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2 March 2016 , 9:00 am

Handing over my biometrics? Not so fast!

biometrics

I have to live with Google stalking my every move online and Facebook ‘recommending’ what I should be reading in my feed. I simply draw the line at handing over my biometrics. And I’m not alone as this appears to be an obstacle for most travellers despite their desire for a more streamlined travel process, according to Amadeus Managed Travel 3.0.

Let’s take a sneak peak into the future of air travel. We’re talking the use of fingerprints and retina scans for check-in purposes, self-driving cars that take travellers to and from the airport, robots that automate every aspect of the airport experience, and even travel websites that automatically book flights based on travellers’ preferences.

Airlines are eager to start integrating fingerprints and facial recognition into security, customs and boarding processes, but not all travellers are onboard with this yet. According to recent research by Boxever, security is a major barrier for the majority of ‘reluctant’ travellers, with more than half of travellers saying they don’t trust airlines to securely handle sensitive and personal data.

Just under half of travellers polled say they are skeptical as to how their biometrics can actually improve their travel experience. “Airlines aren’t equipped to properly handle fingerprinting; it would add a lot of cost and wouldn’t help the traveller,” was the comment from one of the respondents.

Once travellers are, however, told how submitting biometrics can expedite travel processes, enhance security and improve the overall travel experience, they are apparently far more willing to let airlines scan their fingerprints.

Promise travellers that they can dodge those lengthy security queues without any other form of identification verification and all of a sudden 64% would happily show off their fingerprints. And that’s not all: 61% would like to check into the flight with a quick finger check, and 54% are ready to ditch their boarding pass in favour of a fingerprint.

New challenges are likely to crop up all the time in the Managed Travel 3.0. environment, and this will demand a combination of fresh solutions. Anticipating needs will begin with knowing and predicting customers’ behaviour and preferences to make the right offer at the right time through the right channel. Just expect the unexpected and enjoy the experience.

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This post was written by Dorine Reinstein

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