We regularly read of airlines that ‘lose’ passengers – the elderly or the very young. Notwithstanding the airlines charging considerable sums to escort minors in particular, they occasionally end up lost somewhere. That is (or certainly should be) bothersome for the airline, and stressful for the passenger and their family.
Air NZ have come up with an excellent idea, currently only for unaccompanied minors, but conceivably something that could be extended to other ‘vulnerable’ travelers too. The child is given a wristband, which is scanned at four points on the child’s journey, and each scan result is sent via text message to up to five nominated contacts.
The points are when the child checks in, when boarding the flight, after the flight has landed and the child is handed over to ground staff, and when the child is handed over to a designated person and leaves the airline’s care.
Air NZ will charge US$10 for their service on domestic NZ flights, and US$30 for international flights if the service is prebooked, and $30/$60 if arranged at the airport on the day of travel. Fees are each way, not roundtrip.
You might think this to be double-dipping – first they charge a massive unaccompanied minor fee for ostensibly looking after the child anyway, and now are mandating a second fee for the airband service. And you might be right. But it is a great new service.
Reproduced by permission from Source Article copyright ITIJ.