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New Airport, Airline Technologies Will Speed Up Your Check-in and Personalize Your Journey, Says Skyscanner Report

Today, global travel search site Skyscanner, released the second of its three part The Future of Travel 2024 report, revealing how future flight passengers will be able to enjoy a stress-free and speedy check-in followed by a relaxing and personalized flight. Part two of the report, “Travel Journeys,” reveals that by 2024 airports will be uplifting, intelligent spaces, providing passengers a sense of well-being, and airplanes will evolve into cyber hubs to suit travelers’ business or leisure needs. In conjunction with the report, Skyscanner surveyed consumer sentiment on the current travel experience and what would be most beneficial to travelers in the future; the results of the survey pair with the reports’ predictions of future consumer travel desires.

“With U.S. airlines forecasted to accommodate 1 billion passengers by 20241, airports and airlines will need to adapt to the expectations of the future traveling consumer,” said Skyscanner CEO and co-founder Gareth Williams. “The travelers of the future will eagerly anticipate their arrival at an airport that has been transformed into a luxury, travel haven.”

Trends Shaping the Future of Travel Journeys

The report identifies three primary areas that will see dramatic changes in how consumers fly and navigate through airports in the 2020s.

  • The Airport of the Future: Landside and Seamless Departure
    • Consumers will take control as remote bag drop-offs, mobile check-ins and wait-time monitoring will eliminate check-in desks and queues to create greater efficiencies. These are some of the features ranked highest in terms of benefit in a survey released by Skyscanner focusing on the consumer travel experience.
    • Digital bag tags will store boarding pass and destination information, harnessing the Internet of Things to create seamless transportation through the airport.
    • Facial and retinal recognition software, molecular bag scanners and biometric data IDs will streamline the security process giving precious time back to the future traveler. According to survey results, 41% of respondents think most about security when leaving for the airport.
  • The Airport of the Future: Airside Aerovilles
    • Future airports will host intelligently designed Aerovilles, delivering magic moments through art, multimedia displays, outdoor areas and amenities like exercises classes and rooftop pools.
    • Passengers will enjoy a smoother path to their departure gate assisted by way-finding projection systems and virtual reality overlays.
    • Phygital, a mixture of digital and retail techniques, will transform the shopping experience using tactile feedback technology to let passengers smell, feel and see product before purchasing by motion or voice.
  • Flights of the Future
    • Reimagined aircrafts will become relaxing cyber hubs with segmented areas to cater to those who want to relax, dine or mingle with other passengers. Survey respondents ranked a “relaxing cabin” as the priority choice for a potential segmented flight experience.
    • Morphing seats will offer custom levels of comfort and provide a combination mobile living room and virtual office, pre-loaded with personalized multimedia and next generation connectivity.
    • The physical effects of flying will be reduced as airplanes adopt smart-lighting to reduce jetlag, dirt repelling and self-healing furnishings and sonic disrupters to reduce sound bleed.

“In the near future, airports will be an intrinsic part of the vacation experience, a place that we enjoy spending time in,” forecasts Melissa Weigel, Senior Multimedia Director at Moment Factory, multimedia environment design studio. “Airports will be about giving people a better sense of wellbeing during travel.”

The third part of the report, “Destinations & Hotels,” will be released in Fall 2014 and will focus on the new experiences that await the future traveler, from the latest vacation hot spots to underwater and space hotels.

“Advances like these in technology, together with shifts in economic and political power, and fluctuations in culture and climate, will ultimately redefine the travel industry,” predicts Filip Filipov, Skyscanner’s Head of B2B. “Future passengers will receive a more customized experience that will evolve into an enjoyable and inspiring travel journey from start to finish.”

To read the full report, visit www.skyscanner2024.com. To contribute to the conversation use #FutureofTravel

Research methodology

The Future of Travel 2014 is the work of a team of 56 editors, researchers and futures networkers, across key international cities. This team built a detailed picture of the next 10 years, looking at how breakthrough technologies and exciting new destinations will shape the global travel industry in the 2020s. This team explored the travel technologies and behaviors to come, by plugging into the know-how of a range of world-renowned experts, including Futurist Daniel Burrus, author of Technotrends: How to Use Technology to Go Beyond Your Competition, and Travel Futurologist Dr. Ian Yeoman.

The report also drew on the background lessons provided by digital strategist Daljit Singh; Microsoft’s UK Chief Envisioning Officer Dave Coplin; Google Creative Lab Executive Creative Director Steve Vranakis; Kevin Warwick, Professor of Cybernetics at Reading University; and Martin Raymond, Co-founder of The Future Laboratory and author of CreATE, The Tomorrow People, and The Trend Forecaster’s Handbook. The report used The Future Laboratory’s online network, LS:N Global, to supplement research, as well as findings from The Future Laboratory’s annual series of Futures reports on travel, technology, food and hospitality.

From Skyscanner, the following experts were called on for their insights, expertise, and where possible, quoted directly in the report: Margaret Rice-Jones, Chairman; Gareth Williams, CEO and Co-Founder; Alistair Hann, CTO; Filip Filipov, Head of B2B; Nik Gupta, Director of Hotels; and Dug Campbell, Product Marketing Manager.

Survey Methodology

Skyscanner analyzed the findings of a survey conducted by Decipher in June 2014 of a sample of 1001 consumers representative of U.S. census on age, gender and region who had flown in the past year.

About Skyscanner

Skyscanner is a leading global travel search site offering an unbiased, comprehensive and free flight search service as well as instant online comparisons for hotels and car hire. Having launched in 2003, it is now helping 25 million unique visitors each month to find the best deals, through powerful technology we have built across our website and mobile app.

With more than 400 employees spanning 35 nationalities across six global offices – Edinburgh, Glasgow, Singapore, Beijing, Miami, Barcelona, Skyscanner places great emphasis on its global coverage, with search available in over 30 languages.

Skyscanner’s highly-rated free mobile apps are available on iPhone, iPad, Android, Windows Phone, BlackBerry and Windows 8 devices and have been downloaded over 30 million times.

For more information, visit www.skyscanner.com .


1 U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Aviation Administration’s 2012 Annual Forecast

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