What does the future of travel hold?

Imagine if a secure application let you share your passport information using a fingerprint when passing through airport security…

What if you could have just one loyalty card to collect points from your favourite hotel, airline and rental car company?

Amadeus is taking some time to understand at what travel will or at least could look like in the future, and the results might surprise you.

In a recent study, Amadeus looked at what ‘blockchain’ technology could offer the travel industry.

And while the word blockchain might be off-putting to some, what’s important is what the technology can do.

Improving baggage tracking

Mishandled baggage costs the aviation industry many billions each year and is the source of significant traveller frustration. The challenge isn’t a simple one to address given a bag is handled by several actors, including the airline, airport and ground handling firms on its journey from A to B, and sometimes even C.

Today’s systems have improved by reconciling baggage handling data directly from departure control applications. However, this technology may offer advantages.

The idea is to deliver baggage data records shared between different airlines and make it much more straightforward to track bags as they move with a traveller throughout their journey.

Simplifying settlements in the travel value chain

The travel industry operates in a value-chain based on collaboration and therefore many areas of the industry rely on settlements between parties.

Consider a hotel booking where an aggregator, OTA and the hotel need to settle cash and commissions based on pre-defined agreements.

Today, this is an extremely complex process and the introduction of blockchain based smart contracts could automate settlements in many areas of the industry.

Being able to instigate a trusted execution facility between a travel provider and travel intermediaries promises reduced cost, enhanced efficiency and faster reconciliation at scale.

Improving identity management in travel

The highly trustworthy of this technology also makes it ideal for improving the way travellers are identified during their journey.

Traveller IDs are required at booking, when changing a booking, at security, the boarding gate, duty free shopping and at a hotel.

Imagine how much easier travel would be if you didn’t need to use a passport at all these points in the journey. It is possible that blockchain technology can deliver a much more frictionless experience for proving a traveller’s identity.