We’re creating a more connected travel industry, underpinned by sustainability and long-term investor relations.
Senior Manager, Executive Communications, Amadeus IT Group
We all intuitively know how much easier it is to travel when you are connected. That is when you can not only easily access all the necessary providers for your trip, but also be assured that these providers are all connected with each other.
What does all this mean for you and your trip? Synchronicity, affording you a smooth and seamless travel experience. However, it´s only when you compare it to how disconnected travel used to be that you fully comprehend its advantages.
You want proof? Just read about my honeymoon. On February 18 2007, one day after our wedding, armed with lots of winter clothes, a bit of a hangover and lots of patience – needed for long flights and airport connections – my wife and I boarded a plane to Buenos Aires. From there we would go on to Ushuaia, the southernmost city in Argentina, which would be the first stop of our two-week long Patagonian tour, a cruise to Cape Horn included.
What I didn´t bring with me, it seemed, was a valid passport. Mine had expired just a few months before and I hadn´t noticed. Well, neither me nor the friendly lady at the travel agency that helped us plan and book the trip, the people at the check-in in Madrid-Barajas, or the policemen at the passport control. The person who did indeed notice it was the lady at passport control in Buenos Aires.
If you have ever played “Papers, Please ”, the video game, then you know how I felt when she said “Can you please come with me to that room over there?” Since you most probably haven´t, I’ll paint you the picture: in that room, I was accused of being some kind of illegal immigrant who had bought a very expensive holiday to the Patagonia (flight back to Spain included) just as an excuse to enter the country to illegally find a job and then stay forever. No matter how many explanations, it all resulted in me being expelled from the country.
Now imagine if back then in 2007 my travel agent in Madrid had had Amadeus Visa Pass. She would´ve received a notification about the passport and visa requirements, so I would´ve been reminded to check the expiry date, and that would´ve led to all of the above never happening. Connected travel can indeed help you prevent your honeymoon from being ruined.
But there wasn´t any Amadeus Visa Pass back in 2007. And I was expelled from Argentina. Note I said “I”. My wife wasn´t. Her papers were all fine, and the airline wouldn´t find a place for her on the first flight back to Madrid, which would take off 5 hours after the “incident”. So my next challenge was to use those 5 hours to find a flight that would take me back to Buenos Aires, with enough time to then take a plane to Ushuaia, where my wife would be waiting for me to get on the boat to Cape Horn and the Patagonian fjords.
Easy peasy, I hear you say. Take out your smartphone or tablet, connect it to the nearest wifi point, or maybe pay a bit of extra roaming cost, then go to your preferred online travel agency, book your flights, get your tickets on your device, done. If it was just that easy. Remember:
I got married in February 2007. I know, it seems like a century ago, but let me remind you about the “conditions” back then. Apple launched its iPhone, the first smartphone, in June that year. Which meant that internet access through the mobile was available, but still slow and horribly expensive. Of course, tablets were still a thing only seen in cult sci-fi movies . And with those now ubiquitous gadgets non-existent, the notion of connected travel was just as sci-fi as the video I just linked you to.
So instead of the quick, easy, cheap and convenient solution of today, my only way out of the mess was to spend two hours on the phone with my travel agent back in Madrid (I don´t think I need to explain how much money that cost), then quickly go to see her in Madrid to get my physical tickets, because one of the airlines I needed to fly with wouldn´t do it any other way.
Did I make it on time? Three days and 1,500€ later, yes, I made it. But believe me when I say that a truly connected travel would´ve saved me two 12-hour long flights, lots of money, and most importantly, the first reason for my wife to start thinking about divorcing me after just two days of marriage.
We asked Amadeus employees to share their travel experiences and thoughts on personalised, connected and sustainable travel. You can check out all their responses in the Summer blogs tag page.