In Airline Travel: What Do People Want Technology to Change?

It’s safe to say that while we’ve made significant strides in speeding up travel, there’s still a ways to go. According to research from last year, the average waiting time travellers had to deal with for immigration was 25 minutes. Now, while that doesn’t sound like much time, this fluctuates from 25mins to 2 hours at its worst. And that’s just one area that people in departures or arrivals have to deal with!

So for those actively in the airport, what would they want to see technology improve? Well thanks to some recent research by OAG, we’re able to see what annoys people the most about airline travel. And what they’d like to see change over the coming years!

OAG Research – Where travellers want disruption

Conducted between December 2017 and January 2018, the study consisted of a wide range of travellers. Primarily, it consisted of travellers of which 67% were travelling for leisure and 33% for business. Of those questioned, more than 75% were more than welcoming to the idea of using biometrics if it sped up travel.

For those questioned, some of the ways they’d want to see it applied were:

  • To streamline customs and immigration (85%)
  • To clear security without the use of other identification (85%)
  • To check-in for their flights (84%)
  • To quickly retrieve itinerary information (79%)
  • To board the aircraft without a separate boarding pass (75%)

Biometrics was a clear winner for the majority of those questioned and rightfully so! In airports like LAX and Heathrow, it’s been used to a great deal of positive effect. A couple of ideas that people wanted to see included the likes of blockchain technology and streamlined payment systems:

  • high-speed transportation systems (48%)
  • blockchain-enabled booking systems for hotels and travel (43%)
  • increased acceptance of mobile payment options (37%)
  • travel booking and itinerary systems enhanced by artificial intelligence (26%)
  • inflight or terminal-based virtual reality systems that let them preview destinations and enjoy experience destinations before travelling (24%)
  • robots that facilitate check-in, security, boarding and customer service (21%)

One thing is definitely certain from these results, that automation is not just some kind of fad. It’s a revolutionary phenomenon that people want to see more of as soon as possible.