Last updated: 09:00 PM ET, Sat September 10 2016

Lost In Las Vegas' McCarran Airport? American Airlines Has An App For That.

Travel Technology | Paul Thompson | September 10, 2016

Lost In Las Vegas' McCarran Airport? American Airlines Has An App For That.

At the Future Travel Experience expo in Las Vegas this week, American Airlines announced it had rolled out Apple’s Core location-based “Blue Dot” technology for users of its smart phone app at McCarran Airport in Las Vegas, joining a handful of others around the country.

Blue Dot not only helps passengers locate themselves within the airport, it is also searchable, so passengers can find the nearest restroom, shop, or perhaps a restaurant or bar to wait out their layover. One great feature is its ability to estimate your walking time to your destination, much like you would find on Google Maps when walking around a city.

“As the largest airline in world carrying more than 200 million customers a year – some of them seasoned travelers and others who only fly occasionally –  Blue Dot allows American to give every type of customer the information they need, when they need it,” said Phil Easter, who leads the mobility team American Airlines.  “With Blue Dot, we can give customers turn-by-turn directions from their current location to their gate, the nearest Admiral’s Club Lounge or let them search for shops and restaurants within the airport. We’re excited the feature is now available at Las Vegas’ McCarron airport and hope to add Blue Dot to more locations in the future.”

READ MORE: 10 Of The Best Travel Tech Gadgets Featured At CES 2016

I see this app as particularly handy for foreign travelers or people who fly infrequently, because air travel can be an intimidating process, what with all of the regimented security screening and the often confusing boarding queues. Passengers will grasp for any sense of relief from that stress. That has been a big focus of this conference, and I’ll have more for you on that in the coming days.

The Core technology uses Wi-Fi within the airport to triangulate the user’s location. American says the app can pinpoint the user’s location to within a few meters. The app could potentially boost retail business in airports, because travelers unfamiliar with certain airports will often go straight to their gate because they just want to find it, unaware that they have some free time to roam around. By knowing how far away from their gate they are, and how long it will take to walk, this removes the burden of uncertainty for the passenger.

Apple Core - Baltimore? Not quite yet, But the spiffy tech can be also found at Chicago O’Hare (ORD), Los Angeles (LAX), Miami (MIA), Phoenix (PHX), and San Jose (SJC). American also offers searchable location without the Blue Dot at Atlanta Hartsfield Jackson (ATL), Boston Logan (BOS), Charlotte Douglas (CLT), Dallas Fort Worth (DFW), Houston George Bush Intercontinental  (IAH), New York Kennedy (JFK), New York LaGuardia (LGA), Orlando (MCO), Philadelphia (PHL), and Washington Reagan (DCA).


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