20th January 2017
The Possibilities with API’s in Regards to Airport Travel
By Cianán Clancy
API technology has become ever more popular over the years, but it certainly isn’t being utilized across the full spectrum of possible potential. I imagine a world where functional services can be brought together across companies to make travel more seamless and convenient. It is ultimately about making the user interface as simple as possible and making innovative applications accessible to all. In this article, I will attempt to answer the question: What would the travel industry look like if all travel companies opened up API’s?
Today, we not only have more information at our fingertips than we can possibly comprehend, but we also have the ability to access that information as quickly as we can hit the Enter key. And with so many innovators and problem solvers in the business of creating useful applications, there is no reason we shouldn’t have a one-stop travel app that takes care of all of our travel needs seamlessly and hassle-free.
Imagine having all of our travel information in one place on your phone, with all of your information saved to an app so you wouldn’t have to fill out the same information over and over again every time you purchase a flight. This would mean having all of your travel information—including boarding, gate, and flight status—in the palm of your hand and updated in real time.
Imagine being able to share your travel information with your friends via several platforms, that allows them to purchase the same flight without having to start a search from scratch.
Imagine an app that not only calculates the time it will take you to get to the airport from wherever you are, but allows you to order an UBER from within the app. This app would then warn you of long queues in the bag drop and security clearance section, allow you to purchase a priority pass with one touch to skip the queues, and calculate the shortest walk time to your gate with detailed directions through the airport.
Stuck in coach? No problem. This app would allow you to bid for empty seats in first class and business class while your waiting to load.
Along with business and functionality, this innovative app run through an API that also offer fun and entertainment! It would allow you to have internet connection on board so you can play your favourite games, watch your favourite movies or TV shows, or shop for gifts and anything else you might want. What’s more, imagine being able to order food and beverages and having them delivered to your seat without the hassle of notifying a flight attendant or waiting for them to walk by!
API’s Regarding Rental Cars
After a long flight and the stress of being at the airport, the last thing you want is to then waste time trying to acquire your rental car. Imagine arriving at the car rental counter and not having to wait in a slow queue just to then fill out paperwork. Imagine pressing your Apple ID button and having all the information prepopulated, including having your GPS coordinates already set in your car. Imagine walking right out to your rental car, opening it with your cell phone, and having the keys waiting safely within.
Imagine an app that rings your Airbnb host upon arriving to the property, or seamlessly checking you into your hotel and using your phone to get into your room.
Imagine an Airbnb app that allows you to utilize a number of services such as dry cleaning delivery and collection, or Deliveroo to order and deliver the best food from the best local restaurants, and finding the best stores and having gifts delivered to the location of your choosing.
You would be able to connect your iPhone to the local TV and speakers, and have all your music and videos ready to go and easily shared within the entertainment systems.
When you are ready to explore, it means getting tailored recommendations that accommodate the length of time you have, as well as recommendations that match your interests. The app will allow you to find the best attractions and restaurants, as well as the best public transportation information supplied via CityMaper.
Tickets would be readily available for purchase on your phone and you would be able to download the best audio tour guides. You will also be able to enter the best attractions with your electronic ticket, and just like the airport app, be able to purchase priority passes to skip queues.
Imagine being able to connect with other like-minded tourists in the area, and at the end of your trip, share your experiences and tips. Think about how much fun it would be to leave surprises for future travellers, like postcards or geocaching boxes, all ordered on your phone!
This can be reality
We have the opportunity to provide frictionless travel with user-friendly apps. We can do it today but we need to support the small developers and the start-up community and help give them the tools and also the support to develop these innovative softwares. This was just a small glimpse of what travel can look like if large companies take advantage of API’s. We have the technology. All we need is the ability to bring it forth from brilliant minds to our finger tips.