15below helps airlines help travelers during disruptions like the Polar VortexNews / TechnologyBy Sean O'Neil | January 29, 2014Share This article was originally published on The US polar vortex has been the latest example of unusual events disrupting travel for thousands of people as well as airlines including JetBlue, Westjet, Frontier, and Copa.Addressing such disruptions is 15below, maker of passenger communications software for more than 30 airlines, rail, rail TMCs, OTAs, and bus companies.The Brighton-based company says its package is used by many airlines, including Qantas, JetBlue, and Norwegian Air. The software allows passengers to accept changes to their flight at a press of a button and it lets passengers' relatives be notified of any flight cancelations or delays seamlessly.It claims there has been a 283% growth in the total number of notifications sent to travelers through its products in the last 3 years.15below's product pulls its data from airlines reservation systems to retrieve impacted bookings directly. It then sends personalised communications via any channel, including voice (very popular in the US), SMS, App Push, Email, fax and print, according to the airline or passenger preference for language.This two-way system from 15below also effectively mimics the actions that would otherwise need to be done by a reservations agent, a more expensive option.Say a passenger's flight has been cancelled. The 15below platform sends a notification with details of the flight they have been re-accommodated on.It reports passenger responses back into the reservation system and automatically filters them to allow staff to concentrate on contacting those who need further support (i.e. those who don’t accept the proposed flight changes).One US airline sent over 225,000 targeted notifications in one day to customers impacted by travel disruption as a result of the Polar Vortex conditions. These alerts proactively advised them of flight delays and cancellations, with over 75,000 passengers also notified that they had been re-accommodated on alternative flights.15below says claims strong growth. "Watch out for big news in Q3 this year," co-founder Nicholas Key told Tnooz by e-mail. In the past year, the company has increased its staffing by about 25% to 60 employees. Key adds: "As travel companies increasingly recognise their customer’s ability to damage their brand reputation at the push of a social media button, demand for our communication technology has boomed."Share this quote Key co-founded the company with John Clynes in 2002 and launched the first of their products with Ryanair. The privately-owned company has headquarters in Brighton and offices in Sydney.