Technology for travelers is shaping expectations and changing the way people travel. Mobile apps like AtYourGate and App in the Air are coming on the market in response to changing guest expectations when it comes to convenience and tailored services, and providing solutions to help enhance travelers’ lives and making things easier.
The AtYourGate dining app, launched last year in San Diego, allows users to place an order from a participating airport restaurant and have it delivered right to their gate or other location.
“AtYourGate takes away the stresses of travel by delivering food and travel essentials no matter where you’re located in the airport,” said company President David Henninger. “Whether it’s a flight delay, short layover, or just hard to leave your gate, using the AtYourGate app saves you time, allows you to relax, and lets you choose what you want versus having to settle for choices nearby.”
In January, AtYourGate rolled out at New York’s John F. Kennedy International, Newark Liberty International and LaGuardia airports, garnering thousands of orders.
“We are continually exploring service innovations and new technologies in order to make traveling easier for our customers,” said Port Authority Executive Director Rick Cotton in a press release. “Partnering with innovative companies such as AtYourGate helps us effectively meet passenger needs in an increasingly digital world.”
App in the Air is another piece of mobile technology that is making things easier for travelers. The app has been credited with simplifying the flight experience from booking to landing by helping travelers manage various aspects of travel including multiple itineraries and boarding passes as well as loyalty programs associated with airlines, rental cars and hotels. In addition, the app contains airport information, including security line wait times, airport maps and flight delays.
App in the Air founder and CEO Bayram Annakov described it as “the premier personal travel assistant for frequent fliers. We cover the pre-trip, day-of travel and post-trip travel stages through the app’s various streamlined features, to make flying seamless and more efficient for the user.”
App in the Air is not forgetting the human element with its “nearby” feature, which helps travelers connect with one another via simple conversation starters within the app, allowing users to share tips like "hidden" power outlets and connect with each other about travel delays or even to share a cab or meet up. Annakov said App in the Air is “grounded in the major trend of customization” in travel.
The Baarb hotel search assistant is an example of the tailored travel technology, connecting people to the right hotel based on their personal taste. Baarb was part of the recent Future of Travel Tech Summit in Miami.
Making travel easier
There is a growing body of solutions that use technology to make travel easier. The Neatebox app, for example allows air passengers to enlist specific assistance at the airport. Edinburgh Airport has adopted this technology. Munich Airport’s Josie Pepper robot, meanwhile, assists passengers as they pass through the terminal.
Transportation apps such as Rome2Rio and Car2Go make it easy to get around foreign cities. Rome2Rio provides information on navigating public transit and other travel options worldwide. Car2Go enables car rentals by the hour.
Google Translate and Pocketalk help travelers use technology to cross language barriers. The Pocketalk device that provides audible translations from English to other languages.
Artificial intelligence, speech recognition and high-speed internet connections while in flight are among the upcoming technologies that will shape the travel experience.
Henninger of AtYourGate says a key to the company’s success is its “talented and motivated team of brand ambassadors that follow a proven approach to hospitality and passenger service.” The app facilitates 20,000-plus orders last year.
App in the Air is planning to roll out a new flight booking feature, completing its all-in-one functionality. The app will match fliers with itineraries with the highest number of rewards points based on which loyalty programs they participate in.
“With these new features, we continue to make the travel process more personalized, because we recognize that air travel is an experience of the masses and individualizing it is key,” Annakov said.
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