Navigating Asia’s airports using mobile apps: Not until operators offer reasonable roaming

Posted on September 20, 2011  /  1 Comments

The US has hundreds of airports. My country has one. I know where things are at that airport, I don’t need apps to guide me. What I’d like to know is where things are in the Asian airports that I frequent, like the maze that goes by the name of Suvannabhoomi or the upstairs section of Terminal 3 in New Delhi. Most likely some kind soul will soon come up with a nice mobile app that I can use to find a decent place to eat or buy a book or whatever. But until the region’s operators see the sense of reasonable roaming rates, the service will not catch, with everyone scared to use their roaming phones other than for absolutely urgent matters.

In the meantime, those using US airports will look to their mobiles for advice on where to find good food.

Clear Channel Airports, which operates advertising displays in terminals, has introduced FLYSmart, a free mobile app available in nearly three dozen airports that provides maps and guides to restaurants, shops and other services on mobile devices.

The app addresses “the issue of gate huggers, allowing them to move beyond their comfort zone,” said Ryan Kovalchick, the company’s information technology chief.

SSP, meanwhile, is testing various mobile applications. These will enable customers to preorder food from airport restaurants, pay in advance and then pick up the order or sit down for a meal in the terminal. SSP is also testing a mobile app for those whose strategy of dealing with travel stress includes a connection at the saloon.

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