Eliminating the stress associated with travel has always been a desirable goal. The International Air Transportation Association (IATA) envisions a future where airports globally embrace full digitalization, paving the way for seamless travel experiences. While the IATA’s Recommended Practice on Digitalization of Admissibility is not yet set in motion, it sheds light on the organization’s vision for a more streamlined travel process.
The proposed system promises to transform the pre-flight routine, doing away with traditional check-ins and passport verifications at the gate. The IATA suggests that travelers could achieve this by creating a verified digital identity through their airline’s smartphone app. They would then submit all necessary documentation to destination authorities in advance. Once approved, travelers would receive confirmation via a digital passport app, granting them the ability to proceed to the airport without the need for a physical passport.
This shift towards a digital travel landscape could mean saying goodbye to conventional airport check-ins. Paul Griffiths, the CEO of Dubai Airports, shared insights during the Dubai Airshow 2023, revealing plans for Al Maktoum International Airport. Instead of a mega terminal, the airport will feature self-contained connected concourses, reducing lines and eliminating the need for physical check-ins.
Griffiths explained, “If we can provide a very quick outside check-in where you drop your bag and sit in a comfortable train directly taking you to the gate closest to your aeroplane.” He highlighted the potential for a hassle-free experience, allowing passengers to board trains designated for specific destinations, minimizing walking distances and maximizing shopping time before boarding.
Dubai International Airport is also embracing technological advancements to simplify the check-in and departure process. Reports suggest that Dubai is at the forefront of passport-free travel, with biometrics potentially replacing the need for passports or ID cards at the airport.
In a world where time is of the essence, the prospect of passport-free travel and efficient airport processes is undoubtedly appealing. As airports explore innovative solutions, the travel experience could become a more pleasant and stress-free journey for passengers. Welcome to the future of travel, where digitalization aims to redefine the way we navigate airports and board flights.