No matter how many flights I have under my belt, my first stop after getting through security is still my assigned gate. I want to see it. I want to make sure that it’s still there. And deep down, as crazy as it sounds, I would love to shout at the gate and say “I’m here! Don’t leave without me!” before heading off to grab my pre-flight Mountain Dew and Sour Patch Kids.

Location and proximity are very important pieces of information during the travel experience, both for travelers and suppliers. On the day of travel, travelers want an airline to know where they are in the same way that airlines want to know where all their travelers are.

In Sabre Labs, we have started exploring and testing solutions that could help airlines, airports, and other travel-related companies use location and proximity services to provide intelligent, predictive, and personalized services to travelers. These services would be opt-in by the traveler and enabled via services embedded in the mobile applications they already use during their travel experience.

During our current exploration, we’ve been utilizing AT&T’s newly enhanced Location Information Services (LIS) Hybrid to determine when a traveler has:

1) Entered a five-mile radius of the airport

2) Entered an airport terminal

3) Passed through security

4) Arrived at the assigned gate

We think these four stages are a great starting point that could allow airlines to better serve and communicate with their travelers. A combination of automated and personal interactions could guide the traveler efficiently to the gate by suggesting parking, security lines options, and indoor directions to the gate. The traveler benefits by the saved time but also by potential offers and overall increased service by the airline.

Most importantly, it has the potential to keep people like me from shouting crazy things at airport gates on a regular basis.

How do you think location and proximity services could enhance your travel experience?