Smart Phones at The Airport: No Talking. Just Staring.
Last week I spent quite a bit of time at the airport and/or on a plane. By quite a bit of time, I mean I was flying to Los Angeles for a vacation and then flying home on a red eye. :: Sigh ::
As I scurried through the airport in hopes of having adequate time to grab an iced coffee from Starbucks before departure, I noticed two things.
1) Everyone was on their phones
2) Not many people were actually talking on their phones
I wasn’t necessarily surprised, but seeing a vast amount of people utilizing their mobile devices in one area was quite the sight.
I must say, I have a knack for people watching. Naturally, the airport is one of the best places to get a good people watching fix in. Yes, there were some interesting people, but the one thing I noticed the most was the concept of communicating via talking was ancient history. Donezo. Game over. Sayonara.
Whether I was waiting to board my flight and watching most passengers scan their boarding passes with their mobile device or was sitting on the plane next to my overly Snapchat happy neighbor, a smartphone of some sort was consistently in my peripherals at all time.
I can’t say I wasn’t guilty of utilizing my iPhone the majority of my trip in some way or another because who am I kidding? I definitely was (I was anxiously charging it at all times, but that’s a whole other story). Whether I was scrolling mindlessly on Instagram, repeatedly checking the weather app in hopes of sunny beach days, or streaming music through Spotify – I was always on my device. As much as I wish I had the willpower to completely disconnect from my screen, I can’t. There’s so many things I can do via my device that I can’t even do in the fraction of the time in person.
Before heading to the airport, I checked-in through the Delta app and avoided waiting in line and having to print out my boarding passes. I simply let the front desk scan my ticket and I boarded the plane. Done.
While waiting to board my flight, I sent my roommate coffee money via the Venmo app for dropping me off at the airport. Done.
While sitting on the plane, I set up a Drybar hair appointment in California before I even got there. Done.
There was no calling. There was no talking. There was just pushing buttons.
The Age of Convenience is here and in some way or another, we all want the convenience of simplicity. With an expected 6.1 billion smartphone users by 2020, mobile devices aren’t going anywhere anytime soon.
At the end of the day, as disturbing as it sounds, that device is constantly glued to my hand, but it’s providing me with the convenience I crave. If you can’t complete tasks from your smart phone, is it even worth the effort to complete it outside of your device?
Much like Venmo or the Delta app, the parking industry is playing a significant role in the app world. With Passport’s mobile apps, users are not only given the ability to pay for parking and manage or extend parking sessions through their mobile device, but parking enforcement officers have the functionality to sync their entire workflow with the parking managers.
With mobile apps like ParkDetroit, ParkBoston, and MyJTA, Passport is pushing utilization boundaries. In 2016, MyJTA was awarded Outstanding Public Transportation System and Detroit’s ParkDetroit is seeing a 40% lift in mobile parking payment adoption. The movement toward mobile app adoption is here and if you’re not keeping up, you’ll be left in the app dust.
Adopting mobile devices is no longer a luxury, but the standard norm. As more cities adopt to utilizing their smartphones for transportation, municipalities will continue to see an increase in revenue.