Are these the technologies most wanted by air travelers?

Flight information specialist, OAG, has published the results of a study of the technology preferences of more than 2,000 US travellers which reveals the future travel technologies passengers are most interested in.

The results show the industry would do best to advance technology that saves travellers time or money (or both) over technologies which are buzzy and experiential.

The survey, conducted between December 2017 and January 2018 contains feedback from 67% leisure and 33% business travelers, and shows that travelers have an appetite for biometrics, blockchain, AI and automation.

Limited deployments of biometrics-based processes in the journey have been well received by travellers.

More than 75% of those surveyed said they would be willing to use fingerprint and facial recognition scanners at stop-points if they could simplify the journey. The preferred biometric applications were:

  • To streamline customs and immigration (85%)
  • To clear security without the use of other identification (85%)
  • To check-in for their flights (84%)
  • To quickly retrieve itinerary information (79%)
  • To board the aircraft without a separate boarding pass (75%)

Other technological advancements that passengers looked forward to seeing more of included:

  • supersonic high-speed planes and trains (48%)
  • blockchain-enabled booking sites that let travellers book directly with suppliers (43%)
  • increased acceptance of mobile payment options including Apple pay, Google Wallet, Venmo and WeChat Pay (37%)
  • travel booking and itinerary systems enhanced by artificial intelligence (26%)
  • inflight or terminal-based virtual reality systems that let them preview destinations and enjoy experience destinations before travelling (24%)
  • robots that facilitate check-in, security, boarding and customer service (21%)

In terms of AI applications in travel:

  • 73% of all travellers and 89% of millennials said they would like AI to better predict flight pricing during the booking process.
  • 60% of all travellers and 72% of millennials said they’d like AI to predict flight cancellations and delays on the day of travel.
  • Another 50% of all travellers said they’d like AI-driven predictions on possible delays and cancellations during the booking process.

OAG also learned that 67% of passengers would be willing to pay more to fly supersonic on a cross-country or international ticket.

  • 48% of those surveyed said they would pay up to 25% more for a supersonic flight
  • 7% of those surveyed said they would pay up to 40% more
  • 9% are willing to pay up to 50% more
  • 2% are willing to pay 100% more

Business travellers were willing to pay more for supersonic flight than other passengers.

Autonomous vehicles also got a vote of confidence from OAG survey participants; 27% of travellers said they would be comfortable with an autonomous vehicle picking them up or dropping them off at the airport today. An additional 41% said that they would be willing to try autonomous car transport, but with some hesitations.

Related reading:

No one seems biometrically opposed but it’s still going to take time

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Marisa Garcia

About the Writer :: Marisa Garcia

Marisa Garcia is the tnooz aviation analyst. She has covered travel technology, design, branding, and strategy for leading publications, including Aircraft Interiors International Magazine, APEX Magazine, AirlineTrends, and Travel+Leisure. She also shares industry insights on her site Flight Chic. Fly with her on Twitter.



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  1. Chris Jones

    27% is hardly a ringing endorsement (“vote of confidence”) for autonomous vehicles.
    73% don’t like the idea !!!!


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