Top 7 Airline Forecasts for 2017 – Page 1 of 2

February 2, 2017

The airline industry was one of the most affected businesses due to technology disruptions in 2016. Travelers were more than willing to give feedback about carriers, which led to studies on the behavior of complaints, and, eventually, spell the need for solutions in different areas.  

Carriers had suffered the reputation of delayed flights and lost baggages. Add the fear of missing flights, overweight baggages, or having prohibited items in their carry-ons, passengers feel stressed when air traveling.

Airlines have picked up the need to resolve such issues, and that’s a good thing!

Using new technologies to enhance customer experience and minimize the stress associated with air traveling, both air and non-air travel experience is being transformed by Analytics, Internet of Things (IoT), Social Media and several other technologies.

Check out our 2017 airline forecasts on how the airline industry is taking on the challenges in enhancing their customer’s travel experience.

1. RFID Baggage Tracking

Aside from delayed flights, one of the most dismal parts of air travel is lost baggage. SITA declared in their 2016 Baggage Report that only 6.5 bags per 1,000 passengers were mishandled compared to 7.3 bags in 2014. The numbers continue to decrease, and it is expected to further drop due to RFID Baggage Tracking.

Passengers at the Baggage Turnstile Waiting for their luggage

RFID or Radio Frequency Identification is one of the technologies airlines use to track baggage. For example, Delta Airlines places RFID chips in bag tags and uses RFID scanners to capture data in the chips. Passengers with the Fly Delta mobile app will receive live push notifications on the status of their baggage, whether it has been loaded or unloaded from the aircraft.

Even airports such as Hong Kong International and McCarran International have converted its baggage-tracking system to RFID. Other players in the airline industry are also joining the quest to end the problem with lost baggages.

2. Customer Touchpoint: Internet of Things (IoT)

Airlines and airports are being innovative in using IoT for different customer touchpoints. IoT is a system of everyday physical objects embedded with technology that enables such objects to connect and transfer data via wired and wireless networks.

EasyJet used IoT to equip employees with wearable tech suits. The uniforms are fitted with LEDs to provide visual guidance, an LED ticker that provides flight information and built-in microphones to communicate with passengers and other staff.

Diagram of Interconnected devices at Airports

Another IoT innovator is Miami Airport for placing around 500 beacons (hardware that transmits messages to smartphones) to provide information and services to its passengers. Their localized app, MIA Airport Official 2.0, communicates information and enables users to scan boarding passes, view map guides, and know the walk times to their gates. The app can also send suggestions for shops based on passengers’ personal profiles.

We can see more of such innovations using connected devices within the year.

3. Contextual Messages and Personalized Greetings

Airline apps will soon be able to customize their notifications for each passenger. Instead of receiving generic messages or notifications, these applications will be programmed to send notifications that relates to the passenger’s preferences, profiles, and previous purchasing habits.

FollowAnalytics set up push campaigns that send the boarding pass and gate information to the passenger’s airline mobile app three hours before a flight. Opening the notification would redirect them to the app showing the boarding pass. Forty-five minutes before the flight, a notification may offer the passenger a seat upgrade at a reduced price, which is triggered by time and previous purchasing habits.

Furthermore, there is more to airline apps than booking, checking in, and providing flight information.

Apps such as Delta’s Fly Delta for iPad provides entertainment, weather information and even landmark trivias. There is an on-flight only feature called Glass Bottom Jet that gives passengers information on landmarks they are flying over. The app also has a feature that allows passengers to view current weather and airport information on their upcoming trips.

Woman Looking for Relative at Airport Departure

In airports, there would always be people crying and saying their goodbyes. With this in mind, KLM airlines decided to surprise passengers by asking the people waving goodbye to write messages on the seat cover, which they placed on the passengers’ seats.

KLM made use of Social Media to surprise the passengers with a small token. The airline took to Foursquare and Twitter to study tweets and posts of KLM frequent-fliers and determine what present to give. The presents were simple, carry-on sized, and were chosen to be useful for the passenger. KLM realized how Social Media can be used to put a smile, and make a small difference to a passenger.

Continue to Page 2 of this article and check out our airline forecasts on Wayfinding, Customer Experience and Touchpoints, and Convergence of Air and Non-Air Services, along with our insights on the strengthening of APAC Carriers in 2017.


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