Innovations for Passengers: The Airport of Tomorrow

Futuristic airport Shenzhen hall © iStock by Getty Images / Yongyuan Dai

Travel Without a Suitcase

It’s already easy to travel just with cabin luggage for short trips, but did you know you can travel with barely any luggage at all – even if you’re flying long-haul?

Des-Kodes is a new company which asks you a few simple questions – your clothing size and the purpose of your trip – and then arranges for a suitcase of rented clothes to be waiting for you at your hotel when you arrive.

You get to keep the bag of beauty products and have the option to buy any of the clothes you take a particular shine to, otherwise, you simply leave them for collection at the end of your stay.

Don’t Speak the Local Language? No Problem!

While traveling, you’re often likely to find yourself having to speak to someone who doesn’t speak the same language as you.

Google Pixel Bud Bluetooth earphones support instant translation between 40 languages, and are already being trialled in airports around the globe.

Translation Google Pixel Bud Bluetooth © Google

Robots Working Throughout the Airport

Seven robots are to be tried out in a live airport environment in Japan ahead of the 2020 Tokyo Olympics. They will be doing everything from transporting luggage to helping to identify security risks. And at Seoul Incheon Airport, robots have been cleaning and acting as airport guides, and Munich Airport has already tried out a similar robot guide.

In the meantime, chatbots are able to answer some passengers’ questions using technology employed by several airlines including Lufthansa.

Long Wait at the Airport? Receive Special Offers on Your Phone

Designed by three students, ShopNGo will detect if you had a longer than usual wait at the airport – whether due to delays or simply a longer layover – and send you special offers to be redeemed at the airport’s shops, bars and restaurants.

You can also try SkyBuys which allows travelers to browse, save and then buy duty-free items based on their trip and flight plans. Travelers will have online access to duty-free shopping, on any device, from the moment they receive their ticket confirmation.

Looking for a Travel Companion or a Restaurant Recommendation?

Described by its creator as a live version of TripAdvisor, Travel & Share would be an app or console in airport departure lounges where passengers could look for someone to travel with, swap advice about their journey just minutes before their flight or simply chat to other people.

A Faster Journey Through Security

Many airports already have automatic passport gates which can compare your face to the picture in your passport and read its chip – some also have turnstiles which use fingerprints and iris scanning.

Trials are already being carried out in airports including Brisbane where, if you’re willing, you may be able to ditch your boarding pass and be identified according to your biometrics.

Brisbane Biometric based check boarding pass © Future Travel Experience

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