The travel industry has changed a lot since I boarded my first ever flight. Back then you still had to see airport staff for your bag check and passport control! Modern technology has been able to offer a helping hand with these processes by automating them. In travel and other fields, like medicine, artificial intelligence and machine vision is vital and has helped workfoces. For example, airport security has improved due to more efficient face recoginition and bag checking. Today, I am having a look at how air travel has changed in the last few years.
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The days of going to your high street travel agent to find out what the flight times you may be able to book are long gone. Sites like Skyscanner have revolutionised the way we search for flights. Technology now allows travellers to access data that was previously hidden to the average Joe.
The impact of this has been that holidaymakers are able to make better choices based on their budget, time and airport preferences. Technology has also helped open up travel “hacks” such as throwaway tickets where you can get your destination cheaper by utilising pricing quirks from airlines.
Big data and AI has ultimately brought cheaper flight tickets to consumers!
Covid-19 has made us much more aware of close contact with other people. The ever-evolving arrivals terminals at leading airports such as Heathrow and Schiphol make the most of AI technology to remove the manual process of immigration management. Self-scanner units are now the default way to enter a country and this saves time for travellers who are eager to leave the airport!
Through retina detection, big data systems and AI all allow for minimal human contact at a time we are all trying to stay safely apart. Borders are able to start opening up sooner than could have been expected thanks to technology such as that used in the arrivals process.
When was the last time you printed out your boarding pass? Probably a very long time ago! There are some clear benefits to boarding passes being stored on your phone compared to a paper copy. It’s reassuring to not have to worry about where you have put the printout and thumble around in your bag when you get to the gate!
Basic disorganisation aside, there are deeper issues solved by moving tickets online. E-tickets take away the need to queue up and get your pass from an airline representative at the airport. During the pandemic, it is increasingly important to reduce unnecessary waiting times in busy terminals so e-tickets have a direct impact on how many travellers are standing in enclosed, indoor airport waiting areas.
Online ticketing also helps travellers to get the latest information about their flight and wider airport announcements. Push notifications can be tailored to the passengers circumstances such as time of flight and destination. Information is power!
We all expect to be able to connect to a wifi connection when on the move. Whether that be at the airport, a hotel or even at 30,000 feet, most people want to stay connected. Technology has come an incredibly long way to enable travellers to get online at high speed without fuss.
More than browsing Facebook, constant connectivity helps us to stay up to date with relevant travel updates relating to our journey. That is increasingly important during Covid-19 as the guidance from governments around the world is a constantly moving feat. Updates on the latest outbreaks or changing quarantine rules are crucial to a safe journey and access to wifi helps to make that as frictionless as possible.