5 Ways Tech Innovation is Improving Air Travel

By Jessica Larkin

It’s hard to think of a facet of our lives that technology hasn’t impacted and air travel is no exception. From mobile check-in, to improved security features, biometric screening, and even technology that negates the need to interact with a person to check luggage and clear customs, the air travel landscape is forever changed. Here is a rundown of innovations that are improving the air travel experience.

Mobile Applications

Gone are the days when a person had to physically go to the airport to purchase a ticket. Today, air travelers can book online with ease. TravelBank is committed to providing a stellar user experience and has taken the booking process one step farther. Through our app, travelers can review flight options (with a designated trip budget for guidance), book flights, save payment information and traveler ID numbers, and have the itinerary automatically sent to supervisor.

When it’s time to travel, many airlines offer the option to check-in online and create mobile boarding passes. In addition, airline apps also provide real-time updates regarding flight status, have options to add luggage, and more.

Biometrics

The use of biometric technologies, which are designed to verify passenger identities by cross-referencing facial scans with passport photos, is on the rise at airports. In addition to streamlining the traveler experience, biometrics also enhance airport security. While a handful of people have concerns over privacy, SITA, a Swiss IT company that builds airport tech provides some interesting statistics regarding biometric screening adoption.

Self-Service Kiosks

Self-service kiosks to obtain boarding passes and luggage tags are now common-place at airports across the world. Some of the more technologically advanced airports even have self-services baggage kiosks available that enable passengers to check their luggage. Additionally, kiosks are available to automate re-entry for international travelers, also known as Automated Passport Control (APC). For instance, U.S. Customs and Border Protection (CBP) utilizes APC to expedite the entry process. Travelers are able to utilize kiosks to submit biographic information and respond to the CBP inspection questions. For a roster of airports that use APC, click here.

Security

Technology has revolutionized airport security and scanning. Currently, Advanced Imaging Technology (ATI) machines are utilized by TSA. ATIs provide TSA officials with a generic body outline in a cartoon style. Suspicious objects are highlighted in yellow on a person’s body. If nothing is highlighted, travelers can pass through with ease. If something is detected, TSA agents will pat down a passenger to ensure items such as plastics, metals, or chemicals do not get through.

Computed Tomography technology, or CT scanning is being adopted to scan for threats in carry-on baggage. As noted by the TSA, “The CT technology applies sophisticated algorithms for the detection of explosives and other threats by creating a 3-D image that can be viewed and rotated 360 degreets for a thorough analysis.” For a list of airports with CT technology at checkpoints, please visit the TSA website.

As more airports begin to utilize the 3D technology, business travelers can rejoice in not having to remove laptops and other electronics from their bags.

In-Flight Connectivity

For business travelers to communicate and get the job done, lack of connectivity is a real issue. With nothing else to do on the plane, flights offer a great window to catch-up on emails and complete projects. As a result, the demand for in-flight WiFi is at an all time high.

Many airlines embrace this trend and understand that having a WiFi-enabled fleet will lend to customer loyalty and satisfaction. In fact, in 2018 over 80 airlines worldwide offered in-flight WiFi, which is up 12 percent from 2017, according to a report from travel technology company Routehappy.

Embracing Technology

We’re excited for continued air travel innovation that improves the passenger experience and enhances security. Here at TravelBank, we’re doing our part to bring the latest and greatest innovations to our customers. From a better booking experience to 24/7 dedicated support, our application is geared toward streamlining travel and creating a ‘Wow!’ experience via technology.

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