Picking up from Page 1 of the Top 7 Airline Forecasts for 2017, we looked into how airlines can further improve customer experience – helping people with their simplest of challenges, understand them through profiling, and give them a way to have enhanced seemless travel experience from their flight up to when they reach their destinations and tours.
Upon arriving in an airport for the first time, passengers can find it challenging to find important parts of the venue — baggage claim area, restrooms, and other facilities. Passengers rely on visual cues such as signages, maps, directions, and symbols to help them find their destination. These sets of visual cues fall under the term wayfinding, which refers to information systems that guide and help people navigate through complex built environments.
Passengers are usually stressed when traveling, but good wayfinding could provide a more seamless travel experience. Beyond signages and architecture, airlines integrates technology for better airport wayfinding. Copenhagen Airport app collaborated with the indoor navigation and wayfinding solution MapsIndoors to help passengers locate shops, gates, and other destinations. Instead of worrying about missing a flight and not finding their gates, passengers can now explore and relax before boarding.
Customer engagement and relationship-building becomes important to the airline industry. Luckily, digital technology helps make it easier to get data on the consumers. With the right analysis, this can help businesses have a 360-degree view of their consumer.
This information can then be used to design customer experiences and have an accurate analysis of customer touchpoints to personalize services and engagement for each consumer.
Sabre was able to provide a framework of applications working with customer data to reach customer’s expectations and demand. There are six major touchpoints that airlines can re-design to improve customer experience – selection, booking, pre-flight, airport check-in and boarding, in-flight, and post-flight. To provide better services in these touchpoints, airlines need to make use of data from the customer’s Social Media, search and shopping history, passenger preferences, and customer value score. Air travel will now be easier and offer services that are customized and suited to the customer’s preferences.
Gone are the days of having to make multiple bookings and reservations when going on a business trip or vacation. Some airlines are now letting consumers book not only the flight, but also land transportation, accommodations, and tour packages.
When booking a flight for American Airlines, there is a separate website called American Airlines Vacations for consumers who also need to book a hotel or rent a car. Consumers may opt to choose booking a flight with either a hotel, a car, or even both. The airline also offers bookings for the hotel and car, even without a booked flight. Offers of various vacation packages are also available. Going on a vacation can now be easier than before.
Airline alliances are two or more airlines who cooperate on network, operations, marketing and frequent flyer benefits. Carriers group together to extend route network, to offer similar benefits to frequent flyers and to provide round the world tickets.
There are many airline alliances in the world, with the three major ones being Star Alliance with 27 members, Skyteam with 20 members and Oneworld with 15 members. Most of its members are from North and South America and Europe.
In 2017, more Asia Pacific (APAC) carriers are expected to join these global alliances. There are already several APAC carriers in the alliances:
- Star Alliance – Singapore Airlines, Thai Airways International, Air China, Shenzhen Airlines. EVA Air, Asiana Airlines, and All Nipon Airways.
- SkyTeam – China Airlines, China Eastern and Southern, Garuda Indonesia, Korean Air, and Vietnam Airlines.
- Oneworld – Japanese Airlines, Cathay Pacific, Malaysian Airlines, and SriLankan Airways.
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