Wireless web raises questions for airport spending

US. The increasing availability of wireless LAN access in airports could be having an impact on how passengers use their time and on concession revenues, despite the current lack of data on the subject. The Wireless Airports Conference in Washington DC last November was one of the first forums to consider the passenger service benefits and the commercial impact of travellers spending time on Internet access.

“There will be an impact,” claimed Joe Anderson concessions and business development manager at Minneapolis-St Paul airport speaking to Airport Revenue News. “If you give the passenger the convenience they want, are you in fact shooting yourself in the foot from a revenue standpoint?” said Anderson. With wireless usage at a low level, even in those airports that have WiFi access, most consultants believe the impact will be minimal.

Concessionaires also have access to WiFi networks and can benefit from whatever real time ordering systems, financial or other point-of-sale applications they choose to deploy. “We are leveraging the wireless LAN in that regard,” commented Concourse Communications Group senior vice president Dick Snyder.

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