Travel Industry Review - USA,UK, GER, GLO example page - Flipbook - Page 7
New technologies will transform
the passenger experience
By Muhammad Al Bakri, Regional Vice President, Africa & the Middle East,
International Air Transport Association
THE PACE of technological change
is accelerating. Over the last few
years the travel experience has
become more efficient thanks
to new technologies such as
mobile internet, artificial
intelligence, virtual reality,
big-data, internet of things
and biometrics. Many more
benefits are yet to be realised, benefitting travel agents,
their customers and the airlines. In 2018 the following new
technologies will continue to transform air travel:
reference numbers and documents when they travel.
Few technological innovations have
received as much interest in the past few
years as Blockchain.
Although this ingenious secure payment mechanism came to prominence
through the recent trading surge in
cryptocurrencies, it is unquestionably
an invention with immense potential for
widespread application and one IATA
believes offers benefits for passengers
Blockchain technology has the ability to
make payments faster and more efficiently and
IATA is exploring how it can be adopted.
From the moment you search online for a ticket to the
time of arrival, the airline is just one of around 26 business
partners involved in the aviation chain. Every partner in that
chain takes a profit margin.
Apart from reducing the costs, advantages include greater
transaction speed, resilience, and protection from fraud, since
the parties involved in the transaction are no longer relying on
a single third party as an intermediary.
A seamless experience through the airport terminal could soon be a reality.
IATA’s One ID project, with face, iris, or
fingerprint recognition will provide the
key. One ID creates a match between a
unique biometric characteristic, a passenger’s passport and flight booking. Passengers can then proceed through terminal
checkpoints, without having to show travel documents.
Although a number of African countries
and airports are adopting biometric technology and Dubai Airport is pioneering
the use of One ID facial recognition to
improve traffic flows.
Airline New Distribution Capability
and ONE Order
New Distribution Capability will address the gap between how
an airline displays its products and services on its own website,
versus what it can do in the systems used by most travel agents
and online travel sites.
These are largely based on pre-internet technology dating
back to the 1970s. They are not capable of easily supporting the
rich content you find on websites.
NDC is closing this gap through the development of XMLbased (internet language) data transmission standard for
communications between airlines and travel agents. Consumers will benefit from greater transparency and the ability to
compare offerings between airlines, as well as to personalise
ONE Order builds on advances made possible by the NDC. It
will result in the gradual disappearance of multiple reservation
records associated with a ticket, as well as the e-ticket itself,
and any other documents for optional services.
This will be replaced by a single reference Order, just like
you get when you order a product from an online retailer. As a
result, travellers will no longer need to juggle between different
Artificial Intelligence is already being embraced by the industry
to improve the passenger experience.
14 percent of airlines and nine percent of airports use
Chatbots with AI technology to communicate effectively with
AI allows simple queries to be handled swiftly, freeing
up customer service professionals to tackle more difficult issues effectively. AI has the potential to revolutionise travel by providing access to a 24-hour personal
travel assistant able to predict travel choices, knows
preferences and can create the package.
Remote sensing technology
To increase passenger comfort and reduce the risk of turbulence-related injuries, IATA is developing a turbulence-sharing
information platform containing real-time, turbulence reports
in collaboration with global airlines and remote sensing technology to make turbulence avoidance better.
In total, these new technologies will transform the passenger
experience. However, government regulation, resistance to
change and cyber security challenges are issues that threaten
the speed of development.
But, inevitably, the passenger journey of the future will look
very different from today.
*Some submissions edited due to space restrictions.
Travel Industry Review | April/May 2018 7