Japan Airlines unveils a first by using iBeacons to track their staff

Japan Airlines are demonstrating a clear focus around technology, and how it can shape passenger experience. Their latest innovation has seen them installing iBeacons at each airport boarding gate, in addition to the introduction of staff wearing smartwatches.

The iBeacons, which work by using Bluetooth Low Energy and geofencing, have been installed at each boarding gate within Tokyo Haneda airport’s terminal one. Their purpose will be to pinpoint the boarding gate staff, which in turn will mean staff can be directed to specific desks, as well as being assigned necessary tasks. Japan airlines announced that ‘the information of each staff’s location and the whole assignment can be simultaneously mastered by controller desk in back office’.

Japan airlines hopes that this approach will improve passenger experience by speeding up the pace in which customers are assisted.

In addition to the iBeacons, Samsung Galaxy smartwatches are currently being worn by all airport staff members. The watches will allow employees to discuss, and share relevant operating information.


The introduction of the new technology is part of a one month trial, and whilst it is not the first time airlines have introduced the use of iBeacons, it is the first time an airline has used them to track staff.

What do you make of the new tracking systems?  Are smartwatches and iBeacons worth the airline’s extra money?

AirXperience Europe 2014