Manchester Airport “hires” new virtual security assistants

Virtual staff could be landing at other UK airport checkpoints to help passengers - but will they work?

The real John and Julie stand with their new “hired” help.

The airport security experience may feel up close and impersonal at the best of times.

But if you’re travelling through Manchester’s Terminal 1 from Monday, you’ll have the chance to get to know two of the staff on first name terms: John and Julie, the airport’s new holograms of real-life customer service staff.

The duo, made using films of actual staff: John Walsh and Julie Capper, are tasked with reminding forgetful passengers about the 100ml liquid and gel carry-on restrictions.

Julie Armstrong, Manchester Airport’s customer services director says the new virtual assistants are the latest technique by the airport to cut the number of items confiscated at the security checkpoint: “Four years after the liquid restrictions were introduced [at airports], passengers understandably still forget about liquids. We don’t want anyone to have to throw their drink or make up away, so we’ve tried lots of different ways to reinforce the liquid rules, from posters to people dressed up as giant deodorant cans! Maybe holograms are the answer?”

Manchester airport says that other gateways around the UK are investigating their installation.


Virtual staff could be landing at other UK airports to help passengers – but will they work? What sort of useful services could a virtual airport assistant provide you? We would love to read your comments, below.

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