Is London’s Gatwick serving Happy Hormones?

March 9, 2016 by · Leave a Comment 

We all know that sluggish tiredness we feel when we’re traveling. Our agitation seems inexplicable when all we’ve really done is walk a bit and sit a while. The problem is chemical, specifically low levels of dopamine and serotonin in our brains.

Gatwick Airport north terminalIn order to help demystify the grumpiness of its travelers, says an August 2015 CNN story, London’s Gatwick Airport hired nutritionist Jo Travers to help restaurants there create meals designed to help travelers boost their levels of dopamine and serotonin so that they feel happier.

Travers explained to CNN that there are “certain foods that will keep the ‘happy’ chemicals in your brain flowing. Low levels [of dopamine and serotonin] can cause fatigue.”
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Gatwick Airport Tests Hi-Tech Security and Passenger Technology

August 12, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Remember how impressed you were the first time you saw an airport faucet that turned on automatically when you waved your hand in front of them? (Don’t pretend you weren’t!)

It’s almost shocking how far airports have come technologically since then. Case in point: Gatwick Airport’s chief information officer, Michael Ibbitson, recently told about the new technology that’s not just wowing passengers, but also streamlining the passenger experience and making travel safer for everyone. Let’s take a look at some of the technological advances Gatwick has made.

Speeding Up Bag Check

English: Gatwick South Terminal Zone K check-i...

Gatwick South Terminal Zone K check-in concourse (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Automated bag check and check-in are technologies well on their way to mass adoption at this point, but Gatwick is aiming to make them more efficient than ever.

EasyJet has been testing a bag drop system fueled by Phase 5 Technology at its Gatwick hub. According to Ibbitson, the average passenger took 76 seconds to process — the goal is to get passengers through in 45 — so they’re tweaking the system, working toward maximum efficiency.

Automated Security

One of the major headaches of air travel, no matter how far you’re traveling, is getting through security. Gatwick is attempting to make security checkpoints smoother by automating them — the systems installed in 2012 have cut wait time to an average of a mere 107 seconds — and installing Security Max lanes that will enable even more passengers to prepare for the checkpoint at once.

Iris Scanning Technology

The wildest technology we read about: Biometrics as a single passenger token. The gist is that when you check in at the airport and drop your bag off, a machine also scans your iris — an identity marker that’s almost impossible to forfeit — and all your passenger information, from baggage tracking to your passport and boarding pass, is encoded into the scan.

A single scan of your iris is all it takes to move you through the rest of the travel process throughout the airport — and even at your destination.

According to the Future Travel Experience post, this technology is well within reach — it’s the widespread implementation of the technology at airports worldwide that will take some time.

What technology would you most like to see implemented in your favorite airport? The sky’s the limit, so they say — leave a comment with your loftiest technology dreams.

Gatwick Airport Adopts Google Indoor Streetview

May 8, 2014 by · Leave a Comment 

Gatwick Airport, the second largest airport in the UK, now allows visitors to take a tour on the inside of the airport before you even arrive. Thanks to Google Indoor Streetview, passengers can take a virtual tour of the North and South terminals of the airport, making it the largest indoor map used in Europe.

English: Gatwick's North Terminal building and...

English: Gatwick’s North Terminal building and transit station (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

We all can get lost in new airports and constantly have to try to find out where we are going using signs and maps. In Gatwick Airport, you can now use the indoor map which was stitched together from 2,000 images. Using your desktop browser, your smartphone, or tablet, you can access the services from Google Maps website or app or from the Gatwick Airport website.

The map can take you to key areas of interest like restrooms, shops, restaurants, and information hubs. Once inside the airport — actually inside it, not virtually inside — you can use the virtual maps to navigate your way around, rather than traditional ones.

The Chief Information Officer at Gatwick Airport reported that this is the latest technological development to help improve travelers’ experience at the airport. One advancement we’ve already thought of is being able to use the map to route you to your gate. That way, you could follow your path to your gate without getting confused by a new map and territory. We’ll have to wait and see what Google and Gatwick are able to come up with, and whether these maps will make it over to airports in America.