As travel ancillary provider Holiday Extras celebrates its 40th anniversary, Alvaro de Nicolas - the newly-appointed chief digital strategy officer - shares with Travolution the technology predictions he think will deliver transformative changes for the travel sector in the next 40 years, including turbocharged travel times, AI-integrated travel planning and more.
Guest Post: The future of travel - say hello to AI and supersonic jets
In 2063 travel agents will work hand-in-hand with AI, using AI-powered apps as assistants to help plan their customers’ holidays. Travel agents will still play an integral and important role in this process – the reliable and knowledgeable experts that help holidaymakers get the best out of their holidays – but use the technology to help them curate totally personalised experiences for customers, no matter their preferences, interests, or budget.
AI will be advanced enough to design planes that will minimise travel’s impact on the environment – minimising emissions and making air travel more climate friendly; planes will be equipped with advanced technology, developed with AI, that will ensures a smooth and efficient flight, with sensors that monitor the aircraft's performance in real-time.
Fast forward 40 years and we’ll see passengers board supersonic jets that will help them travel overseas at record speeds. Predominantly used for international travel, supersonic jets – like the Boom Supersonic ‘Overture’, which is planned to take off in 2029 – will enable people to fly at over 1,300 mph. This means that holidaymakers from the UK will be able to jet to Tenerife in just two hours.
While onboard, in addition to enjoying the augmented reality and virtual reality entertainment options available, passengers will also be able have their refreshments delivered to their seats by bots. Similar technology will also be available in airports to enable holidaymakers to explore their destination before they even board the plane, helping them plan their first steps on holiday before leaving the country.
Facial technology will be widely adopted by 2063, which will eliminate worries about the length of time customers have to spend in the queue to get through security. Holidaymakers will be able to walk direct to their departure gates without the need for manual checks. Companies like Delta Air Lines and Air Canada are already doing this; Delta, for example, has installed facial recognition kiosks at some of its gates that allow passengers to board their flights without showing a boarding pass or passport. The technology scans the passenger's face and matches it with their passport photo, allowing them to board the plane quickly and easily.
As one of four recent senior tech and tech advisory hires by Holiday Extras, Álvaro de Nicolás, is an integral part of the group's mission to becoming a "world-class product and technology business" .