Today’s blog comes from Claira Aida, a blogger and avid traveler based in the UK, who has collaborated with the tripchi team to come up with a list of airport technology trends to watch in the coming year.
4 Airport Tech Trends to Change the Way We Travel in 2016
Technology will continue to shape the airline industry next year, creating more innovative and seamless services for passengers. Back in 2014, airline IT executives forecasted that investment in business intelligence (BI) would grow by up to 80% in 2016. The same report by SITA noted that by then, 9 out of 10 airline’s tickets will be sold through customers purchasing through mobile, due to developments in the mobile industry and the increased adoption of smartphones.
Other airport tech trends are expected to rise next year too, which are expected to completely change and revolutionize passengers’ boarding and in-flight experiences. Here’s a list of some airport tech trends you should expect in 2016:
1. Self-service will be a standard
It was Incheon International Airport that was popular for its passenger-centric system, wherein most of the services at the airport are self-service from the bag drop off, boarding, and assistance center. But, self-service functionality in most international airports will be standard by next year. With the increase in the investment in IT services at airports and airlines, experts predict that self-service systems will take a huge portion of said tech budget in 2016. In fact, Skift reported in a article that 86% of airports are planning to offer self-service check-ins, while 74% plans to introduce self-drop bag terminals, and 52% will adopt self-boarding systems. Currently, the flight status notifications and geo-location features that suggest local services to passengers based on their current location are some of the most popular self-services offered by airports (these are offered by tripchi). But, airports may also adapt solar panel technology similar to India’s international airport to help in lessening the electrical and e-waste of the world.
2. Mobile ticketing and payments will grow
As smartphone ownership and usage continue to grow worldwide, airlines and airports are ready to adopt the technology further to offer faster means of booking and boarding passengers. Today, travelers can be seen enjoying free internet at airports and especially the in-flight Wi-Fi of some airlines. But, apart from the internet, they want a convenient way of booking their flights, accessing their tickets, and paying them quickly. Mobile devices have all the capacity to do provide those services to passengers. Top of the line smartphones are now built with their own payment systems. Based on the iPhone page by O2, the Apple Pay and the near field communication (NFC) functionality are two of the recent actions done by Apple to include the mPayment system in their roster of handsets. Some smartphones are also built with apps that allow the handset’s paired wearable devices like the Apple Watch to instantly view flight details and make purchases. In fact, some of the airlines in the US and the UK have already updated their consumer apps to enable their passengers to view their flight details on their smartwatches. But, for an all-in-one experience, the tripchi app is exactly what passengers’ need to have on their smartphones so they can make the most of their downtime while waiting for their next flight. Click here for more details about tripchi.
3. In-flight tech shopping will strengthen
A latest survey published by PR News Wire revealed that there will be growth in airport and in-flight retail store purchases this year and in 2016. Apart from the in-flight magazines, passengers are now able to order items prior to their flight via the app or website of the airline. Some airports also offer mobile solutions in viewing the product catalogs of their duty-free stores. The global survey also found out that passengers are specifically looking for luxury brands and items from both duty-free and duty paid airport retail outlets. Here are some of the key findings of said survey:
• 60% of travelers worldwide will spend 15 minutes or less per visit in a duty paid airport retail outlet website.
• 75% will spend more than 15 minutes to view items via the airline’s in-app store.
• 92% of the respondents said they intend to purchase Dior products and other luxury brands via the airline app prior to boarding.
4. Rise in demand for biometric sensors
Security will remain to be the top most concern of many tech and mobile users and, as such, there are several security-related airport tech trends worth noting here. Biometric sensors will be one of the sought after solution to this issue. Currently, there are various biometric solutions available for airline and airport organizations to utilize, such as fingerprint scanner, iris/retina scanner, voiceprint, and facial recognition. Experts in various surveys noted that biometric technology is one of the “most pertinent innovations” for identifying individual efficiently and reliably. Tickets and passports will soon be associated with biometric information about each passenger, making it easier for airports and airline personnel to validate flight and personal data instantly. The same sensors have provided many airports health data about travelers by scanning their temperature, making it easier to quarantine those passengers coming from infected territories (e.g. SARS and MERSCOV incidents).
As technology continues to shape the airline and airport industries, passengers should expect their flight experience to be more convenient and seamless in the coming years as these airport tech trends are applied. Stay tuned to the tripchi blog for more updates about traveling experience with other passengers’ like you.