The travel industry is determined to take your trip to the next level.
In times gone by, the only personal element about your trip was your name on your air ticket. Today, the travel industry is turning into your own personal concierge to create the perfect journey for you.
Whether it’s having your favorite cocktail poured before you take a seat in the lounge or giving you that dinner reservation at the press of a button, the travel industry is constantly innovating itself to make travel more pleasurable for you.
In the airport
The tailored experience can start from the moment you step into the airport. At Miami International Airport, there are more than 500 sensors positioned throughout so if you leave your Wi-Fi on and open the MIA Airport Official app, your journey can be tracked.
The app uses your location to send you personalized real-time flight updates, weather information, and your fastest route to and through the airport. It also sends you offers from airport stores and cafes as you walk past them in the terminal.
In the lounge
After launching its non-stop 17-hour Perth to London route in 2018, Qantas joined with scientists to create a space in its Perth International Transit Lounge to help guests sync with the London time zone.
Guests who catch the daily 7 p.m. flight from Perth can use body clock intervention technology to reduce their chances of jetlag. Inside the shower room is a button that emits a bright blue light at 480 nanometers, which can help you feel more awake and delay your individual sleep pattern.
United Airlines also aims to help you beat the inevitable jetlag by offering MileagePlus and Premier 1K members a complimentary jetlag beating app based on circadian neuroscience. The Timeshifter app, created by a Harvard neuroscientist for NASA astronauts and F1 drivers, works by letting you know when you can drink caffeine, when you need to avoid sunlight, and when to sleep so your body clock will sync with the next time zone.
United Airlines President of MileagePlus Luc Bondar said the company turned to this innovative app to help improve their customers’ experiences.
“Timeshifter takes all the guesswork out of avoiding jet lag and instead uses science and algorithms to design a customized, step-by-step trip across time zones,” Bondar said.
In the air
If you feel as if the aircrew are almost second-guessing your every whim, it’s because they are. Delta and American Airlines provide their crew with an app that lists everything about your journey to help make your flight go as smoothly as possible.
These devices, which use information from your booking and previous flight history, can include information on anything from your food preferences to details regarding your onward journey.
While the aircrew knowing where you are flying to next is designed to help make your transit seamless, some travelers are not happy with the amount of personal data the crew is given. So, while you won’t get a happy birthday from the crew, you can be given a travel voucher as an apology if the crew noticed you suffered a mishap on your journey.
Delta Senior Vice President — In-Flight Service Allison Ausband said the app meant flight attendants were now able to help differentiate the travel experience for guests.
“Feedback from our Medallion flyers shows that they highly value being recognized onboard and now, we are making it easier for flight attendants to personalize recognition with targeted information at their fingertips,” she said.
At the hotel
Hotels have also upped the ante when it comes to personalization. Virgin Hotels Chicago recently launched Lucy, an app that acts as your personal butler. With one swipe you can book a table at a restaurant, switch the channel on your TV, or change the temperature of your room.
Hilton and Marriott hotels also have a one-stop-shop app that acts as a booking tool, concierge, and room key card to help take the headache out of travel for frequent fliers.
It seems as if nothing is too much for hotels when it comes to pampering guests. At The Nobu Hotel Miami Beach, a Beverage Butler is delivered to your room with a nightcap if hotel staff know you like to wind down at the end of the day with a drink in your suite rather in a bustling bar.
The boutique Old Clare Hotel in Sydney, Australia will also make you feel instantly at home by taking one of your images from your Instagram feed, printing it out, and putting it in a frame in your room. The hotel team also aims to stock your bathroom with your favorite toiletries.
Meanwhile international Boutique brand Kimpton creates what it calls “ridiculously personal experiences” via its Social Listening Desk (an in-house social media team). The hotel brand’s on-site staff are always looking for opportunities to personalize your trip, with the Kimpton Palladian Hotel in Seattle giving you the chance to request a celebrity pillow for your bed.