The Push for Self-Service: Travel Industry Trends for 2022 & Beyond

It is widely anticipated that airports will transition to touchless technology at a much quicker rate as a result of the coronavirus pandemic.

According to the results of SITA’s yearly survey, touchless technology remains a high investment priority between now and 2023 by airlines and airports. 84% of airlines and 89% of airports are prioritising a completely touchless check-in process, with an accelerated focus placed on mobile services and automated baggage drop-off through 2023.

Airports are also investing in automated border control processes to manage social distancing and improve passenger processing efficiency. According to SITA’s yearly survey, 71% of airport respondents said they are aiming to have these services in place over the next three years.

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The Dubai airport trialled ‘Smart tunnel’ using facial recognition to complete passport control procedures in 2018 and 12 million passengers have already used it. Nowadays, biometric systems are deployed at 122 smart gates at arrival and departure terminals in Dubai airports enabling passengers to complete passport control procedures in five to nine seconds.

Mobile phones and apps will play a key role as an enabler to replace touch screens or face-to-face steps with touchless experiences using technologies such as Bluetooth Low Energy, NFC, biometrics, and QR codes.

We’ve seen Denver Airport partnering with Verify to allow travellers to reserve their time slot for security and sit in the train car for their ride from the terminal to their gate through a mobile application.

Airports and retailers have also adopted self-service and touchless technologies for payments. According to Gartner, 80% of ordering, checkout, and payment services will become contactless by 2024.

Hudson, a retailer at the DAL airport, have piloted the ‘walk out concept’ and shoppers can enter a store, grab what they want and leave the store without interacting with any cashier. This initiative was completed through a partnership with Amazon. 

Frankfurt airport shoppers can scan electronic price tags and complete the purchase through a website. Payment can be done either by scanning a credit card with the phone camera or entering details by hand.

What Does It Mean for You? 

Analyse your customer journey and identify pain points which could be relieved by automating some of the key processes.

Gauge your customers’ reactions to service automation and proceed accordingly.

Don’t be afraid to utilise or experiment with touchless technologies. You may find that it helps solve a recurring business problem or provides additional benefits to your customers.

Contact us to learn how embracing digital strategies as well as self-service and touchless technologies can create value for your brand. 

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