Winter travel season cometh...and air travelers expect tech solutionsNews / OnlineBy Nick Vivion | October 21, 2014Share This article was originally published on As the fall progresses, winter approaches, and with it comes winter weather. After last year's legendary polar vortex, the prospect of massive flight cancellations has travelers considering how technology can diminish the pain of managing disrupted travel plans.Last year, there were over 130k cancellations and, while an exceptionally difficult season, this number still points to a enormous ongoing opportunity for tech facilitation.FlightView, which provides data solutions to airlines and consumers, spoke with 2,113 of its customers (37% business travelers and 63% leisure travelers) to explore perspectives on how technology can contribute positively to these situations.The key lesson from the respondents was to provide better real-time information via mobile during the delay in order to better serve the customer. Accuracy of the data was also a key frustration, as travelers were faced with inconsistencies depending on the source of the data.All things considered, travelers tend to trust devices and therefore providers must work to create consistency of information for all users - perhaps by depending on one stream of centralized information rather than having silos control different aspects of the information flow.When it comes to cancellations, a surprising number of respondents go straight to the counter - rather than mobile or online - to rebook - 44.3%. That's a huge flow of traffic to the counters, making it nearly impossible for airlines to deliver satisfactory customer service and reasonable wait times.In order to ameliorate the pain of the disruption, travelers want to see automated rebookings - with choice. This is essential. Rather than simply re-booking, airlines should prompt travelers for re-booking preferences and then send multiple options to the traveler to choose from.Finally, airports need to also get into the game and provide technology within the airport that can fuel passenger satisfaction and access during disruptions. Airports must also remember that cancellations increase infrastructure demands, which means increased burst capacity to ensure Internet access to more devices than usual.Unsurprisingly, respondents said that access to lounges would make the wait less painful - that's not something that airlines are likely to provide, but is surely comforting to learn that passengers still value lounge access.Finally, take note of the automated updating requested by respondents. This sort of information flow is still highly prized, especially when it comes to automated rebookings of connecting flights. Travelers want one less thing to worry about, and providing a seamless re-booking procedure - that can also be customized with individual preferences - is clearly desirable.View the full report here.NB: Airplane in snow image courtesy Shutterstock.