How technology will change travel in 2015
Travel takes us all over the world, but its key technology battles are happening in your pocket.
Mobile use is booming. During 2014, Skyscanner flight searches from hand-held devices have grown by 152 per cent, according to the company. Mobiles will become ever more important, particularly as last-minute and in-destination booking booms.
Of course, a mobile phone is useless if you can’t afford to use it. I have written regularly this year about roaming, including how to avoid charges with apps such as Roamer (Android, iOS; roamerapp.com). Roaming will continue to be an issue, but welcome changes may arrive for European travellers. In April, the European Parliament voted to end roaming charges within the EU by December 2015. Details are still to be confirmed. In the meantime, anyone on Three “can look forward to further additions of countries to the Feel at Home offer in 2015”, according to the company. Feel at Home allows customers to use their mobiles abroad with no extra roaming charges, and currently applies in 16 countries.
The convergence between phone and wallet will accelerate. It is not yet clear when Apple’s mobile payments system, Apple Pay, will come to Britain. However, Zapp is already working with banks and retailers to add a mobile payment capability to existing UK banking apps. Zapp’s service will launch in 2015.