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Streamlining Airport Lounge Management with Virtual Queues

by Qtrac

Airports are associated with unpleasant wait times and layovers that are, to say the least, lackluster. Airport lounges solve that problem for many, offering passengers a range of amenities promoting a peaceful wait, from comfortable seating and workspaces to wellness services and priority services, such as boarding privileges.

If you manage an airport lounge, you know how valuable these elevated waiting environments can be. You also know that, sometimes, lounges can be overcrowded or difficult for paying customers to access.

We get it. Maintaining a top-tier, luxe environment is hard—especially at an airport, where shifting flight schedules make gauging demand for lounge services difficult.

Fortunately, there’s a fix. Virtual queues can help you level up your airport lounge and reduce stress for everyone involved.

What Is a Virtual Queue?

A virtual queue allows customers to check in to a digital line remotely instead of needing to arrive at a physical location and stand in line personally. Once checked in, a customer can complete errands, take a stroll, or wait somewhere comfortable. They’ll receive notifications about their place in line, including a notification when it’s their turn for service.

Digitizing the traditional in-person queue has several benefits. For one, locations that implement virtual queues don’t have long lines of frustrated customers snaking around already-crowded lobbies.

For another, virtual queue systems can send customers notifications and other relevant questions and reminders, which helps engage customers and prepare everyone involved for more efficient, effective service.

While the idea of a virtual queue can sound complicated, the reality is this: With a virtual queue, you’re leveraging tech that airport visitors already use.

To set up and use virtual queues in your airport, you might use self-service kiosks, online reservation systems, mobile apps, digital signage, QR codes, or text notification systems. You can integrate your queue with chatbots, loyalty programs, and other platforms and services you already have, so your overall customer experience is cohesive and intuitive for people visiting your airport.

But does this great-on-paper technology work in practice?

The Effects of Virtual Queues in Airports and Airport Lounge Management

Virtual queues, when appropriately installed in airport environments, can enable:

  • Decreased waiting times at check-in counters
  • Improved flow and reduced congestion at security checkpoints
  • Streamlined passport, customs, and immigration procedures
  • Boarding processes that include helpful, updated information for travelers
  • Seamless entry into airport lounges because virtual queues can allow customers to check in ahead of time to reserve airport lounge space or amenities
  • Reduced waiting times at retail stores and restaurants within airports
  • Efficient baggage drop-off procedures
  • Reduced airport congestion and improved operational efficiency from terminal A to terminal Z

But this isn’t theoretical—we’ve seen it happen.

Let’s zero in on the impact of just one virtual queueing use case: mobile flight check-in.

The Power of Mobile Flight Check-In

Allowing passengers to check in for their flights anytime and anywhere from their smartphones is convenient, saves time, and erases myriad potential issues before they happen. Mobile flight check-in creates a pretravel touchpoint with the passenger, allowing the airline to provide them with relevant updates and timely information. This helps travelers remain informed about their travel plans and aware of any itinerary changes as they happen.

Mobile flight check-in also eliminates the need for printed paper tickets and gives passengers added control over their travel. If they want to make last-minute changes or select their preferred in-flight seats, they can with just a few taps on their phones.

These benefits smooth out many wrinkles traditionally associated with travel. And, psychologically, giving passengers control and convenience wherever possible improves their airport experience and helps establish customer loyalty.

Perhaps because of these benefits, we’re seeing more and more people using mobile check-in or other self-service options.

But it’s not just a win for the passengers themselves. Mobile check-in makes life easier for airport staff too. And, when travelers have an outstanding customer experience at an airport, they’re more likely to stop at restaurants or check out amenities, such as your airport lounge.

Advantages of Virtual Queues for Airport Lounge Capacity Management

Your airport lounge is an elevated oasis, a calm respite for tired travelers—a place where they can sit, rest, recharge, and work in the middle of a busy day.

At least, that’s how it works in an ideal world.

Sometimes, airport lounges get overcrowded. Sometimes, there’s an unexpected wait to get in. Sometimes, unexpected crowds leave food and drink offerings more depleted than expected.

For paying customers who just want a quiet moment and a cool drink, any of these obstacles can seriously hamper their airport lounge experience. Airport lounge managers know this and do everything possible to achieve maximum operational efficiency. But airport lounges, by their very nature, are difficult to manage. For one thing, it’s hard to predict demand for lounge space and services when airlines constantly shuffle their flight schedules.

Implementing virtual queue tech in your airport lounge to streamline lounge reservations and make in-lounge orders easy can result in:

  • Reduced lounge queues
  • Minimized lounge congestion
  • More effortless check-in and reservation procedures, including the ability to allow passengers to check in for their lounge time in advance and proceed directly to a comfortable seat upon arrival
  • Advance notice to lounge staff about passenger lounge usage
  • Real-time notifications to passengers and staff about service needs and updates, including when their orders or reservations are ready
  • Valuable insights on lounge utilization, including peak usage times and customer preferences
  • Increased revenue potential through the ability to offer premium lounge services, service upgrades, or other add-ons to travelers while they wait in the virtual queue
  • Enhanced lounge reputation and awareness by aligning the customer experience with their expectations and preferences
  • The ability to adapt lounge capacity and capabilities to changing flight schedules and passenger demand in real time

Deploying these airport lounge management strategies can result in a better perception of your offerings and more use of your amenities.

And, fortunately, accessing these benefits is easier than you think.

Ready for Airport Lounge Management, Reimagined? Start Here

Feel like the way you manage your airport lounge could be taken up a notch?

Qtrac is here to help make the airport lounge experience seamless—and we’ve been doing it for decades. Qtrac’s virtual queuing magic is powered by Lavi Industries, an industry expert in airport queue management. Our team has overseen reduced friction and improved customer service at airports nationwide.

We’ve also helped streamline contractor badging, which increases the efficiency and security of daily airport operations and further fuels a calmer, more effective airport environment for a facility’s team and passengers alike.

To learn more, check out a demo or reach out to our friendly team; we’re excited to chat about how Qtrac can make airport lounge management easier and more effective for you. In the meantime, check out our guide to recognizing and avoiding the hidden costs of virtual queues.

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