly into an individual’s device. This allows passengers to access additional information on demand while they are on the go.

Airport signage is an easy way to display QR codes to waiting passengers. The Tensator® InQ-Totem, for instance, can be printed with a QR code that links to a unique landing page. When placed at the beginning of a queue, passengers will have instant access to any information just by scanning the QR code with their phone. Other uses include:

  • Instructions to guide passengers through checkpoints.
  • Help passengers to provide feedback and give live updates on queue lengths and times.
  • Passenger journey tracking to provide added clarity.

Airport technology, like QR codes, can help decrease queue times as it enhances the passenger’s knowledge of key airport processes and procedures and how to navigate them quickly.

QR Code

Scan the QR code to go straight to our Airport solution webpage

Virtual Queuing Airport Technology

Virtual queuing can be a big help at certain checkpoints. Airport queues are long, and the wait times can decimate the passenger experience. Virtual queuing is a type of ticketing technology used in airports (and other sectors) that keeps queues organised and flowing. The queue moves to a non-physical space, so passengers are free to shop or browse duty-free in airport retail areas. This is particularly beneficial during busy periods because it can help disperse crowds and keep crucial walkways clear from pedestrians. Virtual queueing airport technology can:

  1. Maximise staff efficiency by handling queries instead of queues.
  2. Boost revenue to duty-free shops.
  3. Gather meaningful passenger data to monitor service levels in real-time.

Technology in airports, like virtual queuing and ticketing equipment, is ideal for managing high passenger numbers.

So How Can Airports Benefit From Technology?

Where there are gaps in staff resources and experience, airport technology can help automate queues in busy areas where bottlenecks are often seen. The long lines seen throughout 2022 demonstrate the strain the aviation industry is under.

Airport technology integrated directly into queue systems will allow you to optimise the passenger journey. The transition from checkpoint to checkpoint then becomes smoother. As a result, queue length is shortened considerably and staff can be better utilised. The benefits speak for themselves:

  • Stronger brand identity for airlines as passengers have positive experiences.
  • Increase in revenue as passengers can spend longer browsing in retail stores.
  • More effective staff utilisation as queues are automated.
  • Answer frequently asked passenger questions quickly and clearly.
  • Reduce passenger queue times.

In the long run, investing in new airport technology to aid the passenger journey can be a cost-effective way to improve satisfaction and boost revenue.

Contact our experts today to find out more about our airport technology solutions!

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