Gate Information Display Systems, also known as GIDS, are the airlines’ fancy name for the screens that they have near the gates telling you what is going on specifically with your flight. Delta pioneered the introduction of advanced GIDS systems several years ago, rolling out flat screen displays throughout their network and giving passengers a view into the details for flight status, in-flight service and waitlist information. Other airlines have seen limited deployments of similar technologies, too.
Continental finally is joining the party on this front, with their initial deployment of advanced GIDS displays starting yesterday at a couple gates each in Houston and Newark. This isn’t really a surprise – we’ve known it was coming at least since last month’s event down in Houston and probably longer than that – but it is nice to see that they are getting the installation started.
For the initial gates in Houston I noticed that the screens are not really in the sight lines for passengers who would be waiting in the gate area, which is a bit strange, but I’m sure that they were dealing with other issues in those particular gates. Or they just didn’t care, but that seems less likely.
The new screen on display at gate E5 in Houston’s Intercontinental airport
Just a few of the information screens that the GIDS cycles through
There are ads on it, too, which isn’t much of a surprise; they seem to cycle through reasonably quickly so it doesn’t seem like they’ll be too intrusive.
The content being displayed is the same as what Continental has had available on their mobile/PDA website for just over a year now, so the transparency in the system isn’t completely new for the carrier. Having it up on screens rather than requiring folks to constantly poke at their PDAs will certainly be a welcome development. Plus, not everyone has a device with them all the time (or so I’ve been told) so adding this obviously helps them, too.
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