L et’s be honest, airline tickets aren’t too great of a product. They’re pricey, and once you have bought them you can’t transform, upgrade, or transfer it without fees and an hour on the phone. What you acquire these days is a hyped paper ticket send to your email.
Blockchain technology has given a break to actually drag this system into this digital age. But the path from the old system to a new one will be difficult. Can blockchain-based platforms actually pull off the leading airline ticket upgrade in history?
An Outdated Trend in Aviation
In the last few years, domestic and international flights have become massively democratized. Billions of people are flying all over the world. Hundreds of countries, thousands of airlines, travel agents, connecting flights, airline partnership, complex baggage allowances, and growing customer expectations have made the industry incredibly complex and we haven’t even got to integrate with other travel services like hotels and car rentals.
Inclining Towards New Trend
Instead of powerfully deploying information technology to hook up all of these dots, the aviation industry has strived to add a little digital seasoning to their old paper system.
Blockchain has introduced the idea of crypto tokens on platforms like Ethereum. The authority to change and access the data can be safely given to whoever needs it, and updates can be seen immediately by all parties.
These collaborative properties make tokens a perfect technology for tickets. Airlines could form a token for each of their existing seats and make them available to agencies and passengers on the blockchain. Every time if one is updated or purchased, the information will right away propagate to everyone else. This could drastically simplify the current system of updating airline tickets.
From Tickets To Smart-Tokens
The actual power of crypto tokens is that they are programmable and they have their own built-in rules that can automatically carry out those regulations when the conditions are met.
If you will purchase an airline ticket, you aren’t just purchasing a piece of paper. You are entering into a contract with the airline. This contract will have terms and conditions that you have to follow, for example:
- Adding an extra bag costs $25.
- Changing passenger details must be done at least 7 days prior to the flight.
- Ticket cancellation costs $100 and has to be done at least 28 days before departure.
A flight token could enforce these regulations automatically, without any customer service operators, and can give you updates on each party’s system right away. As long as the regulations of the actual contract are met, you could change your flight, buy extras, or get a reimbursement without contacting customer service support. A multi-signature agreement gets stuck between, airlines, agencies, and passengers, with updates striking multiple, concurrent transactions between different parties.
Another powerful aspect of crypto tokens is their transactions are operated using cryptocurrencies. Using crypto’s for transactions permits for:
- An immediate completion time (in seconds, not in weeks).
- Less transaction fees (usually a few cents even for huge transactions).
- Decentralizing the entire settlement procedure, eliminating the necessity for a middleman.
- Effortless cross-border expenses.
These properties signify that cryptocurrencies payments can work out lots of industry’s settlement issues. From this Airline will get an easier, cheaper transaction method and can kick-start to put up a more supple product, and agencies have lower funds requirements and barriers to expansion.
Already there are projects that are working to build these blockchain flight tokens a reality. Further Network has begun their work with Smart Travel Record which is a token with all the characteristics that are mentioned above & more. Further describes Smart Travel Records as entirely customizable travel assets that can be utilized in both B2B & B2C models. Tokens can be easily purchased & can be upgraded with in-flight.
Ahead Of Just Airline Tickets
The blockchain idea is grappling with one more projects. To accomplish this, they envision a one-stop shop where day-tripper can book private resorts, hotels, flights, and cruise lines directly on the platform, focusing on a better consumer experience.
Hotels and Car rentals are giants that are strongly connected to air travel. Those who book a flight with an agency often book a room, transport, and insurance at the same time. As a Smart Travel Record, all these can be fused into one travel asset that can be immediately customizable, upgraded, exchanged, or divided up as required.
With the implementation of this the entire company trip, starting from airline tickets to hotels could be transferred to someone else with just one simple blockchain transaction.
Unlocking The Blockchain
Excitement for blockchain technology is justified in airlines. Even so, the aviation world should approach the blockchain evolution sensibly. Managing massive data cannot be simple.
Still, we have a lot of information that is not digitalized. The first move would be to migrate to a completely digital solution for the supply chain and for all the aviation data we gather. Getting to a new solution won’t be easy, but the payoff could potentially be huge for whoever can pull it off.