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The technology and infrastructure behind seamless travel

Daniel Batchelor

Global Head of Corporate Communications, Amadeus IT Group

The concept of seamless travel has two main aspects: technology and infrastructure. Certain markets are good at perhaps one aspect of seamless travel, but not the other.

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Seamless travel refers to travel utilising a variety of modes of transportation organised through a single booking process or ticket. Seamless travel may exist in many forms but an “ideal” case would be booking a single “door to door” service which took a traveller from their home to and through an airport, onto and off a plane and to their destination hotel.

Aspects

Seamless travel has two main aspects: technology and infrastructure. Infrastructure provides the different modalities of transportation, and technologies connect the different modes of transportation. The infrastructure component of seamless travel provides the bones and the technological component provides the connective tissue necessary to facilitate the logistics of the journey. The importance of seamless travel has long been recognised in the field of transport economics, with its emphasis on considering the “generalised cost” of travel.

Estimating a door to door journey’s generalised costs effectively involves adding up all the aspects of travel, including the costs of travel itself, the “in vehicle” time and the additional inconvenience of waiting time, changing travel modes (e.g. train to plane) or travel delays. Reductions in the generalised cost of travel are seen as key to estimating the benefits of a particular travel initiative by transport economists.

While this has long been seen as important within an economic context, less attention appears to have been paid to seamless travel as a commercial proposition until recently. One reason for this may be the fragmented nature of providers involved within the airline travel experience in particular.

Technological change however, may offer a new opportunity to change this situation.

Have a look at our report Shaping the Future of Travel: Macro trends driving industry growth over the next decade for more insights about seamless travel.


Tags

Traveler Experience, Connected travel, Multimodal Travel