Editorial for Manifest N17.
Friends of mine visited me for the Easter holiday. The day before going back to London they asked if I could print their boarding cards.
Once the ticket was printed, I realised that there was a potentially lucrative opportunity to be ceased.
Even without compromising much of the passenger privacy, the airline, airport operator and airport businesses, know that this passenger is heading from Boston to London at a particular time and day.
Therefore, why not allow businesses inside the terminal to offer promotions such as discounts on duty free shopping, free coffee with any meal or 50% off the price of a particular book.
If the passenger agrees to reveal more of his identity, age, gender, air mile number etc… he may receive discounts that are even more suited towards his needs: cheaper upgrades, 25% off from specific DVD’s, a free companion ticket for the next trip to Boston etc…
Finally, businesses in the arrival airport could also promote their services; from car-rentals to buses to hotels (for business travelers) and museums (for first-time travelers who are likely to be tourists).
While airlines might not be immediately interested, airport operators and businesses should see this as a way to increase customer traffic and eventually increase revenues.
The key to this operation is relatively simple conceptually; a flexible data base which features an intuitive interface for businesses. They ultimately know what kinds of product need to be pushed and might be pleased to be able to decide on a promotion at noon and see the benefits by 4pm.