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One Airline Wants to Track Their Gate Agents' Every Move

Where: Japan
July 21, 2014 at 10:45 AM | by | Comment (1)

We have been there and you probably have been too, as there’s that situation when it’s time to go and you can’t find the gate agent. Well one airline wants to ensure it’s aware of the gate agents’ location at all times, as they’re hooking them up to a little bit of a tracking device.

Japan Airlines is teaming up with Nomura Research Institute to show off what they can do with an iBeacon and a smart watch. The test run is already underway, as they’re trying things out over at Tokyo-Haneda within Domestic Terminal 1.

Basically the gate area staff will be wearing the little electronic watches, and that way information about their location and work assignment can be sent back—in real time—over to the main office. The good news is that the airline is fully aware of an employee’s location at the airport at all times, but obviously the bad news is that the boss is always virtually following the employee around.

The whole point is that Japan Airlines wants to be able to solve problems and help out customers and travelers as soon as possible, so we guess this can help them do exactly that. We’re not sure if this is the next big thing in customer service at the airport, but we don’t think it can hurt.

[Photo: contri]

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Puzzled

I'm a bit confused as to why this is necessary. Is there anything task a gate agent does that doesn't require a computer? Couldn't this be done using log-in/log-out data from individual computers instead of Big Brother watches?

I guess an agent could sign-in and walk away from the computer. Doing that lets anyone passing by to access their network. If that's happening, JAL needs worry about their managers, not the gate agents.

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