"Please say your destination or flight number for connecting flight information and gate assignments." That was Ava. She's here to help you find your gate or direct you to the nearest restroom. Don't worry about your questions getting under Ava's skin—it's quarter-inch-thick Plexiglas.
Ava is an airport virtual assistant, a hologram designed to get you where you're going with minimal human contact.
Wish Ava luck. Three of her are headed to the New York City area. La Guardia, JFK and Newark Liberty airports handled a combined 106 million passenger-trips last year, making the region the busiest for air travel in the world.
The three airports were also recently ranked among five worst in the country by Travel + Leisure magazine.
The Port Authority of New York and New Jersey is renting the Avas at $180,000 each for the next six months. These avatars may not make the airports cleaner or keep your luggage from getting lost. But at least the next time you're flying out of the Big Apple you’ll have someone to talk to.
[The above text is an exact transcript of this podcast.]