Technology Trends in Travel – Key Takeaways
Pat Tracey, Marketing Manager of the Appleton International Airport, led our conversation and presented insight on what you may encounter while traveling this year as well as what is on the horizon. The Appleton International Airport has been successful in terms of utilizing technology to increase their customer base. As a result of the success, more nonstop services to Appleton are being offered by airlines.
Here’s a quick summary of our Technology Trends in Travel Ideas Amplified event:
Travel Document Update:
- REAL ID Required 2023
- This Federal Government Program was established in order to sync the nation up with a shared set of standards for drivers’ licenses, which is signified by a star. A REAL ID or passport will be required while traveling starting in the year 2023.
- Check Your Passport
- Here’s your friendly reminder to check your passport! The US Customs, which issues passports, has seen a recent delay in the renewal process of passports causing a 2-4 month wait time.
- TSA PreCheck @ ATW July 19-23
- The TSA PreCheck Program offers travelers faster access to checkpoint for 5 years at $85. The Appleton International Airport hosts quarterly precheck enrollment events where one must present themselves to a TSA officer as they verify your identify.
- The next upcoming event to happen July 19-23 of 2021.
- Digital Health Passports
- Not currently used for domestic travel.
- For international flights – new standard:
- VeriFLY Platform combines wellness credentials (I.e. test results or vaccine) with identity to demonstrate wellness status.
- This transaction is encrypted and can be demonstrated in a number of ways such as a fast pass, QR code, near field communications, or biometrically.
- VeriFLY can operate as a standalone application or be integrated into existing customer applications via an SDK or API.
What’s Travel Like Now?
- Airport facilities such as restaurants and retail stores are open 50% or less.
- Car Rental Storage
- Pat suggests to research hotel and car rentals before booking your flights.
- Increased travelers has resulted in Ubers/Lyft scarcity.
- Airlines Shift to ‘Leisure’ Schedule (Thursday-Sunday)
- Thursday is the new busiest day of the week.
- Less flights to business destinations.
- Tue/Wed flights may be ‘thin’ because that’s when people fly less.
- Airline Ticket Flexibility: No Change Fees for Consumers
- Lowest cost fares or basic economy tickets change fee will remain.
- Airlines are also waiving stand-by fees, typically $100.
Touchless Is The New Normal
- Industry Shift
- The entire travel industry has shifted within the past year to incorporate the new normal of travelers utilizing a digital wallet, such as Apple Pay and Samsung Pay. Travelers also have the ability to download airline applications, which allow for instant ticket purchasing and easy access to boarding passes.
- In addition, airline apps allow for location intelligence, which tells a user how many minutes you are away from your boarding gate.
- Self-Service Luggage Check-In
- Although this innovative check-in is not currently available at the Appleton International Airport, larger airports have implemented self-service bag check-in, which eliminates a second point of contact where one would normally engage with individuals.
- Hotel Digital Room Key
- Digital room keys have been introduced by hotels, which eliminate the need for a physical card and reduce the number of objects that must be carried.
- QR Codes are Back!
- For example, restaurants may ask customers to scan a QR code with their smartphones to view their drink and food menus.
New TSA Process
- Allowing one liquid hand sanitizer container, up to 12 ounces per passenger, in carry-on bags.
- TSA has implemented sneeze guards, face masks, gloves, distance, and cleaning measures.
- New Tech in Appleton International Airport
- An ID Scan Eliminates boarding pass at TSA precheck.
- New bag scanning capabilities allows liquids to stay in carry-on luggage.
- TSA Precheck 3D technologies now allow for computers/tech to stay within luggage.
- American Airlines, Delta, British Airways, and JetBlue are currently utilizing facial recognition at larger airports.
- US Customs and Boarder Protection oversee facial recognition due to the innovative technology going to a global standard to verify your ID.
- Currently in use at 17 airports – Expect widespread use by 2023 in the U.S.
- Facial match to images stored in cloud-based storage.
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Article by: Caitlin Macwilliams, Smart IS International