Airport check-in may become the exception rather than the norm by 2020 as travellers transit seamlessly to their aircraft using automated identification systems, a new report forecasts.
The use of biometrics, long-range fingerprinting and contactless technologies will negate the need for manual check-in. As airports become entirely paperless, it will signal the end of long queues and delays.
Meanwhile, ‘intelligent’ luggage and tickets will mean travellers can be secure in knowing that bags will not be lost and disruptions managed effectively, according to the ‘From Chaos to Collaboration’ study for travel company Amadeus.
Digital memory of expenditure and new contactless technologies will make it easier for travellers to buy in groups and negotiate discounts – a sort of Groupon while travelling – as well as allowing for a more tailored package of services and products to be delivered, the study predicts.
The company also believes the use of hi-tech gaming principles known as ‘gamification’ means that travellers could for example experience Rome as the gladiators or deploy augmented reality on their smartphones to have a ‘gastronomic’ experience of Rome.
The report into the changing face of travel in the next decade also suggests a rise in ‘business tourists’.
“As business travel becomes less of a luxury and more of a disruption to domestic life, technology will be used to create a ‘home away from home’ whereby travellers can access their own music, films, files, photos and have communications with their family,” the report says.
“This is particularly relevant to hotels, airport lounges etc. as well as to airlines and rail companies.”
The use of ‘intelligent recommendations’ will allow people to benefit from the combined views of experts as well as fellow travellers that share similar interests. Users will be able to access their own personal guide to a destination created by thousands of users, but designed specifically for an individual rather than the current model that provides blanket reviews and comments that may have little or no relevance.
Technologies are also expected to help remove the stress of travelling and enable people to monitor their health when on the move or in a destination using mobile health apps.