Airline deploys Windows 8 tablets, check-in times drop to just two minutes

The aviation industry is always looking at new ways to embrace technology to improve efficiencies and deliver better service to passengers. From United Airlines' brief flirtation with Microsoft's Zune, and American Airlines replacing big and bulky paper flight manuals with iPads, to Delta's more recent adoption of Microsoft's Surface 2 for its pilots and Lumia Windows Phones for its flight attendants, there are many examples of how devices have been put to use in the sky. 

But airlines are also considering how such devices can improve things on the ground. Low-cost carrier flydubai is the latest such example, as Gulf Business reports. 

flydubai is one of the region's rising stars with a fleet of 37 Boeing 737 jets, and a further 98 on order, as the company plans to rapidly expand its operations in the next few years. It offers affordable coach class tickets to dozens of destinations across Africa, Asia and Europe, with business class cabins on board some of its planes. 

The airline is using Windows 8 tablets running a custom line-of-business app that connects to the company's backend services, developed in partnership with Microsoft Gulf. The devices have been deployed to help airport staff to speed up passenger check-in, and the devices are equipped with an integrated passport scanner, along with a printer to issue boarding passes. 

No longer tethered to a desk, staff can roam the concourse and check passengers in for their flights on the spot, including helping them to choose their seats on the plane. The Windows 8 tablets and apps have helped the airline to reduce the amount of time spent on check-in to just two minutes per passenger. 

Michael Mansour, Microsoft Gulf director of Apps and Innovation, said that the region's travel industry "is under increasing pressure to deliver improved quality of service while tackling productivity and workforce shortage challenges. The Windows 8 app developed for flydubai is a regional first, enabling staff to check in passengers on the go."

Earlier this year, Virgin Atlantic Airways began a trial of Google Glass to help its staff to offer a more personalized service for its Upper Class passengers. 

Source: Gulf Business via Microsoft-News.com | original aircraft image via prwebme

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20 Comments

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Yea. Just saying that not every company is going to choose MS for things like this. So they will/may be other options as well.

Most would require a device that can securely connect to their domain/AD. Not an app that connects over various forms of internet solutions

@techbeck, only the companies that want to be more productive should... You know? 2 minutes less! Did you you spoke out or did you read the article?

techbeck said,
Nice. Tho I suspect any device could do this if the app was available. Good press for MS tho.

That can be said about any device doing anything. They were just saying that an airline is doing this, not that they could only do it with windows 8.

Microsoft needs to publicize a lot more stories like this to counter-act all the (not necessarily warranted) negative press surrounding Windows 8.

This was a good read, thanks for posting it!

pmbAustin said,
Microsoft needs to publicize a lot more stories like this to counter-act all the (not necessarily warranted) negative press surrounding Windows 8.

I'd say it's more indifference than negative press.

There's too much 'failure!', 'it sucks!', and the like for me to consider it indifferent. There is indifferent coverage to be sure, but there's an exceptional amount of negative press that is no longer warranted (i.e. because so many of the issues in 8.0 have long since been resolved in 8.1 and 8.1 Update 1)

Maybe a better word is "dismissive"? Which I still consider needlessly negative.

Yeah it seems that there's more positive reaction with win 8.1, but it doesn't seem that people are attracted by win 8.1 either. A lack of "excitement" with win 8.1, and the fact that win 7 is just satisfying.

Well, those that USE 8.1 have a more positive reaction to it. Those that don't are still parroting the 8.0 reaction, and that includes a LOT of people in the media. The reason people aren't "attracted" to 8.1 is mostly due to the negative perceptions (and press) that Windows 8 still gets due to the reaction to 8.0

Cool, but built I printers? Even a thermal printer will add some bulk. Though if they feed it tickets manually, it would only be a small bump for the thermal head and the motor to evenly pull the ticket through

HawkMan said,
Cool, but built I printers? Even a thermal printer will add some bulk. Though if they feed it tickets manually, it would only be a small bump for the thermal head and the motor to evenly pull the ticket through

It's for check in and therefore probably assumed you already have a ticket. Even then they could just have a wireless printer and go back to the desk to pickup as needed or even in a group.

HawkMan said,
Difference s that the parking tickets are on thin paper and can be on a roll. Airline tickets are on thick paper.

All you need is a boarding pass to get on the plane, perhaps they are printer boarding passes if needed and not actual cardboard tickets. As a matter of fact, it been a while since I've had an actual ticket in my possession.

HawkMan said,
Difference s that the parking tickets are on thin paper and can be on a roll. Airline tickets are on thick paper.

Several airlines use QR-codes on your phone as boarding passes, more still allow you to use your credit card or frequent flyer card as a boarding pass.

And secondly, those times that I do need to print a boarding pass, it's on super thin flimsy thermal paper 9 times out of 10.