The travel industry is keeping a keen eye on changing trends in technology and a recent report has highlighted three major developments that are expected to be in force by 2015.
Firstly, mobile bookings and purchases will become more widespread and social media will dominate passenger interactions for customer service.
Today just 2% of airline sales are bought on a mobile device. Research from SITA, which analyses global information for the air transport industry,predicts a 5% increase by 2015, while other sources believe mobiles could count for as much as 50% of online bookings by 2017. Social media is also expected to be a major sales channel for about 13% of all airlines and airports.
Secondly, self-service airports will become the norm, rather than the exception. At the moment, 50% of airlines currently provide mobile check-ins and 90% are working on a check-in app to be ready by 2015. Apple’s Passbook and near-field communication are making it possible for passengers’ boarding passes to pop up when they approach the gate, hopefully leading to an easier and faster check-in process. Boarding, flight transfers and baggage are identified as being the biggest obstacles to creating a complete self-service check-in. Many airports worldwide have already introduced a self-service bag drop in response to this.
Finally, it is you – and other people who fly – who will have more control and information during various steps of the journey. Currently 85% of fliers want to turn to mobile apps for flight status updates, but only 43% of airlines and 42% of airports now offer these mobile notifications. By 2015, 90% of airlines and airports say they will have developed and executed this technology. Flight tracking and airport terminal maps are other innovations that would help to drive customer satisfaction, according to the research.