This summer, the theme at Brussels Airport will be music festivals, with an outdoor pop-up terrace on the curb in front of the departure hall, various festival games in the terminal and theme menus in the restaurants. All through the summer months, dedicated family lanes are provided at security screening for families with children. Once past screening, passengers will be welcomed by BRUce Pepper, a robot that can help passengers find their way around the airport.
The summer rush is about to take off at Brussels Airport. In the first weekend of the summer holidays, the airport is expecting no less than 232,000 passengers, 131,000 of whom are departing passengers. The airport staff are not the only ones ready to welcome all the passengers – BRUce Pepper will also be assisting them wherever possible this summer.
The humanoid robot, called BRUce Pepper, from Softbanks Robotics, can read the boarding pass and give flight information, such as the gate where the passenger has to board the flight. It can even think beyond the airport and can give you real-time information on the weather at your destination. He gets the weather data from the Weather Company, the world’s largest private weather enterprise, which is part of IBM. BRUce Pepper also has a lot of practical tips and information for passengers about the shops and restaurants. If you wish, BRUce will even offer you a discount voucher. Naturally, it knows the way to the toilets, and you can play a quiz with it, or take selfies.
‘BRUce Pepper’ is the result of a cooperation between Brussels Airport Company and IBM following the innovation festival, Hack Belgium 2017. The concept, developed during Hack Belgium, has been further developed in recent weeks.
Family lanes at security screening
Again this summer, Brussels Airport will be paying special attention to families who are going on holiday. In order to make their departure as smooth and pleasant as possible, family lanes will be opened throughout the summer for passengers travelling with children. The pace in these security lanes is adapted for families, and the staff can provide extra assistance with baby carriages and strollers or baby food.
In cooperation with SOS Kinderdorpen, Brussels Airport will magic the waiting time into a fun family moment! In a big maze, children and parents can play the game of ‘I’m going on a trip and I’m taking with me…’ and test their memory as well as their orientation together. The maze is located at Pier A on the ground floor at the bussing gates.
Festival vibes at Brussels Airport
During the summer, many big and small festivals will be taking place all over the country. Many visitors from abroad will come to Belgium especially for the festival experience. So Brussels Airport will maintain the festival vibe at the airport. An outdoor pop-up terrace on the curb in front of the departure hall will put passengers in the mood straight away.
Various games can be found throughout the airport, such as Follow the DJ DJ DJ and Pump up the volume. In the bars and restaurants, passengers can choose from friendly priced festival menus.
For the return of visitors of Tomorrowland, Brussels Airport will again roll out the purple carpet for all the festival goers and other passengers. In the unique fairy-tale atmosphere of the festival, a live DJ will make Tomorrowland last a little longer. Over the two weekends, the airport expects almost 15,000 passengers to come to Belgium for Tomorrowland, 10,000 of whom have booked a Global Journey package.
Five tips for a smooth departure
1. By car to the airport
People who come to drop passengers off may use the free drop-off zone located 300 metres from the terminal near the bus station. On arriving at the airport, follow the ‘Drop-off zone’ signage. There is also a free drop-off zone at Brucargo. From there, a free De Lijn bus or shuttle bus to the terminal departs every 10 minutes. The trip takes about 10 minutes. Book your parking space online.
People coming to pick up passengers can make use of the car parks P1, P2 and P3 opposite the terminal. With the Pcard+, the first 30 minutes in these car parks are free of charge.
2. Airport easy to reach by public transport
On busy departure days, traffic on the approach roads to the airport may be slow. Public transport can prove a good alternative. The train and bus station is located a few storeys below the departure hall. There are up to 6 trains an hour to and from the centre of Brussels.
No less than 83 Belgian stations have a direct connection with the Brussels Airport-Zaventem station on weekdays. During weekends, 76 stations offer a direct connection. The complete timetable can be found on the website www.belgianrail.be or you can use the free NMBS app.
3. Don’t forget your travel documents
Remember to take your identity card or passport with you. Children under the age of 12 years need a children’s ID or passport in order to be allowed to travel by plane. If the child is not travelling with parents, but with, for example, grandparents, they should be able to produce a document signed by the parents permitting the child to travel with others. This document is available from your municipality.
Since 7 April 2017, tightened security measures have been in force for the Schengen zone which determine that the border police must check every traveller leaving or entering the Schengen zone against the police data bases. In the event of a hit (an individual who is flagged/sought), an appropriate control will follow. Such an operation naturally takes time. The border police therefore requests travellers to take this into account and come to the airport in good time.
4. Check in online
Online check-in saves a lot of time and is possible from 24 hours prior to the scheduled departure time of the flight or as indicated by the airline. In this case, baggage can be handed in at your airline’s ‘Baggage drop-off’ desk.
5. Prepare you hand luggage for the security control
Do not take any sharp articles with you in your hand luggage, and put liquids in your hold luggage. Do you still need to take liquids or gels in your hand baggage? Make sure you comply with the legal guidelines: pack them in containers with a capacity of maximum 100 ml and present them together in a transparent resealable plastic bag with a capacity of maximum 1 litre.
Exception: baby food and liquid medicines accompanied by a doctor’s certificate.
Laptops and tablets should be submitted separately for screening. Coins, keys, wallets, mobile phones, watches and belts should be placed in a separate tray.