Hologram staff to get flyers through security

At the U.K.'s Manchester airport, hologrammed versions of airport staff will attempt to help passengers have the correct amount of liquid in their carry-ons.

Chris Matyszczyk
2 min read

For me, it's the American Airlines check-in staff in Miami. For some reason, they seem to function in such chaos that they are desperate for you, the passenger, to have as miserable a time as they seem to be having.

hologram greeters
"Hello, can my hologram help you?" Airport employee Julie Capper poses with a hologram version of herself. Manchester Airport

For you, it might be another airport whose staff members make you wish that the nice, but very firm, lady from Tabatha's Salon Takeover would perform a flyover atop their attitude.

Now some enterprising, technology-loving Brits are attempting to see if virtual staff can be more helpful than the skin-and-boned.

From this week, passengers in Terminal 1 of Manchester airport will be greeted by smiling, happy, and possibly even helpful airport staff. For they will be holograms of the real staff, presumably created to reflect their brightest, most cheerful selves.

According to Sky News, the airport was inspired by hologram tricks used by the band Gorillaz into creating staff holograms that will make you feel you are not in a very unpleasant airport jungle.

The airport has worked with a company called Musion, which has helped the Black-Eyed Peas and outdid itself when its technology was used to bring Frank Sinatra back from the dead so Simon Cowell could enjoy his singing (and, perhaps, critique it) on his 50th birthday.

Julie Capper and John Walsh, the two airport employees chosen to be the models for this new form of passenger-herding, will for now remind passengers about current liquid restrictions, but any message can be recorded. If the pair seem slightly bemused that their virtual selves will be helping passengers have the right amount of liquid in their hand luggage.

Perhaps if their virtual versions perform well, Capper and Walsh might secure extra vacation. Indeed, Capper told Sky News: "I wonder if I can send it to meetings in my place and whether anyone will notice."

I wonder if anyone will notice whether they aren't real as they relay the faintly silly rules of engagement to those going through security. Still, if you've ever wanted to walk straight through the sometimes very busy bodies of certain airport staff, now you can go to Manchester and try a dry run.