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There's an app for that!

Photo by Heather Middleton

Photo by Heather Middleton

By M.J. Subiria Arauz

marauz@news-daily.com

It may seem that smartphones are capable of just about anything, and now they are able to access food, beverage and retail discounts at the world's busiest airport.

Passengers are able to gain instant access to these savings at some of the leading shops and restaurants, at Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport, said Katena Carvajales, spokeswoman for Atlanta's airport. Hartsfield-Jackson is the first airport to offer this customer service, she said.

"This is an exciting way to let passengers know about all the shops, restaurants and services the airport offers," added Arnaldo Ruiz, assistant general manager for commercial development and customer service, at Hartsfield-Jackson. "Leveraging this technology is also environmentally friendly because it allows us to offer discounts, while eliminating the traditional option of printing coupons."

Airport officials revealed the new concessions promotional program to the media on Tuesday, demonstrating how the technology works and the steps passengers must follow to access the discounts.

Although the program had a soft introduction, on April 11, the launch of the program occurred on Tuesday, when it was publicly promoted.

Ruiz said passengers who wish to access the discounts through their smartphones, must download an application that will allow the mobile device to read a quick response (QR) code. Any smartphone is compatible, such as Blackberry, Android and iPhone.

Some free downloadable applications exist for smartphone users, explained Demetria Wideman, marketing manager/concessions, at Hartsfield-Jackson.

Once the application is downloaded and ready for use, passengers can scan or take a picture of the QR codes, at the approximately 30 dioramas displayed throughout the airport, said Ruiz.

He said that after the QR code is read by the smartphone, it will direct the user to the airport's mobile web site, www.iflyatl.com. Travelers will then be directed to the web site's "Concessions Offers" page.

"You will be able to search and look at the different locations here at the airport that are offering..[discounts and] promotions," said Ruiz.

Ruiz said that on Tuesday, concessionaires such as Blackberry from Wireless Giant, Savannah's Candy Kitchen, InMotion Entertainment and Atlanta Bread Company, had offers posted on the web site.

Ruiz said the program's key benefits include offering a "great" customer service tool that will inform passengers about the products and services at the airport, and allowing the airport to directly engage with passengers via smartphone technology.

"This technology is environmentally friendly, because you will no longer have to print coupons," said the commercial development and customer service assistant manager.

Ruiz said passengers who don't own a smartphone can access the same offers, through their laptops or computers, by visiting, www.atlanta-airport.com/Concessions/Concessions_Offers.aspx.