Heathrow Airport (LHR) terminals are beautiful, massive, and complex spaces. With the recent integration of blue dot technology into their industry-leading digital wayfinding experience, travelers can navigate and explore everything the airport offers with greater ease, precision, and accuracy than ever before.
As digital maps of outdoor spaces and navigation apps have become commonplace in our daily routines, most people are familiar with the recognizable “blue dot” – whether they know it by name. It’s the part of any mapping experience that says, “you are here, right now” and provides a map user with orientation and a starting point for their journey.
Paired with a high-fidelity digital map featuring detailed points of interest and point-to-point walking directions, indoor wayfinding technology has evolved to mimic – and even improve – the core concepts of those outdoor navigation apps we’re all familiar with.
The Complexities of Terminal Navigation
Heathrow Airport is busy, especially hub facilities and those serving heavily traveled routes. First-time fliers or people taking off for the first time since 2020 often find airports complicated or at least confusing. Even frequent fliers may search for airline gates or favorite stores and restaurants that might have relocated or closed. It’s not just the departure journey that leadership teams focus on – simplifying connections is a critical way to reduce stress on airline ground staff and passengers. Stephen Glenfield, London Heathrow’s Senior Digital Manager, identified this as a significant opportunity to positively influence passenger perception of the airport and airline while improving operational efficiency.
Catering to the passenger journey is a responsibility the airline and airport share. Airlines expect their airport partners to uphold a certain level of service to their customers and vice versa.
The team at Heathrow has been counting innovative passenger experience and efficiency wins since they began implementing Atrius maps in the airport terminals and on the Heathrow mobile app a few years ago. The new wayfinding experience opened pathways to better passenger data, increased ancillary revenue, and more collaboration with airline partners. As Heathrow’s implementation team started realizing early success with their app, they shifted focus toward making the indoor wayfinding experience even more accurate, valuable, and personalized for passengers.
The Solution – Improving the Passenger Experience Through Real-Time Data
Travelers through London Heathrow could already access a vast amount of relevant information about the space around them, from airport points of interest to departure or connection gates to individual airline services. When airport leaders brought their desire to continue innovating on the wayfinding experience to solutions engineers at Atrius, they identified blue dot technology as the last integral piece to their existing Atrius-powered digital wayfinding infrastructure.
Blue dot technology provides passengers the convenience of having a personalized guide, helping them traverse the airport, giving them peace of mind, and making their time at the airport enjoyable. Leadership at Heathrow knew the pinpoint accuracy and precision of the blue dot experience would be a significant value add for travelers and partnering airlines alike.
“With Blue Dot technology and experience catering to airports worldwide, Atrius is a trusted and valued partner in implementing airport wayfinding technology.”Stephen Glenfield, Senior Digital Manager at Heathrow Airport
Passengers don’t have to download the Heathrow app to gain value from it – Atrius pushes the data in real-time to partner airlines’ mobile apps, improving their ability to personalize services based on passenger profiles.
“It’s about reach. Getting this technology into passengers’ hands is critical to delivering a great service.”Stephen Glenfield, Senior Digital Manager at Heathrow Airport
With the data from Heathrow, airlines can create more unique touchpoints with their passengers. Airline apps can send push notifications to a first-class ticket holder’s phone with live walk times and step-by-step directions from their current location to the nearest premium lounge as soon as they enter the terminal. They can send digital coupons inviting passengers to enjoy discounted coffee at a frequented restaurant or display a list of kid-friendly restaurants to a mother who has checked herself and two children into an upcoming flight. These unique customer experiences are made possible by blue dot technology layered on top of an intuitive digital mapping platform.
The Results of Innovation
The implementation of blue dot technology has been a game-changer for Heathrow Airport. With the precision of blue dot & their existing Atrius wayfinding technology, leadership at Heathrow maintains a deep commitment to passenger experience and the airport’s position as one of the most innovative in the world.
“Passengers feel in control of their day of travel. They know the next steps of the journey and have real-time contextual content on accurate maps guiding them to take those next steps. Our digital maps personalize their wayfinding directly to their POIs or airport destinations.”Stephen Glenfield, Senior Digital Manager at Heathrow Airport
Heathrow’s leaders’ devotion to perfecting the Door-to-Gate journey has led to an airport full of passengers who feel in control of their day of travel. The wayfinding experience reduces questions (and stress); travelers know the next steps of their journey and have real-time guidance to help avoid congested areas, waiting in long restroom lines, or wasting time looking for a relocated restaurant. Heathrow is exceeding customer expectations today and establishing a framework to continue building on an innovative wayfinding platform for years to come.