If you asked people thirty years ago for the most unlikely inventions in travel, they might say driverless cars, facial recognition technology or robots. All of these things are here already.
Plus, one can book a flight using a screenshot from Instagram and several companies have tested passenger drones. We’re increasingly un-phased by technological advances and we’re excited by the pace of change. Our research reveals that 71% of global business travelers embrace travel innovation.
Yet, we still grapple with tiny tubes of face cream in airport security lines.
We asked Rachel O’Brien, Chief Technology Officer at CWT about the biggest pain points for business travelers. They often come down to the basics, “Airport security is one,” she says, “Being informed can take the sting out of airport drudgery. So real-time apps, giving travelers a heads up on security guidelines, wait-times, flight delays, weather conditions at the airport and what can be carried onto your flight – can help to ease commuter friction. But it’s the streamlining of airport security that every frequent traveler fantasizes about.”
Biometric technology has the answers: “Through a combination of gateless boarding, mobile passports, visa management and mobile global entry, the most anticipated part of a business trip should begin at the airport rather than once you exit customs.”
Traveler safety is another key challenge that technology should be able to provide a solution to, says Rachel. Navigation apps like RedZone that allow users to see and report incidents and unsafe situations go some way to meeting the needs of solo travelers, however the ability to plan around risk remains outstanding, “Nothing provides alerts and guidance of what to do if the risk in your vicinity increases.”
The corporate travel industry would do well to learn from other sectors, “There are disrupters and challenger start-ups taking creative, ‘greenfield’ and agile approaches to solving problems and prioritizing user-experience,” says Rachel, “One example is Lumo which predicts flight disruptions and proactively tries to help passengers rebook. It’s not always household names that inspire – it’s those brands that really understand the technology and trends that may seep into the landscape in corporate travel, now and in the future.”