Technology and its role in travel 2.0

So we are all familiar with the announcement that before takeoff, all devices must be shut down.  The fact is, according to the New York Times, it actually may be true that it can cause interference.  Devices on during flight is bad

But that’s not what this post is about.  I actually wanted to touch on how new devices effect not only the way we get information, but how it changes the way we travel.  From getting through security to what needs to be powered off on the plane to how we listen to music or watch movies, there are so many gadgets out there, that the airlines and TSA just cant keep up anymore.

For example, I recently flew back from Charlotte on one of the major airlines, and while we waited to be de-iced and take off (a whole other story), we were informed that all electronic devices had to stay off EXCEPT for cell phones.  Now, last time I checked, smartphones do everything that other devices such as iPads, iPods do, except you can also place a phone call.  So what’s the logic behind that?  Essentially, they were telling passengers it was acceptable to place a phone call, but not keep themselves entertained.  I personally just think that the crew didn’t understand the capabilities of these devices and thought that by allowing people to listen to music, they would ignore any announcements.  Well, I think the same can be said if you were on the phone.  Go figure.

A big trend in travel I have been seeing recently involves mobile check in.  Airport security now accepts a QR code along with an ID to allow you to get through security quickly without having to print boarding passes.  This is beneficial to everyone by streamlining the process at the airport, but is probably the best thing since sliced bread for those business travelers who don’t need to check luggage.

Mobile Boarding Pass Image

Example Mobile Boarding Pass

Airports aren’t the only places travel is changing thanks to technology.  While hotel checkout has minimized human interaction for years by slipping your final bill under the door, hotel check-in is joining the party.  Norway has the first fully automated hotel in the world.  If you wanted to, you would never need to interact with the hotel staff (unless you need more towels of course). Even the key to your hotel room would reside on your mobile device!

Read about it here: Hotel story

So what’s the moral of the story?  There isn’t one, but the idea I want to leave behind is that technology isn’t just the gadgets you carry with you on your vacation, they are the universal key to your vacation in 2011 and beyond.

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