There are twelve information counters at Haneda Airport’s Domestic Terminals 1 and 2 (six in Terminal 1 and six in Terminal 2). Also, our information staff, known as airport concierges, are readily available in various areas, such as near the stores and escalators in the departures floor and arrivals floor, ready to provide information to customers. In addition, Terminal 1 has a central information office, known as the Information Center, which is capable of responding to telephone inquiries. Haneda Airport’s domestic terminals cover a wide area and are used by a great variety of customers. Hence, information provision is one of our company’s most important services. Here we shall introduce you to Haneda Airport’s information services, based on interviews with members of ground staff.
Information Services Summary
Information counters provide different services depending on their location. In addition to providing general customer information, information counters sell travel insurance, as well as JR train and bus tickets. Hence, different information counters can have different numbers of staff and opening hours depending on the services they provide.
The information counters on the departure floor are open from 5.30am to 8.00pm to match the departure flights, with each counter serving an average of 30 customers an hour, approximately 500 customers per day. The information counters on the arrivals floor often tend to be busier than other information counters, as they also sell bus tickets. At peak times, they serve over 200 customers an hour, approximately 2,500 customers per day. Given the nature of airports, the information counters also serve overseas customers. In particular, they receive large numbers of inquiries in English, Chinese, and Korean. Inquiries in languages other than in English are dealt with by the staff using a translation app.
Inquiries from Japanese customers are primarily about airline boarding procedures, boarding gates, transfers between terminals, and location of smoking areas. In addition, information counters receive a large number of inquiries about the products sold at airport stores. Inquiries from overseas customers tend to center around use of the terminals and ways of accessing the city, whereas information about building facilities, and the like, is generally provided by the airport concierges.
We optimize the delivery of our information services by using tablets, in order to save our customers’ time. Although our staff are able to respond to inquiries about our facilities, when dealing with very detailed inquiries, our information staff can use their tablets to search for documents stored on the cloud. Moreover, if the information is not available within our company’s documentation, the tablets allow them to perform searches on the Internet.
When dealing with customers in a language other than English, our staff uses a translation app; and when dealing with customers with hearing disabilities, they use an app that allows written communication. In addition, our company has implemented its own information desk app that allows staff to communicate with the Information Center for special callouts, such as announcements for lost children, and the like. Moreover, we have implemented an emergency notification app designed to send out emergency notifications, which also allows staff to share information such as closing times for stores, ATMs, and more.
Expectations of the Robot Implementation
Our information services deal with a wide variety of tasks, including customer inquiries, as well as travel insurance sales, ticket arrangements, telephone inquiries, and more. Hence, customers are sometimes required to wait before being served. In particular, if robots were able to deal with requests for directions during busy periods, the service would become much more convenient to use, thereby improving the overall quality of Haneda Airport’s information services. We expect that the languages needed for these services will be Japanese, English, Chinese, and Korean.