Projects: Boarding Pass-Driven Wayfinding At Logan Airport

May 17, 2014 by Dave Haynes


I sat in on a nice presentation the other day that showed how Logan Airport in Boston has nicely thought through the challenges of wayfinding in big bustling airports, and built some well-established technology into the solution.

The airport is rolling out interactive directories that let travelers find their gate on a map – as well as dining and shops along the way – by scanning their boarding pass. Walk up, scan your printed pass or smartphone screen, and up pops an animated route to the gate and suggestions on where to eat and shop along the way. The program started in Terminal C at the very end of 2013.

The program was put together by the Boston-area interactive company Art of Context (nice folks) and is powered by Four Winds Interactive’s platform.

What I found interesting is some of the analytics, as to when and where people were most predisposed to do directory look-ups. While the zone immediately past TSA screening would seem obvious, Logan is finding interactions are more likely at stations deeper into a terminal, possibly because people are still coming down after all the stuff associated with screening. I know I just want to get away from that area.

What was also interesting is that dining and drinks lookups dwarf that of look-ups for departure gates. My guess is that traditional wayfinding – big signs pointing the way to gates and marking each of them – does a pretty good job.

Interesting side note … I often go on and on about the importance of smaller companies in this sector finding a niche. The Art of Context guys do airports and while  Logan is in their backyard, they’re also working on one in Western Canada. Being known for vertical expertise is important. Being a generalist, when you’re small, can de deadly.

There’s more about the project in a piece posted in Airport Improvement magazine.

Leave a comment