We’ve noticed this being talked about in a couple of places, and while we know that there are a large number of large airlines utilizing beacon deployments at airports (United, American, Virgin this, Virgin that, several Asian carriers), this is a bit of a novel idea that goes beyond the simple, “Please head to the gate, we’re boarding now” use case.
Rumor has it they are making gobs of money using this system, too.
Another application area for the iBeacon project is to provide Lufthansa Economy Class customers to upgrade to Business Class. It has already been implemented in short and medium-haul flights and is being tested on five long-haul flights. To avoid bombarding the customers, the company is making sure that the offers are only presented to users who could potentially be interested in it. This is achieved by connecting customers previous history and preferences.
Lufthansa is not the first airline to maximize user experience via in airport beacons – Virgin Atlantic was one of the pioneers of the technology at Heathrow, but it was limited to upper class passengers only.