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Wired: The Software to Make Airports Less Miserable Finally Hits the US

Terminal 4 at John F. Kennedy International Airport was recently featured on Wired.com for being the first airport terminal in the U.S. to implement innovative forecasting software that will ease passenger wait times and improve the travel experience for T4’s 20 million annual passengers.

Wired’s Jack Stewart covered the story:

MAKE SURE YOU get to the airport a couple of hours before your flight, OK? Oh it’s international? Make that three hours. And on a holiday? Might as well go the night before and bring your sleeping bag.

After all, you never know just how messed up the airport’s going to be. Each stage of the convoluted process (parking, check-in, security, boarding, baggage, customs and immigration, and even waiting in a line for coffee) can push you past your boarding time. On a good day, you can get through it all in 20 minutes, just to while away the hours in a plastic chair, nursing a crappy meal that cost too much money.

There’s hope for a more efficient future. Airport operators are starting to use the predictive power of software to monitor and forecast passenger numbers, so they can deploy enough agents, screeners, and other staff at the right times, to get everyone through as quickly as possible. That technology has now reached American shores: New York’s JFK Airport is the first in the US to go live with an Operational Terminal Prediction tool to try to gain that extra efficiency.

The software, called Beontra, is now running at JFK’s Terminal 4, home to 32 airlines and 20 million annual travelers.

Beontra grabs data on flight operations and delays from the Airport Operational Database, which also includes passenger data. Airlines can opt to feed it info directly too: Delta, for example, tells the system when it changes up it schedules. For those that don’t help out, Beontra can pull the info from online sources.

The full article can be found by clicking here.

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