The competition between airlines has never been more intense than it is now and we consumers are about to be the beneficiaries. Competition brings better deals, innovative designs and exciting new technology. It’s getting harder for these airlines to keep customers satisfied so expect some really exciting perks on airlines in the near future. We should see these new inventions being tested in the next few months and rolling out across the board by early 2018. Let’s see what all the hype is about.
Imagine being able to text freely while soaring in an airplane, without the flight attendant reprimanding you. Well, welcome to the future. Alaska Airlines just merged with Virgin America and is celebrating by introducing an exciting new feature to all of its flights, free texting! Yep, with their free Gogo Wi-Fi, you can text using apps like iMessage, WhatsApp, and Facebook Messenger. Since this feature doesn’t use too much data, this innovation is actually pretty cheap for the airlines.
Picture Boarding Passes
What if you can totally ditch your boarding pass from now on… and instead just use your face? Wow, talk about innovation. JetBlue is partnering with tech company SITA to introduce facial recognition software where you no longer will need a boarding pass. The software would use your passport or another certified image in the Custom’s database to check you in, simple as that.
Hawaiian Airlines is going back to its roots, as a truly Hawaiian airline. They redesigned their airplanes to feature native materials and fabrics while creating an island vibe. Expect fishing nets and native Hawaiian Language on the signage. If this doesn’t get you in the island spirit, nothing will.
Supersonic is BACK
The Concorde made its last transatlantic flight in 2003 and we thought supersonic technology was about to take off, but nearly 15 years later and nothing. Until now, when Virgin Galactic is partnering up with startup BOOM Technologies to develop and produce the first supersonic passenger jet in years. The planes should make the New York to London trip in less than three hours. Expect test flights later this year and airplanes should go into production in 2018.
Picture Check Bags
Delta is introducing its own facial recognition software, to help speed up the check-in and baggage processes. This technology will speed up the laborious process and free up gate agents top actually help people. The tests run all summer at the Minneapolis-St. Paul airport.
VR is a reality
Virtual Reality is fast becoming an actual reality with airlines implementing the technology to attract a higher end clientele. Lufthansa is using VR headsets to help lure passengers into their more expensive Premium economy class, which offers more legroom, and VR headsets for entertainment.
Lounges becoming shared office space
Say bye to the airline lounges you have become accustomed to, and say hello to more business traveler friendly, shared workstations of the future. Lounges are transitioning to these as a way to lure more business travelers into their circle of airlines.
The future is excitingly here now and we should all be excited for what’s about to happen to the airline industry.