Life-sized human-shaped holograms (from our “You Can’t Make This Stuff Up” file)

As we enter the summer vacation season, travelers connecting through one of the metro New York’s three major airports should be on the lookout for customer service agents in the form of life-sized human-shaped holograms.

The Port Authority of New York & New Jersey, which operates JFK, La Guardia and Newark Liberty airports, has announced a series of initiatives to improve customer service for passengers. In addition to the installation of more power outlets for electronic devices and cleaner restrooms, the Authority will deploy “virtual customer care representatives,” in key locations in the airports.

The computer generated avatars will be programed to provide responses to basic traveler inquiries, and are guaranteed not to lose their patience when asked “where’s the men’s room” for the hundredth time in the course of an afternoon. The virtual customer care representatives are slated to be “installed” in early July.

For travelers who are skittish about asking a hologram for help, the Authority has also pledged to increase by 20% the number of its red-jacketed human customer care representatives stationed at the airport. So, between the airports’ virtual and human customer care representatives, air travel in the New York area should be a little easier this summer!