We're kicking off a new series at PRIME on the transformation of the way we do things. In the economy of life, there are tried-and-true methods, habits we love, patterns we are used to and a variety of other activities that condition the way we approach tasks. With the advent of mobile devices and app-run services, a more significant number of options are available for getting our business done. Enjoy our foray into the mobile economy of things, or the IoT. (Internet of Things) as we dive into several ways our hand-held devices have changed the way we face our world.
Air travel has changed a lot since it's early glory days. Some ways for the better, some for the worse. For instance, you used to be able to burn through a pack of Camels from your window seat if you were so pleased. Or how about having the flight attendant stow a rifle on the plane for you that wouldn't fit in your luggage? Or how about using someone else's ticket because there was no requirement for photo I.D.s to fly?
Surely, (and don't call us Shirley) air travel looks a whole heck of a lot different today than it did 30 years ago. However, many of the changes have been for the better. Maybe you don't smoke. Perhaps you don't want a rifle jostling around in a closet on the plane. What if someone stole your ticket? Many of the advancements of the mobile economy in the air travel space have made it faster, more convenient, and safer for us to go where we want to go. Let's check out some of the changes.
Mobile: Your Trusty Travel Partner
Of all the positive changes to come in the last few years, perhaps one of the greatest to change air travel has been the introduction of mobile. Like most things mobile, it's brought an unbelievable amount of control and convenience to the customer.
Buying an airline ticket used to mean showing up in person at the ticket counter and buying one off an agent or having a travel service take care of all the details for you. The price was what it was, with no real options other than to accept the one presented to you. Oh, and that paper ticket you could lose (that apparently someone else could use)?
With the integration of the IoT, we don't sweat that so much anymore. Flyers can check into their flight from the back seat of an uber, skip the lines and head straight for security. Once at the airport, they can flash their mobile boarding pass to the T.S.A. agent. While this may seem rote to those under 25, the convenience has come a long way, even in the last ten years. And with the advancement from mobile's addition, anything from flight tracking to airline comparison helps customers put a little control back in the palm of their hands.
Flight Tracking from Your Phone
Perhaps one of the most significant advantages to having a mobile aspect to air travel is the flight tracking abilities it brings. Through your phone, you can download apps like Hopper to flag flights your interested, sit back, and watch. Not only will Hopper show you the lowest prices, but best of all, whether or not the cost is projected to go up or down.
As with all of the IoT, a mountain of data comes along for the ride. Intuitive purchasing in apps like Hopper will let you know if it expects a price drop at a certain point, or if things are looking grim for your airfare future, and it's time to pull the trigger. This is the kind of help you needed a travel agent for twenty years ago, and yet you now have it on demand. It can be especially helpful when for trips you plan to take a few months down the road. With a little bit of cushion as far as timing goes, you can sit back and watch without the pressure of having to buy immediately.
Cost Comparison in an Instant
Another major twist since mobile's effect on air travel is one's ability to compare cost across airlines and a variety of dates. Instead of making your way down the ticket counter, inquiring after each airline, users can log on to their phone and tap into apps like Kayak, Google Flights or Skyscanner.
In an instant, they're looking at an annual calendar, with prices from every airline associated to different dates. Perhaps flying Thursday instead of Friday can save you $150. It's all right there, annotated on the calendar. Or maybe you want to know what extending your trip by two days would cost you. Find out at a glance using a timespan algorithm to see how the price changes when you move dates around.
The convenience of this isn't just a win for consumers, but the airlines, as well. While this sort of control keeps things competitive (airline tickets cost about 50% of what they used to when adjusting for the era), it also helps airlines. Instead of losing out on profit every time there's an empty seat on their plane, airlines can offer last-minute price drops that get a paying customer to fill their seats.
While it usually means an absolute price slash, it's better than the zero dollars they'd be collecting otherwise. On the receiving end, flyers who are feeling a little daring can wait and scope out these last-minute flights, often snagging them for next to nothing. If you're willing to risk it, you can be at the airport, waiting to fly across the country for what was hardly a drop in the bucket.
The Mobile economy
As technology continues to advance, air travel will bring ease, control, conveniece, and safety together even more. It has also changed the game on how we market amidst the immediacy of service. Notice those banner ads that creep up once you've checked out that trip to Tahiti? Have you seen Expedia remind you that you were looking for a hotel in San Diego or Hotwire tell you about a Hot Deal car rental ready for you in the Big Easy? It's all a part of the interconnection supplied by the IoT and the economy of mobile directed activity. Let us know what your favorite apps to use are in the comments. We hope you will be back to see how the growth of this environment is changing the world in which we live.