Brain Waves: the travel industry’s latest innovations

Brain Waves: the travel industry’s latest innovations

Our latest round-up of technical developments and bright ideas

Our latest round-up of technical developments and bright ideas

Shanghai airports offer check-in by QR code

Domestic passengers in Shanghai who only have carry-on luggage can now check in for their flight using a QR code on their mobile phone. Shanghai Airport Authority has introduced the technology at both of the city’s airports – Pudong and Hongqiao – as part of its efforts to reduce queues. Passengers on domestic flights with seven Chinese carriers can now use the QR code service.

Air France trails VR in-flight entertainment

Air France has spent the last two weeks testing an in-flight entertainment system that uses virtual reality headsets. In partnership with VR start-up SkyLights, passengers can watch 3D and 2D movies or TV series in “their own private movie theatre”. Since 1 August, the new IFE system has been trialled in business class onboard Airbus A340 flights between Paris and the Caribbean island of St Martin. Four headsets are initially being offered with a selection of 40 films and series.

Yatra launches Android smartwatch app

Yatra.com, the Indian OTA, has launched a new app for the Android smartwatch. In a first for the Indian travel industry, the new wearable app will enable users to search for and book flights, hotels and other activities, as well as checking in and checking their flight status. Yatra has also become the first Indian OTA to use “Accelerated Mobile Pages” to speed up its regular web experience.

Hawaiian Airlines launches mobile messaging service

Hawaiian Airlines has teamed up with LivePerson Inc to provide a new mobile messaging service to the airline’s passengers. The new two-way SMS messaging service allows the airline to communicate with its customers – and for them to send replies. Previously, passenger text communication was a one-way process, allowing the airline to send flight updates and other information to their customers. Using the new solution, passengers can now reply to a customer service team.

New map service for airport travellers

Travellers can now navigate their way through airports using a new GPS-based map service. InMapz offers detailed information on more than 100 global airports, including HKIA, KLIA, Changi and Suvarnabhumi, with maps of multiple terminal buildings and “you-are-here” indicators, plus searchable points-of-interest including departure gates, duty-free shopping and restaurants.

SATS creates mobile concierge for Asian travellers

SATS, the Asian ground handling company, has launched its new mobile concierge app, “Ready To Travel”. The new app serves travellers at four key airports: Singapore Changi, Bangkok Suvarnabhumi, Tokyo Narita and Hong Kong, providing travel information, airport maps and directions, check-in and boarding times, passport renewal and visa applications. It also allows users to purchase Wi-Fi services in 50 countries. The app will be expanded to more airports in future.

Dutch airports harness green energy

Several major Dutch airports, including Amsterdam’s Schiphol, will run on green energy from 1 January 2018. A deal between Eneco and the Royal Schiphol Group will supply Schiphol, Rotterdam The Hague Airport, Eindhoven Airport and Lelystad Airport with sustainable power. In the years ahead, all of the sustainable power will be generated by Eneco’s new Dutch wind farms.

Lufthansa launches interactive ice cream map

Lufthansa has launched an interactive online ice cream map, which allows passengers to search for the best ice cream parlours in the airline’s destinations across Europe. The map can be accessed directly at icecreammap.eu and will be live until the end of the month, catering for the summer season. By clicking on a city that Lufthansa flies to, visitors will be provided with the name, address and a direct link to the website of the recommended ice cream parlour in that specific location.

 

Mark Elliott
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Mark Elliott
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