The majority of travelers want faster deployment of biometric technology to expedite airport check-in, boarding, and security, according to a new survey by flight information provider OAG. The company surveyed 2,164 U.S. travelers to uncover which future innovations will resonate most with travelers for the new report, Travel Tech Innovation: Market Report – Evaluating Travelers’ Appetite for Adoption.
According to the report, 61 percent of travelers crave wider, faster deployment of biometrics technologies to expedite check-in, boarding and security. In fact, when OAG asked respondents to identify which future development and innovations would improve the travel experience the most, travelers ranked biometrics ahead of many other current and future innovations, from supersonic planes and artificially-intelligent booking and itinerary management systems to blockchain. In fact, more than 75 percent of travelers would be willing to use biometrics – such as fingerprints and facial recognition – if they could instantly and easily:
- Streamline customs and immigrations (85 percent)
- Check-in for their flights (84 percent)
- Get through security without the use of other identification (84 percent)
- Pull up their itinerary (79 percent)
- Board a plane without a boarding pass (75 percent)
“Now, maybe even more than ever, the travel industry is closely examining the intersection of travel and technology, with a focus on making the travel experience faster, easier and more enjoyable,” said Mike Benjamin, CTO, OAG, in a written statement. “While new innovations and possibilities are being introduced regularly, everything always comes back to the traveler experience.”
With travel providers investing heavily in artificial intelligence and predictive analytics, OAG found that travelers are most looking forward to AI’s role in predicting flight prices, cancellations and delays. In fact, 60 percent of travelers, and 72 percent of Millennials, said using AI to predict flight cancellations and delays on the day-of-travel would be valuable. Another 50 percent of travelers want to see AI-driven predictions on delays and cancellations during the booking process, and 73 percent of all travelers, and 89 percent of Millennials, are looking for AI to improve pricing predictions.
“Today’s travelers crave information, control and convenience. The more information travel providers can put in the hands of a consumer – from when to book based on price, and which flight to book based on punctuality, to what’s a reasonable connection time at a specific airport – the more value they can provide,” said Benjamin.
Looking toward the future, OAG also asked travelers how much extra they would be willing to pay (compared to typical flight prices) for a cross-country or international ticket on a supersonic jet that could get them to their destination nearly twice as fast as planes today. The big finding: 68 percent of travelers would be willing to pay more. Specifically:
- 48 percent of travelers are willing to pay up to 25 percent more
- 7 percent are willing to pay up to 40 percent more
- 9 percent are willing to pay up to 50 percent more
- 2 percent said they would pay up to 100 percent more