Delta CEO Ed Bastian speaks on future of travel at CES

Delta CEO Ed Bastian at CES 2020
Delta CEO Ed Bastian at CES 2020

Delta Air Lines CEO Ed Bastian spoke about the future of travel at a massive technology show on Tuesday.

"Over the past five years, we've invested billions" to transform the airline's technology from a vulnerability to an advantage, Bastian said at CES, a tech conference long known as the Consumer Electronics Show that's held in Las Vegas every year and attracts more than 175,000 people. Bastian is the first airline CEO to deliver a keynote address at CES.

“When we envision what the future of travel looks like, we have to think big,” but start small, Bastian said.

“We have a bold vision for the Fly Delta app to evolve into your digital travel concierge,” offering information on traffic to the airport and security lines, Bastian said. “It’ll make your journey less stressful and more enjoyable.” The app will soon give passengers an alert when it’s time for their seat to board, he said.

Delta has partnered with rideshare company Lyft, which aims through the partnership to take into consideration flight delays, weather and traffic when passengers request a ride to the airport.

Bastian said Delta has also partnered with startups to transport pets and to sanitize surfaces with antimicrobial lights.

And the airline has also partnered with Sarcos Robotics to test exoskeletons that can help cargo or maintenance workers lift heavy equipment or items.

Through a partnership with startup Misapplied Sciences, Delta plans to pilot personalized information displays for travelers at the airport at its Detroit hub this summer.

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