Meet Ava. She's more than just your average customer service representative. She's always ready with a smile, never needs a bathroom break or a shift change, and charges $60,000 for a lifetime of devoted service.
Ava is a hologram recently purchased by the Port Authority to greet customers at New York and New Jersey's three major airports, LaGuardia, Newark, and John F. Kennedy.
The Port Authority has purchased three of the holograms to take part in a six month trial to see how customers respond to them. The holograms, which are set to hit the airports in July, are the first of their kind in North America, and have been programmed to answer some of the questions most frequently asked by consumers. This includes providing directions to the nearest taxi stands and bus stops as well as giving general airport safety and convenience tips, according to a Port Authority spokesman.
The holograms will be located in a specific spot at each airport. The LaGuardia Ave will be positioned in the central terminal building. The Newark Ava take up a spot in Terminal B, and the JFK Ava will be found in Terminal 5.
To get information from the holograms, passengers simply have to speak to them.
The introduction of the holograms is part of a large initiative to improve customer service by the Port Authority that includes the introduction of 70 new customer care representatives during peak hours, according to a Port Authority statement. These new employees will join the 350 human representatives already working at the airports. The initiative will also include expanded efforts to curtail taxi hustling, the installation of more power poles for electronic devices, cleaner restroom facilities, and a long term effort to improve airport infrastructure.