This week’s top story is about the convergence of technology and airports.

Considering how much time travelers spend in transit arriving, moving through and departing these essential travel hubs, the airport experience seems ripe for disruption. And in fact, a variety of new smart technologies, ranging from smart luggage, to in-terminal airport beacons to new types of retail experiences are likely to play a much bigger role in the future.

What types of technologies will airports use to make the experience more efficient, profitable and less of a hassle for travelers? Read on for more analysis, plus the rest of this week’s stories.

How Will Technology Help Create the Smart Airport of the Future?
The world’s airports are on the cusp of a new era of technology-powered innovation. From new types of mobile apps, new retail experiences for travelers, smart luggage, new on-site applications of the internet of things, it’s a sector that seems primed for an update. Here are some of the new innovations that may transform the airport experience in the years to come. Read more

UK’s Bristol Airport Experiments with Virtual Gifts on Facebook
To help celebrate the holiday season, Bristol Airport is offering travelers on social media a collection of virtual gifts. Social media users can swipe through the airport’s Facebook presence to digitally unlock a series of seasonal surprises based on the 12 Days of Christmas. Read more

Flight Booking? Travel Packages? What’s Next for Airbnb in 2017?
Between its new “Trips” platform and various legal battles with cities around the world, it’s been an interesting year for accommodations sharing giant Airbnb. As indications grow that the startup will soon launch an IPO, what other services may be on the horizon? Some travel industry experts think flight booking may be coming soon. Read more

Talking Location Intelligence with Foursquare’s Executive Team
Those of us here at Skift are big believers in the importance of location data and marketing to the travel industry. Given this growing importance of location data to the travel industry, this week’s interview with the executives at location services company Foursquare, featuring founder Dennis Crowley and CEO Jeff Glueck, is worth a read. Read more

Louis Vuitton City Guides App Makes Apple’s Year-End Best List
Many in the travel industry wouldn’t necessarily think of luxury fashion company Louis Vuitton as a travel brand. But apparently this high-end producer of handbags also makes a pretty solid travel app. Louis Vuitton’s iOS city guides app was cited by Apple in its year-end best app list for its blend of travel info and beautiful design. Read more

 

Photo Credit: New technologies like the internet of things and mobile are helping transform the airport experience. But well-placed plugs like this one at McCarran International Airport in Las Vegas are a good first step for many places. John Locher / Associated Press