During my last trip I tried to remember what travel was like before mobile in the prehistoric era about 5-6 years ago. No mobile check-in, no electronic boarding pass, no updated flight info, no digital maps, and the list goes on and on. It truly was the ‘dark age’ of travel.
Mobile has since expanded even more rapidly than the most ambitious developers could have imagined. Smartphone adoption among air travellers is now at a very high 76% and mobile commerce is increasingly becoming a part of consumer habits, setting the scene for an explosion of mobile travel sales by 2015 (>$100B and reaching up to 40% of total online sales in some countries).
Travel and mobility go hand in hand with travel apps taking centre stage on smartphone’s home screen. It took not even 5 years for smartphones to revolutionize our lives, and it is difficult to predict what this world will be like 3-5 years from now. But I’ll bet that big enhancements to ease the travel experience are still ahead of us.
Things to improve
There are still some pain points to cure in the context of mobility and Amadeus is working on them to enhance travellers’ experience, helping them save time and increasing their loyalty and satisfaction. In-trip services could be easier to find and book, disruption management could be much more enhanced, check-in could be more seamless, boarding passes could be more easy to store and retrieve, search and booking interface and content could be more adapted to mobile devices, the in-airport experience could be simplified and trip content retrieval could be more holistic…
But soon personalisation and the multiplication of devices, including wearables, will enable much more and the right services will be able to advise you on the right device at the right time to leave your home according to traffic, who you’re travelling with and how you can meet them, an added capacity to buy anything you need during your trip, and advice on what to do at your destination.
The battle is on to address all traveller needs and “own” the traveler’s loyalty. The winner is not known yet, but it is likely to be a mix of mobile players, niche start-ups and traditional players, who will need to propose a one-stop-shop, cross-device suite of travel services to their consumers in order to succeed.
We are now developing a clear plan to realise these initiatives and provide our partners with an open cross-channel platform of travel services driven by these mobile needs. This open platform will enable our travel partners to address the needs of digitally inclined travellers all in one place. Through this platform, we will help travel players secure traveller loyalty (through end-to-end services that keep up with new trends), maintain relationships with travellers throughout the entire trip cycle, building upsell & cross sell opportunities, resulting in improved personalisation.
By taking this leading role over the coming years, Amadeus will be in a position to shape the future of mobile travel. We invite you to follow along as the golden age of mobile travel becomes more and more exciting.