The Internet of Things is one of the most powerful emerging technologies with immense potential to transform the travel industry. IoT connects different devices through the internet to bring convenience to the everyday life of people. In the travel industry, IoT has the potential to transform the operation of travel companies, improve customer experience and revenue management. In 2016, Delta Airlines was among the first companies to invest $50 million in a bag-tracking system that sent push notifications to customers on the app about the location of the bag. Furthermore, The system helped passengers who may have missed their flight, locate their bags at the final destination. With the many use cases that IoT holds for the travel industry, let’s understand what is IoT and what are IoT use cases in the travel industry in 2020.
What is IoT?
Essentially, IoT is a network consisting of devices and objects connected through the internet to collect and exchange data. These connected physical objects could range from wearables, automobiles with built-in sensors, or a home automation system. These objects are connected to the cloud and transfer data across a network without requiring human intervention. The ecosystem created by the Internet of Things enables connected devices to interact with their external environment. IoT creates smart objects by enabling the devices to be monitored and controlled remotely.
IoT And Travel in 2020
Travelers in today’s era seek more personalization and exceptional experiences that offer maximum convenience at reasonable prices. IoT in travel offers a great level of personalization, automation, and enhanced customer experience, which proves to be beneficial for both, the travelers as well as the travel businesses. For instance, IoT can help hotels save on energy costs by using smart devices in every room that monitor the usage of energy and turns it off when not in use.
Similarly, IoT has the capability to enhance the travel experience and increase profits of businesses with the many use cases it offers. Let’s have a look at what are IoT use cases in the travel industry in 2020.
- Flight Check-in WIth Smart Devices
The web check-in option offered by airlines has been such a blessing for smart travelers. And, it is only getting better with IoT-enabled smart speakers. Smart speakers such as Google Home and Amazon’s Alexa provide great convenience when it comes to searching the web, ordering food, etc. They have now entered the travel industry helping United Airlines passengers to check-in using these speakers as smart devices. Furthermore, passengers can also be informed about flight status and flight amenities using these smart speakers. For all those travelers that rush at the last minute, these smart devices are a boon that helps them travel without stress.
- Luggage Tracking
Travelers are always apprehensive about their baggage while taking flights, especially if they have to take connecting flights. There isn’t anything worse that can happen on a vacation than realizing your bag is misplaced. Moreover, the baggage claim workers at the airport are either half-interested in solving the lost baggage issue or don’t have enough information to be able to track the baggage.
In 2020, IoT will come to the rescue of travelers, offering luggage trackers that notify passengers about the bag’s location through push notifications. These trackers can be used to determine the location of the bag which will help baggage claim workers and airline professionals to track the bag. As mentioned above, this technology was used by Delta Airlines in 2016 to track bags, to help customers who missed a flight in relocating and retagging their bags.
- Personal Control
One of the most important use cases of IoT in the travel industry is enabling personalization for customers in hotels and flights. Convenience is of utmost importance for a traveler, and IoT offers a great level of convenience through the control of appliances with a centralized device. For instance, customers can modulate the lighting and lighting or turn on/off the television remotely with a device. Similarly, travelers can adjust the air conditioning or seat temperature on flights using these smart devices.
- Hotel Check-Ins
Hotels will be leveraging IoT to facilitate a seamless check-in experience for their customers which will enable them to check-in automatically without having to stop at the front desk. Hotels will be providing their guests with electronic key cards through which they can enter their rooms. The same sensor-technology will be used by restaurants to automatically assign seats to guests by sending them the table number upon their arrival. These seamless travel experiences will not only save the guests’ time but will also provide them with a good experience and quality service.
- Automated Energy Saving
While travelers enjoy personal control through IoT-enabled smart devices, the same can be used to save a significant amount of energy. More and more hotels are now realizing how they can reap financial benefits using IoT in their daily operations. For instance, they can use sensors and internet-enabled devices to regulate room temperature, thereby using heating only when needed. Similarly, the lighting can also be modulated using this technology, with the sensors detecting natural light and reducing the light from the bulbs. This would save energy from being wasted and put it into use only when needed.
- Tracking Rental Cars
The trend of rental cars that are dependent on IoT, has been growing, providing great convenience to people. With IoT enabled rental cars, travelers no longer require visiting outlets to hire cars at their travel destinations. They can simply use IoT to access the location of the car they have hired and use a Key Fob to enter the car. Hertz is a leading car rental company that has leveraged the power of IoT to provide easy transportation to customers.
All that the customers need to do is book the car they like and select the pick-up location through an app. The customer is already provided with a keyfob to open the car by scanning the keyfob with the reader on the windshield of the car. The cars also provide voice services within the car to connect the customer to the contact center for any questions.
The travel industry in 2020 will be providing better and enjoyable experiences through the use of IoT technology. The primary aim of travel businesses is maximizing customer satisfaction through differentiated experiences, and IoT has the potential of providing unique experiences to travelers. With more advancements in technology, the applications of IoT within the travel industry will be advancing too. While this blog covers’ what are IoT use cases in the travel industry in 2020’, we are yet to experience how deep IoT will be penetrating the travel industry.