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What are the value airports and airlines can achieve by investing in Seamless Journey? 

Alessandro Minucci

Airlines and airports want to simplify and automate processes as much as possible to deliver superior passenger experiences by improving operational performance, as well as have smarter usage of data to maximise existing cost structures and generate new and more valuable revenue streams. All that together will lead to higher customer satisfaction and retention, which will generate more income and maximise usage of precious existing staff and infrastructure. 


Why Biometrics are gaining ground 

Travellers are increasingly demanding a seamless journey experience, enabled by contactless and easy-to-use technologies, which put their safety and data privacy at the forefront. Airlines and airports are determined to simplify and automate processes as much as possible to be able to build sustainable and long-term growth. 

Biometrics are unique personal identifiers, which can be used to verify, identify and automate bureaucratic processes. Therefore, facial recognition provides greater security and efficiency in an airport environment where passengers are normally required to show government-issued photo identification and boarding passes. This applies all the way from check-in to boarding - and can be extended to the ultimate destination and afterwards. 


What does the Seamless Journey Platform® mean for airports and airlines? 

For airports, smarter and more efficient capital investment on long-term infrastructure, and a higher level of service at key mandatory processes, particularly at one-point accesses. The operations become smoother and more predictable, and there is an opportunity to transition from a purely operational focus to a more commercial approach. With this shift, the design, signage, and data usage can be more centred around services, retail, food, and beverage offerings, rather than being primarily concerned with operational formalities. As a legacy-ready ecosystem, the Seamless Journey Platform® enables the airport to shift towards contactless travel, permitting a controlled upgrade path from non-automated and non-biometric boarding pass-based workflows, towards a fully automated biometric-enabled journey. 

Airlines can improve frictionless processes for the passenger, and smarter allocation of human resources to support special and specific customer needs. Also, by being able to offer an interoperable solution that is compatible with legacy systems, the Seamless Journey Platform® enables airlines to offer full contactless journeys without the need to wait for the infrastructure to be available. 


How Seamless Journeys are transforming the ecosystem? 

The IATA (International Air Transport Association) Annual Review 2023 mentions that the “Digital identification IATA’s One ID will allow passengers to streamline their journey with advance information sharing and a contactless process at the airport based on biometric recognition”. In turn, “airlines can offer a seamless experience across different channels and touchpoints”. Travellers can move from the check-in to the gate using a single biometric travel token, that can provide their information direct to governments without airports and airlines acting as intermediaries. 

There are tangible benefits of the technology for stakeholders in the airport ecosystem. Boarding an aircraft using biometrics through a seamless journey increases efficiency, and Vision-Box observed that biometric technology is capable of boarding 480 people in 20 minutes - about half the normal boarding time. 


Putting the focus on the passenger 

The key elements of seamless travel experiences are the passengers themselves and their motivation is to have a smooth and stress-free experience - the airport can be an incredibly stressful environment. Integrating external services and leveraging biometric tokens enable the personalisation of each journey, enhancing security, convenience, and overall travel efficiency. Embracing these advancements in technology helps open the path to a future where travel becomes an effortless and memorable experience for every passenger. 

A critical aspect of achieving this seamless experience lies in personalisation. Each traveller's journey can be tailored to meet their specific needs and preferences. The use of a single biometric token plays a significant role in digitising the entire experience, enabling more efficient, seamless, and personalised processes. 


The importance of data 

Both airports and airlines can use the data that is collected, and fully consented by the passenger, resulting in better operational efficiencies and cost optimisations. 

Rich data is the core ingredient of the Seamless Journey Platform® since it is centred around it, so it can consolidate and expose the data captured in such a way that allows its consumption not only under the platform’s ecosystem but also by any external business intelligence solutions. The Seamless Journey Platform® is built on a scalable and flexible architecture that can receive and send data to external systems. The data-driven approach also permits the platform to seamlessly integrate with other Identity Management Platforms to enable interoperability between different businesses, across airports, airlines and other travel stakeholders. 

The new standards protect passengers’ data and ensure that travel remains accessible to all. Passengers retain full control over their data, and only verified approvals that are shared while ensuring compliance with ICAO standards. 


Getting the most out of the Journey  

A traveller-centric focus is the first prerequisite to get the most out of an investment in biometric technologies. Reducing both stress and friction, by simplifying the steps that passengers require to get through the airport, should be the primary goal. 

The speed and accuracy of data capture and recognition are also critical to effective biometric operations. Using a system with real-time recognition helps to keep the transaction time at each touchpoint to a minimum. Both hardware and software infrastructures also need to be easy for airport/airline staff to use and integrate with their existing systems. 


Going further, a biometric layer that integrates smoothly with existing infrastructures at the airport contributes to the return on investment by aviation stakeholders and a reduction in the total cost of ownership. At Vision-Box, we are strongly committed to helping airlines and airports get into the digital travel world and create seamless travel experiences, so they can grow and scale their own businesses organically. In this light, using biometric technologies to deliver seamless travel journeys is the future-proof solution that will highly leverage competitive advantage. 


Alessandro Minucci, 

Chief Product Officer at Vision-Box  

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