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How Has Technology Changed the Travel Industry?

Published on
January 31, 2017
Matt Lenton
Marketing Director
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Technology has just about entered every corner of our lives. From the second we wake up in a morning to the minute we fall asleep technology has spread to push us into a faster, smarter and more intelligent world. The internet has brought us closer together and is pushing an on-demand world in which we are ever pushing forward in for new and exciting technological solutions.

One industry that has been taken back by the surge in technology is the travel industry as it greatly benefits from faster solutions to everyday travel related problems. Here are some technologies that have changed the travel industry in the last 10 years.

Apple Pay/Passbook

Digitisation makes our lives easier as we no longer are at risk of losing tickets or forgetting boarding passes. Everything is right here on our trusty phones (that we never let out of our sights). Apple wallet allows you to store all digital tickets and passes for quick scanning and fast entry onto planes.

We also no longer need to carry money about with services such as Apple Pay. Thanks to NFC (Near Field Communication) technology we can now pay for things with our phones without the need for cards. Just scan away for that train ticket. This makes things much smoother and hassle free when travelling.


Uber revolutionised the taxi service, it brought welcome change and technological transformation to an industry that was dated and stale. The on-demand app Uber has driven (no pun intended) the taxicab industry forward with a whole host of different technologies and combined them into one easy to use solution.

It gave users what they wanted, features such as GPS tracking to see where your cab is, Spotify integration, driver profiling, a much more refined customer service system and (most of the time) cheaper rates.

Wi-fi Connectivity

Now we all know that Wi-fi has been around longer than 10 years but its only recently become widely available on many transport networks such as the bus and train service. When you’re on the move 3G/4G can be a bit unpredictable, usually dropping connection when going under tunnels or in more rural areas. That’s when Wifi comes in handy for the average business traveler. As a mostly free service these days it gives many people peace of mind that they can get on the train coming from work and get that last bit of that presentation finished.

On-Demand Car hire

One big technological advantage these days for the vehicle rental sector is the new rent-a-car/pick up system. A number of car rental companies now have rental cars scattered throughout the UK (located by GPS and fed through the internet) that customers can freely get into and rent for an hour or two.

This works by using a key chain fob system that you scan the car with. It will then register the details of the user that will be tied to an existing account with the rental provider. They can then charge the user accordingly.

Smarter Air Travel

Air travel has taken off (pun intended) in the last few years. Planes are now more comfortable, ergonomic and generally more pleasant to be on thanks to a wide range of technology. Lets face it,  no on likes to be cooped up in a can for 6 hours but technology has made it more bearable.

Features such as mood lighting to give the plane a more cosy aesthetic, in house entertainment to drown out any exterior noise and the ability to actually use your phones on the plane have all come into play in the last 10 years.

In summary…

Across all these obvious technological advancements, it is clear that travel, in particular business mobility, has drastically changed the way we plan, enjoy and undertake a journey. Today’s traveler wants their booking now, their tickets paperless and their experience to be entirely connected. The last 10 years have all been about laying the foundation for travel technology (e.g. wi-fi connectivity, online payment engines, connected vehicles), the next 10 years is likely to be focused on bringing them altogether.