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Travel Tech

While flying was once considered something of a luxury, today it is something that millions of people take for granted all over the world. The reason for this is the decrease in the price of flying, which has occurred due to numerous factors. One of the central aspects of this decline in price has been the amount of airline competition which has developed over the last couple of decades. Today, people fly with airlines from over the world regardless of what part of the world they are residing or spending time in.

Japan Airlines Charge Points

This has meant that it is increasingly essential for airlines to provide new services in order to distinguish them from the multitude of competitors. This has been achieved in a variety of different ways, but increasingly the in-airport experience is becoming important for travel consumers all over the world. Thus, a recent innovation from Japan Airlines is an interesting indicator of the direction of the industry.

Passengers of Japan Airlines in Osaka have been offered the opportunity to power up their mobile devices in a more convenient fashion. Instead of squeezing around a support column or climbing under dirty seats, as is the usual approach, consumers will be able to charge devices at charge points located near airport gates. Japan airlines has offered both AC sockets and USB power ports to passengers in order to ensure that all of their charging needs are met.

Once consumers have located the appropriate charging point, it is actually not even necessary to attend to the device themselves. Passengers do, of course, have the option to stand by their mobile device or unit while the battery charges, but Japan airlines has also attempted to make the process as convenient and enjoyable as possible. Thus, it is possible to sit at any number of nearby bar chairs and catch up with work or other more enjoyable activities, until it is time to board the requisite flight.

Osaka Airport Trial

This power station bar service at the Osaka airport is part of an emerging strategy to appeal to passengers of the airline via technology, and thus this is just one pillar of the airline’s overall approach. Japan Airlines has also released a well-received mobile app, automated bag tag services at airport kiosks, electronic boarding passes, and an onboard JAL Sky Wi-Fi service.

Previous reports from the Digital Tourism Think Tank have focused on the extent to which modern travellers favour technology, in particular mobile technology. Not only is mobile technology playing a role in the research and booking of the travel trips, but consumers are increasingly relying on mobile platforms in order to inform themselves and purchase goods and services during their trips. Rather than a niche or supplementary aspect of the travel experience, mobile should be viewed as central to it. And this initiative, and the overall ethos of Japan Airlines, acknowledges this modern reality.

Travellers to Osaka are able to locate the power station bars at the airline’s gates 15, 17, 18, 21, and 23. Depending on the success of this initial trial, the airline may consider adding additional power bars to gates at other domestic airports in Japan. There is no doubt as well that other airlines will be eyeing this particular development, with the intention of introducing similar technology in airports all over the world.

Attracting Passengers via Technology

As airlines continue to compete for passengers' attention, this latest innovation from Japan Airlines is just one example of the way that technology is being utilised to make the overall flying experience more enjoyable and convenient. Mobile boarding passes are already being implemented all over the world, and in-flight systems which tap into mobile technology are becoming increasingly important and popular.

The example of the airline industry is indicative of the extent to which travel-related companies and destinations need to pay heed to the mobile experience of travellers. Not only is this already an important aspect of the travel experience, but it is set to intensify in the near future with the popularisation of wearable devices. Already the Apple Watch is selling extremely well for the world's largest consumer electronics company, and this is expected to open the door to an elevation in the industry.

With such technology as mobile boarding passes already compatible with wearables, embracing the mobile industry will become increasingly important for travel-related companies and destinations alike.

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