The future of boarding calls

28 September 2011

Holograms at Orly Airport in Paris

Paris’ Orly Airport is trialling some unique new “employees” to help passengers board their flights – 2D holograms.

The strikingly lifelike video images are rear-projected onto human-shaped silhouettes made of plexiglass and seemingly materialise out of nowhere when a live human boarding agent pushes a button.

The pilot programme is part of a plan to modernise Hall 40, one of the dozens of boarding gates at Paris’ second airport. Hall 40 serves 30 to 40 flights a day and around 1 million passengers pass through it every year.

Three actual airport boarding agents were filmed in a studio to create the illusion, and the airport hopes they will be more eye-catching and easier for passengers to understand than the traditional electronic display terminals.

So far passengers have greeted the trial with a mixture of amusement and surprise, with some trying to talk with the holograms or touch them.

Auckland Airport is also always looking to make the airport smarter and more efficient for travellers, so they will be watching the trial closely.