This article is going to be in reference to how technology is changing the travel industry in an airline / airport context. I’m going to split this article into a number of sections, focusing on all aspects of the traveller’s journey, if you have anything you would like to add to this article feel free to drop your comments in the box below.
A lot of airports and airlines are moving to self bag drops, where you do not need to speak to an agent and all you need to do is identify yourself, drop your bags off and go through security. With this a lot of questions have been asked in terms of if someone needs help, or is this method even secure. After seeing this in action just because you are dropping off your bags yourself, this doesn’t mean that agents are gone completely. There is likely to be someone who would have to monitor the self bag drops just in case the machines do not work properly, or if there needs to be some sort of manual intervention. In regards to security, the only way someone would be able to drop off a bag is if they have a reference number or some sort of identification.
So with security most airports have more than 1 channel going into security, technology has advanced in this way because in a number of airports there are screens which tell you which channel is busy and in turn deters people from joining the channel which is busy and causes overcrowding. Furthermore instead of being scanned in by a number of security staff, a lot of airports offer the function where you are able to scan your own boarding pass which allows you into security. Of course as mentioned in the check in section human intervention is needed in some cases, for example if you have small children or mobility issues which may stop them from proceeding through security gates.
Lastly for security if you travel a lot you would notice this difference, in a number of airports when you have finished with your tray someone has to manually send the tray back to the start for another person to use. Airports have invested in technology where trays automatically get collected at the end and is automatically fed back into the tray system for use again.
In the departures lounge you are bound to see some sort of advanced technology such as interactive terminal maps. However in a number of airports around the world they have this facility which does an interactive walk through on how to get to your gate or to duty-free, these maps also give you an idea on how long it would take you to get to remote gates or to call for assistance.
At the Gates
Now here at the gates this is where a lot of the advanced technology takes place, a number of airlines have adopted self boarding gates which allows passengers to board through a gate using biometrics, most of this is done on domestic flights where the biometrics is captured before entering security and checked again at the gate. Furthermore at some airports when the airline is ready for boarding, announcements are made at the boarding gate which caters for people who may be visually impaired.
In the Air
Last but no means least, technology has advanced a lot on aircraft. For those who have not travelled for some time, you would remember that you just get in flight entertainment and that was it, now technology has fully advanced. Now you are able to surf the net right from your seat (unfortunately in most cases it’s not free for the duration of your flight), however to be able to Instragram from the aircraft and show all those views is pretty cool. Also the map that shows you which country you are going over has also changed, now it shows you visuals from the cockpit (although still digital visuals).
I wonder how in 10 years time how technology will impact the industry, would everything be automated or would we still need some sort of human intervention. We shall see! If you liked this article please share with your friends and tell us how you feel.