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How Passpoint Delivers a Seamless Wi Fi Experience at Airports

How Passpoint Delivers a Seamless Wi-Fi Experience at Airports

NGH Travel And Hospitality

September 27, 2023

Passengers expect a hassle-free experience with connecting and accessing Wi-Fi on their devices from when they check in, right up to the departure gate. Seamless Wi-Fi services allow passengers to stay connected, check emails, access flight information, and use various travel apps, thus enhancing their overall airport experience.

Passengers at airports often experience long waiting times, and having access to the internet becomes paramount to keep them engaged. In addition, a reliable Wi-Fi network allows the airport to relay real-time updates about flight delays, gate changes, and baggage claims, thus reducing frustration and confusion among passengers. Therefore, the demand for a seamless Wi-Fi experience at airports has increased.

Lastly, a common pain point for passengers regarding airport Wi-Fi is the lack of security. Indeed, airport Wi-Fi is just as unsecure as any other public Wi-Fi implementation, leading to distrust among travellers in connecting to the airport Wi-Fi.

Current Challenges with Airport Wi-Fi

Here are some challenges people face with the Wi-Fi available at airports.

Complex login procedures: The first challenge is encountered at the first touch point where passengers interact with the login portal. The current state of Wi-Fi onboarding is one where passengers encounter complex login procedures and confusing captive portals, which results in difficulties in connecting to the network, leading to frustration. This also puts more pressure on the helpdesk staff, who get overburdened with resolving these issues while also tending to critical issues in airport operations.

Security concerns: Passengers express their concern with public Wi-Fi at Airports due to the following reasons:

  • Airport Wi-Fi networks are open and unsecured, meaning they do not require a password for connecting.
  • Lack of robust encryption protocols, allowing attackers to insert themselves between the passengers and the connection point and intercept the communications.
  • Attackers may also pose as the airport network itself by establishing rogue hotspots in what is called an “evil twin attack,” thus tricking passengers and infiltrating their devices.

Scalability: This poses yet another challenge, with the airport network being able to onboard heavy traffic without disrupting it during rush hours.

Meeting Compliances: Any Wi-Fi solution must comply with the regulatory environment, which includes data privacy laws such as GDPR and CDR/IDPR log management.
Finally, as airports are incorporating a technology-focused approach to all areas of operation, they understand the need to collect valuable data from which they can extract actionable insights. Data that can improve the user experience and operations and provide new monetization streams.

How NGH Tackles the Problems Encountered with Traditional Wi-Fi?

HSC’s Next Generation Hotspot (NGH) is a leading managed Wi-Fi platform that uses Passpoint™ to simplify the login process and improve network security. Passpoint™ is a Wi-Fi standard that allows devices to automatically connect to trusted Wi-Fi networks without having to enter a username or password. This makes it much easier for passengers to connect to the Wi-Fi network at the airport. NGH can integrate easily with the existing network infrastructure at airports, automatically connecting users across networks with a one-time authentication.

Let us break down what that means in the context of the airport Wi-Fi experience. A passenger can connect to the Wi-Fi network at their source through a simple login process consisting of device-based authentication, which creates a unique and locally stored profile. When they land at their destination airport, they will find that they are automatically connected to the new network and do not have to repeat the onboarding process. Hence, NGH facilitates an improved guest experience for travelers with an “always on, always connected” Wi-Fi experience.

NGH also uses WPA2/WPA3 enterprise security to improve network security. WPA2/WPA3 is a set of security protocols protecting Wi-Fi networks from cyberattacks through enhanced authentication and encryption.

1. An Improved Travelling Experience

In addition to improving the security and convenience of Wi-Fi, NGH also provides a number of features that can improve the passenger experience at the airport.

Location-based alerts and notifications:

NGH leverages the location or proximity-based data from the network’s access points, providing the approximate whereabouts of all connected passengers at all areas inside the airport. This data can be leveraged to push location-based alerts and notifications to users’ devices, providing them with useful information such as flight delays or gate changes.

Proximity Engagement:

Businesses operating within the airport can also leverage this feature. For example, travelers can receive prompts to access the digital menu or see the day’s value meals at restaurants near the food court. Similarly, they can get notified about lounge access when they are near the international lounges, forming a great value-add for business travelers.

Voucher Management:

On the other hand, this feature allows foreign travelers, who may not have a local SIM card to onboard easily onto the network and avail of the same benefits.
An improved guest experience for passengers directly translates into improved satisfaction, allowing them to access their boarding passes on their phones, check into their hotels remotely, and access kiosks, lounges, and other remote services the airport provides.

Thus, tapping into this customer demand for easily accessible connectivity improves customer loyalty. A loyalty driven by improved user engagement & retention and increased trust and confidence in the airport services.

2. Business Value-Add: Leveraging Analytics and Additional Monetization Streams

NGH provides airports with valuable insights into passenger behavior and preferences. This information can be used to improve the passenger experience, optimize airport operations, and generate additional revenue.

  • Analytics offer insights into areas of congestion and help optimize passenger flow, allowing airport authorities to reconfigure security checkpoints, seating arrangements, and other areas to reduce bottlenecks.
  • Dwell time analytics allow airport management to gain insights into passenger behavior and preferences, which can be used to improve pathfinding and push proximity-based offers and alerts to travelers.
  • Passenger behavior insights also enable strategic advertising and promotional materials placement throughout the airport.
  • Heatmaps allow for monitoring the crowd density in various areas, which can be used to make decisions about capacity planning, staffing, and crowd management during peak hours.

NGH also allows airports to introduce tiered pricing plans for Wi-Fi services. This will enable airports to generate additional revenue from Wi-Fi while still providing a good value for passengers.

For example, domestic travellers who check in just in time can be offered limited data for a limited time, whereas international travellers or those who face long layovers for connecting flights would have higher data requirements, and hence can be charged for data usage. Hence, plan management allows the airport to introduce tiered pricing plans for their Wi-Fi services, resulting in additional monetization streams.


NGH is a powerful Wi-Fi platform that can help airports improve the passenger experience, reduce operational costs, and generate additional revenue.

As airports continue to explore and integrate technology solutions into their business processes, hotspot standards such as Passpoint™ will continue to evolve and empower airports with better and more actionable data.

As we roll out NGH to even more airports worldwide, we gain a deeper understanding of the unique challenges and opportunities that airport operations bring and how we can be a part of the ongoing journey and provide the most value from what you do every day.

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