Monday, November 30, 2015

Missed Opportunities In Travel Tech

I've been doing a lot of traveling lately and I've noticed that there are a lot of missed opportunities and missing technologies that would integrate well into the travel workflow. These opportunities represent ways to reduce friction with customer interaction, which in my opinion, increases brand loyalty.

There are several things that need to happen in order to check into a hotel or rent a car, all of which are time consuming. First you need to show your identification. Then you need to give/confirm the credit card to hold the room with. You then need to confirm you're contact information. If you're lucky this is all, but often you also need to agree to some terms.

Technology can help reduce the friction, significantly.

Digital ID

There needs to be some way to store your state/country issued identification digitally, and only make it accessible when and to whom you choose. I'm sick and tired of having to constantly show my license/passport for identification verification. I know there are a ton of privacy concerns but hey, it's 2015 and the internet isn't going anywhere. It's time we figured this out and stopped requiring people to show physical identification.

Contacts Integration

Why do I have to fill out my name, address, telephone, and email every place I check-in. My phone has all this information already stored in my contact card. I should be able to "share" this info with an establishment if I choose to have it auto-populate any of that information in my records. We already have standards (for example: Bluetooth and NFC) which could be used to handshake this information whenever and wherever we want.


I should be able to use geo-fencing to initiate my integration with an establishment even before I get there. For instance, suppose I have a hotel or car rental app installed on my phone and I'm logged in with some way for them to identify me. As I got within a certain proximity of the establishment they would get a notification that I was near and start preparing the paperwork (all automated hopefully). The app would then request that I give it one time access to my Digital ID, credit card, and contact info which I could accept or refuse. If I accept, my check-in is complete and there's nothing for me to do when I get to the hotel/car rental except get my keys.


When I get to a hotel or car rental establishment I should be able to walk up to a stand and using my personal device (via NFC, Bluetooth, or whatever) authenticate myself and get authorization for the key. Taking this one step further, why do I need a room key or car key at all? Why can't I use my personal phone to access my room or car. My device is/should be unique.

1 comment:

  1. Interestingly enough, the rental car suggestions used to be in place when I was renting weekly. I would get on the bus to the rental car area, a board would show my name and car location. I would just walk to the car, get in (key was in ignition) and go At the exit I would give them their paperwork from the car and my license. That could be automated by Bluetooth or something else although my transaction lasted less than a minute on the average. I did have to be a member of the rental car's elite club for this service but you have pretty much nailed what they did.