Virgin Atlantic Wants Glass to Help Check


Virgin Atlantic airlines is still interested in using Google Glass (and other wearables) to improve its customers' experience, and the check-in process is a likely place as its testing continues.


David Bulman, Virgin's CIO, told Marketing Magazine that the airline will open up its Glass testing to the general check-in process for all passengers:


'We are going to start with Google Glass, but we are trialling a number of different glasses.


'We're trialling apps that allow [staff] to take a picture of your passport, which then works with our systems to find your booking and other information.


'We have done trials with printers that sit on people's belts, so that we can print off boarding passes.'


The airline tested Glass early this year, but just with its upper-end passengers at London's Heathrow Airport. The company said that trial was a success, and now Virgin Atlantic customers of all stripes - upper-end or not - may see customer service staff wearing Glass.


Big Cities/Airports Only?

Where will this expanded testing happen?


In a separate interview, Virgin's CEO, Richard Kreeger, told Skift.com that Glass may end up only in those bigger airports with premium customer service options.


We do plan to go into production with the Google Glass experiment. I don't know if it will ever be in many locations but in some of our bigger locations where we have premium service specifically. Having information available to our people so they don't have to go around behind a desk to look, and to be able to deliver that information to customers will allow them to be much more with the customer instead of being separated by a computer terminal.


We tried a number of things. We tried watch technology. We tried the glasses. But once our team got used to how to do it quickly it turned out that the customer liked it [Google Glass] and our people liked it.


Virgin doesn't operate in a lot of cities, so it sounds like, even as the Glass trial expands, it may still be very limited in the general sense of the word.


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