WE L C O M E
What does the future hold for travel? It’s a question that’s at the forefront of our minds at this time of year and if New Year’s resolutions are really a sort of wish list, what’s on ours for 2018? A recent thread on our forum, “If you could have one travel wish granted in 2018 what would it be?”, was instructive. Alongside pie-in-the-sky dreams of the return of Concorde and time travel, there were more achievable wishes such as the lifting of the 100ml security limit and hand baggage rules being enforced uniformly. Another theme boiled down to frustration with the inconsistent use, or lack, of technology in the travel experience. As one forum user put it, he would like “an online booking site that could cater for complex routings”. Fingers crossed it will come.
Topping the list, however, was the removal of queues (and most of travelling is queuing and its sister, waiting). We queue to check-in or drop our bags at the airport, we queue for security, we queue for immigration, and then we wait for the bags at the other end. Each country has its own rules and regulations, and enforces them in different ways, but technology should be able to help simplify the process.
Queues happen partly because of lack of resources, but one of the promises of technology is that it can ease these hassles – or “friction points”, as tech people refer to them. Whether empowering travellers by providing them with information to adapt their behaviour or allowing the faster processing of people, luggage and information, it should be getting easier, yet in many ways it is getting harder. As one forum user put it, “why can’t security machines be brought into the 21st century, allowing me to walk through without stopping, emptying pockets, taking out tablets, etc?”
A theme emerges. We want security and safety – and last year was the safest ever for air travel, thank goodness – but we want convenience as well. We should look forward to travelling. I hope that’s what this year brings.