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The New World of Touchless Travel

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There’s a new trend emerging in the travel industry: touchless services. These features not only protect travelers’ safety in a world forever changed by the coronavirus pandemic, but they also provide a new level of convenience. From airports to restaurants, the prevalence of touchless features is on the rise.

Airports

One of the best ways to cut down on contact and touchpoints at the airport is to enroll in TSA Precheck and CLEAR. Travelers with TSA Precheck don’t have to remove items from their bags or take off their shoes at security checkpoints while CLEAR uses facial and eye recognition software to identify travelers, eliminating the need to hand someone a driver’s license or passport.

These services are certainly not new. But while they were considered a convenience in the past, they now provide a great option for reducing touchpoints, which can make travelers feel safer. It’s up to organizations to decide if covering the cost of these services for business travelers will fit into the budget. Otherwise, individual travelers will need to evaluate for themselves if the out-of-pocket expense is worth a contactless experience.

Restaurants and Retailers

Dining out or purchasing commodities on the road used to be standard procedure for business travelers. Now, as people try to limit their exposure to other individuals, travelers may be hesitant to go into a restaurant or store. Thankfully, new contactless options are becoming available every day.

Since the beginning of the pandemic, restaurants have been implementing curbside pick-up while major food delivery services like Uber Eats or Door Dash offer contactless delivery options. Many retailers also offer the option to order and pay online, then arrange for a curbside pick-up. So, whether a traveler forgot to pack something or needs to grab a new piece of tech for the big presentation, they can get what they need without ever setting foot in a store.

Airlines

Airlines are eager to reassure the public that flying is a safe method of travel. Some of their new procedures include an increased emphasis on sanitation, the installation of HEPA air filters, and requiring masks during flights.

So, what are they doing to increase contactless services? In fact, each of the major carriers — American, United, Delta, Southwest, and Jet Blue — now offers touchless check-in. The only catch? You need to download their mobile app in order to take advantage of this new service.

Hotels

In a post-pandemic world, traveler expectations about the sanitation and cleanliness of hotels are at an all-time high. But for hotels, implementing a touchless experience is a bit trickier.

Some hotels have embraced the opportunity. Hyatt, for example, allows for a completely touchless check-in experience through the use of their mobile app. They’ll alert you when your room is ready, and you can even use the app to unlock your door.

Other hotel chains, such as IHG and the Radisson, will continue to provide travelers with key cards in order to access their rooms rather than committing to the mobile technology upgrades. These chains include sanitizing every key card in between guest stays as part of their new cleanliness policies.

Looking for a travel management company that will act as a true partner and help you evaluate the health and safety practices of businesses within the travel industry? Contact the team at Direct Travel today.

Learn about Direct Travel's customized approach to corporate travel management.

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