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DFW Airport taps Microsoft Tags to offer incentives from concessions

Holiday travelers at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport can take a picture of Microsoft Tags on signs around the terminal to receive special offers from nearby concessionaires such as Dunkin’ Donuts and Starbucks.

With more passengers using smart devices inside the terminal, DFW decided to use location-based services for mobile to enhance the travel experience for DFW passengers.

“We put together signage and some holiday décor around the terminal that has Microsoft Tags on it,” said David Magana, senior manager of public affairs for the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport, Dallas, TX.

“Passengers can snap a picture of the tag and it knows where you are and is going to present you with deals in the area of where you are,” he said.

“It is a gift to our travelers. It also puts information in the hands of passengers who are in their smartphones anyway.”

Nearby destinations
The Microsoft Tags strategy follows DFW’s launch of Check-In Program in August. That program offers concessions discounts for passengers who check-in via foursquare or Facebook and has garnered 7,000 redemptions so far.

DFW’s research shows that about 85 percent of its passengers use smartphones and, of those, 35 percent use foursquare and Facebook to check-in.

DFW also recently updated its mobile site to include real-time parking availability information.

The goal of these mobile initiatives is to provide passengers with information about services inside the terminal that may not be readily apparent from the gate area.

For the Microsoft Tags programs, holiday-themed signs with Microsoft Tags on them have been placed in parking garages, throughout the terminal gate areas and on Skylink people mover cars. One of the more visible executions is several large holiday gift boxes gate areas.

Mobile users can take a picture of the 2D bar codes using a Microsoft Tag reader and receive deals such as 20 percent of a purchase at a nearby retailer or 10 percent off a food order at one of the restaurants in the area.

Approximately 50 stores are participating in the Microsoft Tag program, including Starbucks, Au Bon Pain and Dunkin’ Donuts.

The Microsoft Tag program runs through the end of the year.

“Retail is a big focus for us,” Mr. Magana said.

“Passengers, in this day and age of flying, no longer have to ability to get to the airport 20 minutes before a flight,” he said. “Passengers tend to have a little bit more time in the terminals and we see them using their smartphones during this time.”

Final Take
Chantal Tode is associate editor on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York