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Fingerprint boarding passes and eye-scanning passports? Kim Castro talks about the future of travel technology.

In January, Gadling – a travel blog by The Huffington Post – published a post about “futurist travel” and how technology is projected to change in the travel industry over the next decade. Our Director of Technology and Automation, Kim Castro, read the article for herself and weighed in on the predictions. Read the original article here and see her comments below.


I read the Gadling article with great interest and amusement.

All of these ideas for advances are wonderful and would likely make travel easier and more streamlined. I’m sure that some day we will look back on what we use today during the travel experience – physical, tangible passport and paper or sometimes, for the more technologically hip, an electronic itinerary – with the same amusement as we do when we compare Pong with Xbox.

It’s difficult to believe, however, that these changes will come within the next 10 years. In an industry notorious for slow adoption of new technologies, much innovation needs to happen to build a base for these changes. Agents are reluctant to give up the comfort of the much loved and tried and true “green screen.” Yet, technology is a hot button in the travel industry. We want it, but are we ready for it?

One of the most important changes to come is a fundamental shift within ourselves. We are all familiar with “big brother” and the picture painted by Orson Wells in 1984. Are we ready to give up some basic parts of ourselves, and allow a chip to be implanted in order to save a few minutes in customs? When does evolution of technology not equal the de-evolution of our own selves?

The bigger question this article poses for someone like myself is how to future proof the technology we use today to get ready for what is coming tomorrow. We walk the line between innovation and functionality and the pitfalls of older systems used within our industry. We need to bridge those gaps while looking to the future.

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