Can SMS improve our summer holiday?

Going away on holiday and getting on a plane is now pretty standard practice. There was a time when if you had been on a plane you were part of a very prestigious club but now getting on a plane is just like getting on any other form of public transport – a bit of a hassle and inconvenient.
The whole travel and hospitality sector has not moved with the mobile revolution, smartphones have enabled different businesses and industry sectors to come on leaps and bounds with their product and customer service – has the travel sector?
The day of travel is full of fed up faces as they wait in endless queues mixed with tears from the kids and panic as you fear that you have forgotten something – but can this whole process be made easier, quicker and more efficient?
Let’s take the whole holiday process step by step and see how it can be improved via mobile.
First off the booking
People always like to get a good deal particularly when it comes to booking your flight or hotel. An empty seat on a flight or an empty room is wasted money, so offering this at a greatly reduced rate can really tempt in the punters – but what’s the best way to offer it?
Only 22% of all emails are read compared with 98% of all text messages (Frost and Sullivan) – so why not text us to let us know that they have a last minute cheap flight to Paris or Rome? Make a perfect way to surprise the partner and get in the good books.
The car park
Why not give us the ability to pre-pay for our parking space and text us to let us know where our space is “Your pre-paid parking space is block D space 14.” No time is wasted trying to find a space, getting a ticket or trying to remember where you parked your car on the return journey.
The dreaded check in
We have all spent time winding around the fenced queues to the check in desks. This process has been made slightly more manageable now with the help of online check ins but can the process be improved with mobile check ins? Allowing people to simply check in on their smartphone when they arrive at the airport and receiving their boarding pass by text should make things a whole lot easier.
Retail therapy
We all love a bargain and the tax free shops in airports have some beauties but in some of the bigger airports like Heathrow and Gatwick you can get lost and run out of time. Sending relevant marketing messages of offers and deals in certain shops might just make life a little easier.
Flight details
Unfortunately flights do get delayed and sometimes cancelled but with the help of mobile marketing you might be able to ease that pain slightly. Letting us know via text that our flight has been delayed might mean that we can grab an extra hour in bed or at the hotel pool before we make our way to the airport. Maybe a text to let us know that our plane is boarding, “Your flight is now boarding so please make your way down to gate 7”
In flight
We know the ability to phone and text might not be possible or even be the best idea on flights however when it comes to the flight we still want to be able to use our mobile devices. There is talk of planes introducing wi-fi for their passengers which would be a good step in the right direction and we also think that having little power points in the backs of seats so we can charge our device like trains would be good idea.
Finally the hotel
Can we not just check in via our mobile? Well the Hilton seems to think so. They have just released that all of their hotels worldwide will offer smartphone check ins by 2016. You will be able to choose your room via your mobile and your mobile will also be able to act as your room key. Room service, general enquiries and checkout will all be viable by text.
With holidays on the rise the competition between airlines, airports and hotels is hotting up. So sit back and strap in and see who can utilise the might mobile the best because whoever does will surely be the winner.
Some sunny stats about our holidays…
Mobile marketing during the Summer holidays. Statistics in one infographic