KLM Introduces Augmented Reality Carry-On Baggage Size Check App
Passenger luggage problems are some of the most intractable when it comes to air travel. KLM hopes to simplify that through an augmented reality app that helps travelers check the sizes of their carry-on bags and determine whether the bags are small enough to be allowed into the plane’s cabin.
Typically, travelers determine the sizes of their carry-on bags by either measuring them at home or by cramming them into the measuring racks once they are at the airport terminals. Many will only be able to establish the carry-on bag size limitations when they are checking in and that can lead to some nasty surprises.
The KLM AR app does the work for you by measuring the dimensions of the carry-on bag so as to determine whether it will be too big or just the appropriate size for the cabin.
The augmented reality size check feature has been incorporated into the KLM smartphone app. The app enables airline passengers to focus their smartphone camera on a piece of luggage and to see a virtual and transparent KLM suitcase superimposed onto the real luggage so as to determine whether the actual luggage is the appropriate size. You will have to compare the sizes visually and determine if your luggage is within the permissible size limits. The KLM hand baggage check feature can be accessed via KLM’s app on iOS.
The app leverages Apple’s augmented reality technology to deliver a superb experience. KLM is one of the growing list of global airlines that are deploying augmented reality technology to enhance the customer experience. AR and VR are increasingly getting embedded into the airline digital experience. One of the most recent deployments was Emirates use of virtual reality in seat selection and Virgin Atlantic’s use of augmented reality in cabin crew training for its new B787 plane. Air New Zealand has also been working to create a fully self-contained holographic computer using the Microsoft HoloLens that will allow cabin crew to access all passenger details such as time served and flight details.
Carry-on luggage is generally a pain point for both airlines and travelers and the new AR innovation will hopefully alleviate some of the frustrations associated with handling the baggage during travel.
Size is also gaining greater importance at a time when many airlines are shrinking the sizes of the permissible carry-on luggage. Alaska Airlines and Virgin America, for example, have already reduced the dimensions for permissible carry-on luggage by 32% thereby creating more woes for travelers. In these airlines, the carry-on luggage must have maximum dimensions of 22 inches long, 14 inches high and 9 inches wide. United, American and Delta have also set similar size standards for carry-on luggage. It is an informal industry “standard” that is likely to pick on with other international airlines to the sorrow of many travelers who may want to carry larger baggage and more items on board.
The KLM app has been quite popular with millions of downloads of more than 100,000 active users. It also has a high usage rate with some 70% of its users logged in permanently into the app and using it multiple times in a month. The AR aspect has simply been incorporated into its rich set of existing features such as flight bookings and online check-in.
As innovations in these technologies continue to advance, we are likely going to see even more impressive deployments of these tools in digital service provision.