Lufthansa introduced their newest ‘hire’ today in Munich when it unleashed ‘Josie Pepper’ in Terminal 2 to help arriving passengers. Coming in at just under 4 feet tall, she is Lufthansa’s newest powerhouse designed to help passengers find their way around the ‘airside’ part of Terminal 2. Whether it’s help finding a lounge, a partcular restaurant, or help in finding a gate, Josie’s sole objective is to make sure passengers get the answers they need.
Josie is an English-speaking marvel designed jointly by Lufthansa and Munich Airport and is their first foray into introducing ‘Artificially Intelligent Robots’ into an airport environment. For Josie’s first few weeks on the job, she’ll focus primarily on passengers that are transiting between the main terminal and the new satellite terminal. These first weeks will gauge her effectiveness and will give LH and MUC a chance to gather feedback from the public that interacts with her.
According to LH, ‘Josie’ is not a simple computer that recognizes generic questions and replies with pre-formatted answers. In fact, she is a product of the IBM Watson platform and is capable of learning as she goes, and can interact with passengers far beyond answering basic questions. In fact, Josie is expected to get smarter and smarter the longer that she stays on duty in the Terminal.
Here’s a short video courtesy of Munich and Lufthansa that shows Josie in action……
I’d be curious to hear any feedback from anyone that asked her for help…….
Lufthansa announced that it has begun what it refers to as expedited security screening for certain flights that depart from Munich at certain times of the day.
Specifically, the new program called ‘Smart Depart’ creates an expedited security process for flights departing Munich for Berlin, Dusseldorf, Hamburg, and Frankfurt during peak travel times. The nature of this program allows the gates for these flights to be located closer to the security check points in Munich’s Terminal 2 and dedicated check points will only process passengers flying to the cities listed above.
The program will be available on weekdays only, between 6a and 8:30a, and between 4p and 6:30p.
To locate these special checkpoints, look for the ‘Smart Depart Fast Lane’ signage when approaching security.
Lufthansa has announced that the Airbus A350 will be deployed on additional routes between Munich and the USA.
Beginning on March 25, Newark and Denver will begin seeing the newest long haul bird in the LH fleet. Newark will immediately see A350 on daily flights between Munich on the 25th, while Denver will see the A350 phased in over the Spring and Summer. The A350 replaces the A340-600 on both routes.
The details for the Denver deployment are as follow:
Between March 25 and and May 31, the A350 will fly between Munich and Denver on Monday, Wednesday, Friday, Saturday, Sunday.
Between June 1 and and June 30, the A350 will fly the route everyday EXCEPT Thursdays.
Beginning July 1, and lasting at least until October 27, the A350 will fly the route each day.