KLM Royal Dutch Airlines has extended its augmented reality (AR) hand baggage size check feature, recently introduced to its iOS App, to all passengers through the KLM Messenger platform.
And eDreams ODIGEO has also announced plans to integrate a similar function into its iOS app.
The KLM AR hand baggage check uses a transparent, virtual KLM suitcase which can be placed using the AR interface on an actual suitcase for size comparison, making it easier for customers to check that the dimensions of their carry-on bags will fit overhead bins before they leave for the airport.
At the end of September, KLM launched the AR baggage size guide in a limited release through the KLM App (iOS) for passengers who had booked a ticket.
KLM has said that it wants to remain at the forefront of AR applications for passenger services, and is committed to latest technology AR developments.
Earlier this year KLM’s ventures into AR were more for entertainment value, with a nod to gamification, while helping the airline sharpen its AR development skills. The KLM digital team developed a 360-degree display of a Dreamliner aircraft in the KLM App.
The airline also brought AR to the KLM Houses app for fans of the miniature ceramic souvenirs which KLM has given to business class passengers since the 1950s. With the iOS11 update, the airline lets Houses app users fly five historic Fokker model aircraft using AR in their space as part of the story around the Anthony Fokker’s House 98 edition of the collectible.
But it’s not all fun and games.
Pieter Groeneveld, senior vice president digital for Air France-KLM said:
“By harnessing the potential of AR, KLM is taking the next step in terms of digital service provision. With the AR hand baggage check, passengers can now see at a glance whether their hand baggage is the correct size. By offering this service, we are placing the needs of our customers first. We also continue to be pioneers of innovation in our passengers’ best interests.”
The KLM App has been downloaded millions of time, with more than 100,000 active users each day. At least 70% of the app users are logged in permanently and use the KLM app several times a month.
Beyond the AR baggage guide, KLM has added helpful features to the app which enhance the passenger experience throughout the journey including up-to-date flight information, bookings, online check-in, seat selection and downloading boarding passes.
KLM also recently launched an Airport Map feature, a digital map of no less than 24 different airports enabling passengers to find their way around quickly. A “Milestones” feature helps passengers use the KLM App to find out all useful information and tips related to their personal KLM flight history.
The KLM app can also notify passengers at Schiphol if their flight will be significantly delayed, and gives passengers the option of activating a digital snack or meal voucher in compensation. The app also helps passengers rebook their flights themselves during disruptions.
These last two are features that other airlines in Europe might want add to their apps immediately to ensure easy compliance with EU261 passenger rights protections.
Onwards to Messenger
Facebook announced that it would make AR technology available in closed beta on the Messenger platform earlier this year and KLM is one of the few companies worldwide to build an experience using the AR engine in Messenger. KLM said it will continue to develop and improve the service in the future, so that it grows in line with the latest AR technology available.
Stefanos Loukakos, head of messenger business said:
“We’re thrilled that KLM is one of our beta partners. We built this technology in our platform to allow brands to solve problems for their customers. Checking the dimensions of a suitcase before you even set foot in the airport will create a smoother experience for passengers and we are pleased our technology could contribute to making that happen.”
KLM isn’t the first to come up with the idea of measuring baggage using AR, however. This feature was introduced by App In The Air which also debuted an AR booking engine at the IATA World Passenger Symposium in Barcelona last year.
In a separate announcement, eDreams ODIGEO says it is adding a similar feature to its iOS app, covering 80% of the flights it sells across its eDreams, GO Voyages, Opodo and Travellink brands. Users can scan their hand luggage bags with the camera to work out the size, and the app correlates these dimensions with the specific requirements of whichever airline the user is flying with.