August 5, 2011, 1:26 PM

Mobile check-ins take off at Dallas/Fort Worth International

Travelers can receive via their smartphones special offers from merchants in the airport.

Lead Photo

When travelers passing through the Dallas/Fort Worth Airport check in using a location-based service they can receive special offers from 85 concessionaires.

Travelers passing through the Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport know they have to check in for their flights. Now they have a reason to check in with foursquare and Facebook Places. DFW Airport announced today that travelers who let friends know via foursquare and Facebook Places that they are in any of the airport’s five terminals can receive concession deals and discounts.

Foursquare and Facebook Places are separate location-based services that enable users with smartphones to note their location via GPS technology to their followers on the social networks. Merchants can offer special deals to users who check in at their locations.

Airport officials say offers will be available at 85 locations, such as Starbucks, Auntie Anne’s Pretzels, Brookstone, Hudson News and Reata Grill.

“This program allows DFW concessionaires to place information directly into the hands of passengers, just when they are looking for it,” says Jeff Fegan, DFW Airport CEO. DFW officials say in a recent survey 84% of the airport’s passengers said they use smartphones and 36% of those smartphone users tap into location-based social networks. The Nielsen Co. says half of all mobile phones in use will be smartphones by year’s end. The DFW survey suggests air travelers are ahead of the mobile curve, and likely better targets than the average consumer for mobile offerings.

To promote the airport check-in offers, airport officials have placed advertisements throughout the terminals using banners, notices on flight information displays and window decals. A video about the program plays over the airport’s public televisions.

And over the next several weeks, airport employees will hand out flyers about the check-in deals to travelers and provide smartphone demonstrations of how to take advantage of the deals.

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