Fully biometric passports, 3D printed meals and possibly even time travel, that is easyJet’s prediction for the future of travel – and it could become a reality in less than 50 years’ time.
The carrier has commissioned some of the UK’s top academics and futurists to reimagine how travel and tourism will develop over the next half a century.
EasyJet insists that innovative new technology is essential to help keep demand for holidays high, with 75% of Britons telling the carrier technological advances will make them more likely to travel.
Heartbeat and biometric signatures instead of physical passports will also be in widespread use. We have already been the beginnings of a biometric passport system at a handful of UK airports.
The operator also predicts that hotels will have 3D printers that allow holidaymakers to choose what they want for breakfast, lunch and dinner the likes of which we have only seen on the USS Enterprise.
Haptic suits, which allow the wearer to fully immerse themselves in virtual reality, will be in use at historical sites, giving travellers the opportunity to travel back in time.
Johan Lundgren, CEO easyJet said: “I have spent all my working life in the travel business, from my beginnings as a tour guide in the mid-1980s to CEO of one of the largest and most innovative airlines in the world. From an insider’s position, I have witnessed how much holidays and travel have changed – particularly when our own airline easyJet famously challenged the status quo for air travel nearly 30 years ago, ending an era of holidaying abroad being a preserve of the rich, and making flying affordable and accessible to all.
“Innovation is in our DNA and we’re always challenging ourselves to think big and look at how we can make travel even easier for people all across Europe, both today and for generations
“So, we’ve commissioned a panel of experts – academics, futurologists, and business advisors – to develop ideas and make predictions about how travel might look in fifty years’ time, from choosing and booking your holiday to how the airport and flight experience may be transformed, and also looking at the accommodation people might stay in and the activities they could enjoy from travel in the 2070s. From biometric heartbeat passports, to ‘time- travelling’ holiday experiences in haptic body suits, holidays in 2070 are likely to be very different and therefore very exciting indeed.
“One thing is for sure, the future of travel is bright. As the experts who compiled this report will show, the rapid advancement of new technology will be the driver for the next generation of travel over the next half century. In our early years, easyJet pioneered the use of direct booking via the internet for our customers, launching our first website in 1998, and today, we’re working with industry leaders on hydrogen technology for zero-carbon emission aircraft that will transform the way we fly in the coming years.
“Having seen such rapid progress over the last few years and given our history of innovation, I am incredibly excited for the industry’s potential to revolutionise air travel whether that be making possible a future in which your heartbeat will become your passport, enabling the seats on your flight to adapt to your biology for ultimate comfort or smart hotels allowing us to configure our accommodation and meals to perfectly suit our tastes. My thanks to Professor Birgitte Andersen, Shivvy Jervis, Dr Patrick Dixon, Professor Graham Braithwaite, Dr Melissa Sterry and the team at Roland Berger who contributed to this report, and of course Dallas Campbell for helping to bring these exciting predictions to life.”