The holiday season is officially underway, as more travelers hit the road to enjoy the festivities and family time. Take comfort in the ways forward-thinking brands are increasing tech, convenience and programming to make the consumer journey a smoother and more enjoyable one.

CAMPAIGNS TO WATCH

 

Look And Book

NOW YOU CAN BOOK A FLIGHT WITH YOUR FAVORITE INSTAGRAM SHOT

Move over keyword search, easyJet’s “Look and Book” app takes ‘visual search’ to new heights in booking. Saving consumers time by letting them book flights using screenshots of Instagram posts, the campaign is a prime example of how to harness the one billion visual searches happening every month to optimize e-commerce. (via Campaign)

Meditating

THE WORLD’S LONGEST FLIGHTS GET WITH THE PROGRAM

A lighter and more fuel-efficient crop of aircrafts are giving rise to ultra-long-haul flights. This has created a need to keep travelers entertained and comfortable for up to 19 hours straight. To address this challenge, airlines are taking a page from the hospitality industry’s high standards on experiential offerings. For example, beyond offering premium seats, Singapore Airlines teamed up with Canyon Ranch Spa to provide curated sleep strategies, guided stretching exercises, and indulgent yet healthy eats that combat the stress of lengthy travel. In an era of shrinking seats and salty pretzels, solution-driven concepts may be exactly what the doctor ordered for travelers willing to pay the premium. (via The New York Times)

TRENDS TO WATCH

 

Technology Interface

If you’ve recently traveled through Atlanta, you may have experienced America’s first biometric terminal. Delta Airlines is testing facial-recognition technology to replace passports and tickets at the world’s busiest airport. Trials and errors in applying similar tech in different arenas – like fingerprint scans used in customs or to unlock your cellphone – offer a glimpse of what’s next as technology is put to work to make everyday transactions more efficient, at the expense of face-to-face contact. (via The Economist)

Hacking the hotel

more is More: Americans Crave Space ‘HACKING’ THE HOTEL MODEL

From hospitality giants looking at hostels for inspiration to travel startups blending short-term rentals with boutique experiences, hotels are shapeshifting to evolve with travelers’ needs and likes. Introducing new ways to maximize flexibility and convenience, including capturing guest preferences ahead of time, tech-enabled check-in, 24/7 support and central locations, are key ingredients for success. The real question is how to strike the right balance of automation without completing phasing out the human touch based on guest needs, including the sense of community that Millennials crave. (via Quartzy)

MORE IS MORE: AMERICANS CRAVE SPACE

Forget the “tiny living” trend, a new survey confirms that more space makes life better. “The Power of Space” survey says: 87 percent of Americans believe having extra space makes them better people, and more “me time” made them feel more energized (56%), friendlier (53%), funnier (23%) and smarter (22%). The benefits of providing more physical, emotional and mental space offer fresh insight to seriously consider before any downsizing. (via Hilton)