For the airline industry, technology has always played a major role in their day to day operations. That was especially true during the pandemic when it came to passenger safety and security.
Carriers implemented new distancing protocols and contactless systems to create a safe and healthy environment for passengers.
Today, we’re seeing carriers take more action to advance their technology capabilities to improve and ease the customer experience. It’s a smart move considering airlines consistently rank at the bottom of customer satisfaction scores.
With the increasing number of flyers returning to airports, passengers are being quickly reminded of how much friction there was in the travel journey prior to the pandemic. For many, the return to the skies means long flight delays, cancellations, extensive security checks, and lost baggage, among other frustrating experiences.
How can airlines use technology to improve the overall customer journey as travelers take off in growing numbers?
Here are three areas that airlines can focus on to improve the passenger experience...
Streamlining the various checkpoints in the traveler’s journey can go a long way to improving customer satisfaction.
Too many checkpoints are a major pain point for travelers. Instead of having agents and security personnel scanning boarding passes and checking IDs to drop luggage, check in, go through border control, and board, airlines are using kiosks and smart devices to ease the process.
These advanced systems handle everything from luggage tags to identity management, facilitating much faster speeds throughout the customer journey. These advanced kiosks are also biometric-enabled to allow a passenger's face to serve as their ID while seamlessly connecting to mobile devices.
This significantly reduces the need to handle documents, touch shared devices or continually interact with staff.
Studies show these kiosks can speed up boarding times by up to 30%, getting passengers to and from their destinations faster.
From ticket purchases to gate changes, keeping passengers informed on the latest fares and flight changes is critical. When researching fares and schedules, customers want the latest information accessible at their fingertips. Modern airfare systems provide airlines with all the data they need to make pricing decisions in real-time.
This helps airlines keep fares competitive and gives passengers the latest pricing information to make a more informed buying decision. Once they have a ticket, updating passengers on delays and flight changes is the priority. Uninformed passengers can quickly become impatient and frustrated. Airports are using modern ground-to-air communication platforms to connect to dozens of apps to provide real-time flight and travel information to passengers.
Airlines can integrate these platforms into their own systems to send emails, texts, and push notifications to passengers as soon as possible. With automation and artificial intelligence, these apps are getting faster, more powerful and keep passengers better informed throughout the journey.
There's nothing that ruins a fantastic trip like lost luggage. With more leisure travelers in the air and a significant shortage of airport workers, concerns over missing bags are rising.
Whether passengers are returning home or arriving at their destinations, not having their luggage can become a source of anxiety and frustration. Dozens of airlines have introduced baggage tracking to reduce the odds of losing a passenger's bag.
While transfer bags account for the majority of lost or missing baggage, airlines are using sophisticated tracking systems to improve the baggage handling process during connections and from check in to arrival. The next evolution of baggage tracking will include bag location status updates and missing bag communications to travelers, a highly anticipated feature from passengers.
Airlines and airports are working to adjust to increased passenger volume and are making significant investments in technology to smooth the passenger journey.
New high-tech innovations are being deployed to ease bottlenecks, keep travelers informed, and protect passenger belongings - three common frustrations for passengers around the globe. With advanced technology, the sky’s the limit for a better traveler journey.