New JFK T6 Taking Digital-First, Screen-Led Approach To Passenger Experience

February 14, 2024 by Dave Haynes

The travel retail trade publication TRBusiness has an interesting post up about the digital-first plan for the new Terminal 6 at JFK airport in the New York area – noting how information screens are fundamental to the travel experience in the new design.

The $5B terminal will open its first phase in two years and is targeted to be fully open by 2028.

Renderings of the new terminal’s check-in area suggests T6 will follow the recent trend at airports of having long, wide ribbons of displays that relay information and allow the operators to switch information out – like airline check-in assignments – with ease.

Sammy Patel, VP Commercial for operator Vantage Airport Group, told the publication that digitizing wayfinding is also critical.

“Something I moan about all the time is information screens. Why is it still the same?” A new approach has the potential to maximize dwell time and subsequent spend. 

“Screens don’t normally tell you how long you have until you actually have to go. It doesn’t tell you how far your gate is or how long it’s going to take you.

“We’ll install similar technology which has already been very successful where we’ve got this traffic light system. When it’s red and flashing, it’s time to go. When it’s yellow you’ve got some time but watch out and we’ll keep you updated. If it’s green, you’ve got ample time.”

He continued: “We’re making it as easy as possible to see that [information] and make the offer available to them. Reduce what I call barriers to entry and really drive penetration to those units.

“Then hopefully we’re going to find great operators who can convert them once we’ve done our job.” 

The tone of the piece suggests that the operating partners are still working out who will be their technology partners. Lead times on airport builds are loooong, so I suspect conversations have already started with display and software providers, and maybe, but not likely, with creative teams.

From my perspective, if you really want to see how digital signage solutions and data integration are fully and nicely applied, look to new and renovated airports. And smart airline operators like Delta.

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