Air France innovations help take the stress out of travel

February 19, 2019
Air france app
Air France is using technology to take some of the stress out of travel. Photo: Air France

Air France passengers nervous about missing their flight can now get a helping hand from the airline’s upgraded app.

The French carrier is offering a function on its app that allows passengers to plan their commute time from their location in a city to the airport.

The function operates in real-time and covers different transport modes, including car travel and public transport.

It is one of several upgrades, including an ability to more quickly enter passport details by scanning them, aimed at making life easier for customers.

A customer simply clicks on a “scan passport” pictogram then places the passport in a specified field to upload the data.

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Other functions include a guided airport tour that automatically offers a map to passengers indicating how to get to their boarding gate, real-time baggage tracking as well as the addition of Google Pay and Apple Pay as payment methods when buying a ticket.

The baggage tracking function sends each customer a notification of the whereabouts of their baggage throughout their trip and the number of the baggage carousel from which it can be collected in the arrivals hall.

Air France is one of a number of carriers testing facial recognition at baggage drop-off points and boarding gates to speed up the airport journey.

Customers who scan their passports at an airport self-service kiosk will receive a biometric pass with their encrypted facial data from their ID photo.

“When dropping off their baggage or at boarding, the customer will simply scan their boarding pass and a camera will identify and authenticate the passenger using facial recognition,’’ the airline said.

“ In a few months’ time, the matching of the customer’s biometric data and the image will authorize the passenger to drop off their baggage and proceed to boarding.”

And a new chatbot called Lea is now available to Air France customers facing flight disruptions.

Available in French and English, lea offers up-to-date information on flights and, depending on the disruptions, sends passengers information on proposed accommodation, flight delays or cancellation certificates or vouchers for meals, transport and the like.

The meal voucher can be used directly as payment with partners.