Despite advancements in aviation technology, the mechanisms underpinning the travel industry in this sector haven’t changed much since the 1960s.
Due to the constant moving parts that make up the passenger air travel industry, digitization and automation of operations have been excruciatingly slow. Flight coordination, customer and supply management are often executed across a myriad of incompatible systems with little or no way of harmonizing their operations, resulting in high costs for travelers and a large overhead of up to 35% for companies.
There is nowhere that reflects these inadequacies more graphically than an airport.
Brisbane airport has teamed up with Australian crypto travel company TravelByBit, which designs tourist routes and provides selected providers with a digital currency payment platform. The airport will use the platform to enable flyers to use Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dash and other digital currencies to shop and dine at various stores and restaurants across both of Brisbane’s air terminals.
Getting to the terminal itself has been made easier by blockchain startup AVINOC that brings passengers, airlines, air traffic control and travel agencies together with its advanced, decentralized technology. This company looks to challenge the status quo of old centralized booking companies such as CheckFelix or Expedia.
But what of the airport itself? To many the ordeal really begins at the terminal gates, the traveler having to endure endless ticketing and immigration queues, followed by baggage check-ins, then the sheep pens of passport and visa checks. Many seasoned flyers would subscribe to the view that flying has become time-wasting, stressful and is often a display of complete incompetence by airport authorities and airlines, particularly in some less-developed locations around the globe.
We are now in the digital age and as the Brisbane project shows, it is beyond the time that blockchain should intervene to make the traveller’s experience a happy and smooth one, rather than a recipe for raised blood pressure.
With DLT solutions, traveller identities can be verified in an instant at home via a mobile or desktop and further at the airport without the mindless gaze at a paper picture and endless key pushing by a hapless official seemingly nailed to a chair. Bags can be chipped and scanned to match owners for both security and speed of loading, a service thankfully currently provided by VeChain Thor.
Face recognition is beginning to be adopted, but inconsistently, and retinal scans and fingerprinting offering maximum security in this age of heightened terrorist activity, are rare to non-existent. Decentralized digital identities remain the realm of fantasy movies such as Mission Impossible but in the real world, the traveler must make do with sagging outmoded systems… and oh yes, those sheep pens.
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