Mobile Impact on the Future of Air Travel

by Net Future Institute on February 19, 2013

The air travel experience could become a lot more interesting, based on what we heard at the MediaPost Mobile Insider Summit today.

In one of the keynote sessions, Jonathan Stephen, Head of Mobile at JetBlue, dropped some interesting stats about where airlines will be in two years:

• 54% of airlines will have self-boarding
• 74% of airlines will have self-service baggage drops
• 73% of airlines will be using some kind of mobile barcode check-in

Some airlines, including JetBlue, already have bag drop and self-check-in to receive boarding passes, as any seasoned traveler knows.

What JetBlue sometimes has are bewildered travelers arriving at the check-in area wondering how they should get a boarding pass, how to use the ticket they printed from home, what code to scan, when and where to drop their bag (despite the signs) and the best way to navigate the security line.

The current remedy is for JetBlue to have roaming agents answering scores of passenger questions, especially during heavy travel times.

The future solution, says Stephen, will be to use more precise location-based, in-terminal technology to assist passengers.

The future travel app could show your exact location inside the terminal and guide you, step-by-step, through the entire check-in process and even assist and guide you all the way to the gate.

Voice is likely to become part of the equation, as well as augmented reality (AR), with an eye toward tight linkage to loyalty programs and mobile payments.

Many airlines currently at least identify your baggage carousel upon arrival, though they still can’t guarantee your luggage will be there.

We’ll look forward these new mobile travel capabilities. Meanwhile, while the rain pours here in once-sunny Captiva, Florida, we’ll expect our old fashioned travel trip home when the summit ends in a few days.

You have any interesting air travel experiences recently?



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