According to a recent article in The Economist, the future of business travel will be focused on leveraging geolocation services. By homing in on the location of business travelers, it will be possible to provide real-time offers and upgrades depending on where they may be during their trip.
For example, a traveler could receive a real-time update on the status of a security line before he or she makes it to the airport, or be offered the ability to upgrade to first class right before boarding a flight.
These are all laudable examples that could potentially enhance the travel experience for any businessperson.
However, to truly resonate, the offers must have true meaning for the traveler, and not be generic in nature. The goal for providing these services should be to please the traveler, and not just focus on uncovering new revenue streams.
Another consideration is that many travelers are already inundated with native mobile apps on their smartphones, and it is not clear who would “own” the service.
For example, is Delta Airlines providing the real-time upgrade to first-class? Or would this offer come from a third party? To achieve this true geolocation benefit, a traveler may have to be connected to many different services and brands, which can become confusing.
Ideally, business travelers will be connected with one service that will operate as the “hub” for these real-time offers to occur. This would provide a more unified source that can leverage updates from any airline, hotel or other service.
Very soon we could live in a world where the business traveler is armed with real-time intelligence to make their journeys more frictionless. While many brands are seeking to develop the right mobile applications, it is always good to keep in mind that the most important thing is pleasing the traveler.