The Surprise Winner in the Race to Save Air Travel

Written by Adam English
Posted September 1, 2020

If you’re like me, you haven’t stepped foot in an airport in over half a year.

When we eventually do, we’ll enter a whole new world. It’ll look a lot like the one before, but will be fundamentally transformed.

The way things are looking, some airlines might not be around anymore. I wouldn’t be surprised if we see government-brokered takeovers similar to the financial sector in the last recession, but that’s a topic for another time.

The changes I’m referring to are all related to technology, and they may be our only hope to save private sector air travel.

Back in mid-March, a nightmare scenario was unfolding at one of the busiest airports in the U.S.A. People were stuck in lines with no end in sight, packed in like cattle.

They had no idea why, outside of screening for the new virus, nor what was required of them.

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Passengers waited in one line just to move to another. Some reported waits of up to five hours, all in situations like the one above.

There was no separation between those who may have been exposed and those at the highest risk of infection or complications.

Yes, a lot has changed since then, but the fundamental reality of our current situation is that our airports are not built to handle the new safety measures with the kind of passenger volume that airlines need to stay viable.

One day, all those passengers are going to come back, and airports are racing to change how they work however they can to prepare.

Some of the new tech will be obvious.

There will be robots using high-pressure water and disinfectant sprays coupled with UV-C light to eradicate any microbes.

Airports were already investing in touchless tech to speed up boarding. Now that is going into overdrive. It will bleed over into more self-service kiosks, bag drop-offs, and gate checks.

Facial recognition will be used in place of tickets and possibly even passports. We'll use more mobile apps and interactions between our personal devices and airport and airline computers.

Quietly, behind the scenes, another layer will be in use by airport staff and the Dept. of Homeland Security.

It will include scanners for potential weapons, including biological and chemical.

It will also add scanners for body temperature and other biometrics.

Some of these security measures are already in use around the globe in major hub airports but they will expand to every airport in short order.

This is hardly limited to airports though. These technologies will move to any public space where a whole lot of people need to be in the same space while quickly moving along with as little contact as possible.

Think stadiums and other sports venues, hotels, courts and other government buildings, border checks, even schools.

The implications are both ominous and profound. If this virus is here to stay — and I do think we crossed that point months ago — this will be our reality and shared experience.

Now that we’ve all had a taste of an outbreak, as a society we won’t tolerate a repeat any time soon. As bad as things are, we are taking a relatively light hit when compared to outbreaks like the Spanish Flu or, God forbid, viral hemorrhagic fevers.

This tech trend already started. Big Tech has dumped billions into it already. Hundreds of billions more are on the way.

And in typical fashion, they see no reason to do it themselves. After all, there are a lot of startups that hold patents and have years of experience developing these new systems already.

Outsider Club editor and the head of The Wealth Warrior, Jason Simpkins, has been at the vanguard of investors in this trend that is rapidly accelerating to fill critical gaps in our new normal.

To get a sense of what is coming and what companies have the kind of decisive advantage to capture this massive new market you should see what Jason has to say.

Take care,

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Adam English

follow basic @AdamEnglishOC on Twitter

Adam's editorial talents and analysis drew the attention of senior editors at Outsider Club, which he joined in mid-2012. While he has acquired years of hands-on experience in the editorial room by working side by side with ex-brokers, options floor traders, and financial advisors, he is acutely aware of the challenges faced by retail investors after starting at the ground floor in the financial publishing field. For more on Adam, check out his editor's page

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