How Interactive Displays are Changing the Airport Experience

William Hall, Wednesday, November 18, 2015

The use of digital signage and displays is not new to airlines. Unlike many other industries, airports recognized years ago how helpful it would be to present flight information digitally. It could be updated far more easily, almost instantaneously. Many airports have also turned to digital displays for advertising.

Recently, though, airports are exploring the limits of what they offer to customers. Video walls are being coupled with interactive displays and kiosks to provide flight passengers and others with everything from information essential to their flights to art and entertainment.

Providing Information

Yes, there are still many digital flight information boards. These boards have improved over time to make for easier reading and quicker updating. However, other solutions are available.

Some airports have set up smaller displays throughout their campuses to allow customers to search for their specific flights, such as the tablets used by Gatwick Airport. They have found customers prefer these because they find large flight information boards to be overwhelming.

Digital displays are being used to share far more than just flight information, though. Passengers are using displays to navigate through the airport terminals, and even to find out more about the amenities such as restaurant and retail stores. Airports are integrating mobile strategies into their digital displays by working with third-party apps such as GateGuru.


Advertising is a great secondary revenue stream for many airports. These messages are often found on displays set up throughout the terminals, from hanging on the walls of walkways to suspended above the baggage claim.

Since much of flying is a waiting game, advertisers are taking advantage of the long hours people spend in airports. We are seeing more customer experiences best suited for interactive displays. Displays like the ones being used at San Francisco International draw customers into the interaction, then provide a wealth of information about the advertised products.

The Above, and Then Some

Recognizing how much is possible through utilizing interactive displays, airports such as Vienna Airport and the Los Angeles International Airport (LAX) Tom Bradley International Terminal have gone far beyond digital message centers and advertising.

Vienna Airport sought to impress travelers with beautifully-made graphic and video advertising, while also showcasing art. Installing high-resolution digital displays was essential to their goal.

LAX’s Tom Bradley International Terminal was designed with a focus on interactive displays. These displays also have multiple duties of providing customers with information, including times for multiple destinations throughout the world, and entertainment with colorful, rotating images depicting a range of travel-centric content.

Interaction Means Customer Engagement

Through utilizing interactive displays, airports are drawing in advertising dollars and customers who are looking for more than the typical airport experience. The displays allow customers to find the information they need regarding their flights and the airport itself in a quicker and easier manner.

At the same time, customers enjoy content created with the goal of delighting them. That content may be an advertisement, or it may be art. Whatever it is, customers are drawn to it because they like the interaction. Which means you will, too.

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