Just You launches travel trade solo experience

Just You launches travel trade solo experience

Friday, 21 October 2016 14:00

Just You h...

Spontaneous people are happier according to Snaptrip survey

Spontaneous people are happier according…

Friday, 21 October 2016 11:00

Spontaneous people are often believed to lead more exciting or glamorous lifestyles and a new study has confirmed that they are happier in all aspects of their lives.

Top Brighton attractions on Combi-Saver tickets for half term

Top Brighton attractions on Combi-Saver …

Friday, 21 October 2016 09:00

Visitors to Brighton this October half term can save up to 20% on its top three paid-for attractions with combination tickets now available for British Airways i360, SEA LIFE Brighton...

Free cabin upgrades with Cosmos Tours

Free cabin upgrades with Cosmos Tours

Thursday, 20 October 2016 14:00

There still’s time for agents to book a Croisieurope river cruise for their customers with a free cabin upgrade on a range of river cruises throughout Europe, when booked with...

Last minute autumn breaks available at Haven

Last minute autumn breaks available at H…

Thursday, 20 October 2016 11:00

Agents can still give their customers a last minute family break this autumn from £99 when booking a Haven holiday between now and November 5.

Skiers urged to head east for best piste costs reveals new report

Skiers urged to head east for best piste…

Thursday, 20 October 2016 08:00

Cash-conscious skiers can avoid the slippery slope of higher prices for their annual downhill trip by heading to ski resorts in Eastern Europe.

Design an anniversary poster for DFDS competition

Design an anniversary poster for DFDS co…

Wednesday, 19 October 2016 14:00

Ferry operator, DFDS, is putting out a call to professional and amateur artists to create a poster that will be used in their 150th anniversary celebrations this year.

Savings on worldwide adventures with Explore

Savings on worldwide adventures with Exp…

Wednesday, 19 October 2016 11:00

Explore has launched a new collection of worldwide adventures with a launch offer of up to 10% discount on all new trips booked by November 7.

New route to Seattle makes it one to watch for 2017

New route to Seattle makes it one to wat…

Wednesday, 19 October 2016 09:12

Seattle is expected to be one of the fastest growing US destinations for UK travellers next year with a Virgin Atlantic direct non-stop daily flight launching March 2017, new hotel...

Air Transat launches 2017 programme with increased connections across Canada

Air Transat launches 2017 programme with…

Tuesday, 18 October 2016 14:04

Air Transat has expanded its programme of flights from the UK to Canada with increased capacity and connections for travel in 2017.

Oceania Cruises reduces single supplement fares

Oceania Cruises reduces single supplemen…

Tuesday, 18 October 2016 14:02

Oceania Cruises has launched a reduced single supplement promotion for solo travellers, with guests offered single supplements fares from 25% on seven itineraries, booked before December 31.

Mall of America welcomes arrival of MythBusters

Mall of America welcomes arrival of Myth…

Tuesday, 18 October 2016 14:00

Running throughout autumn until January 15, 2017, visitors can ignite their curiosity and discover whether they can really huff and puff to blow a house down; if running in the...

Emirates to launch new daily service to Fort Lauderdale

Emirates to launch new daily service to …

Monday, 17 October 2016 11:00

Emirates has announced that it will launch a daily service between Dubai and Fort Lauderdale-Hollywood International Airport, on December 15, serving the South Florida area, including Fort Lauderdale, Miami and...

New tours in UK & Europe from Back-Roads Touring

New tours in UK & Europe from Back-R…

Monday, 17 October 2016 08:42

Small group tour specialist Back-Roads Touring has launched its summer 2017 brochure to reveal a unique line up of new itineraries in Switzerland, Scandinavia, the Baltics, France, Iberia and Russia.

Star studded cruise line up from CMV in 2017

Star studded cruise line up from CMV in …

Friday, 14 October 2016 10:16

Cruise & Maritime Voyages has announced five star-studded cruises for 2017 following the arrival of its new main brochure.

Non-stop flights to Manchester from SIA

Non-stop flights to Manchester from SIA

Friday, 14 October 2016 10:11

Singapore Airlines will fly non-stop between Singapore and Manchester from October 30 as part of its northern winter schedule.

Airline loyalty programmes have long been emulated by other verticals like retail, hospitality and entertainment. For decades the industry has been looking to innovative solutions in order to improve customer experience and to differentiate on service including in-flight entertainment, lie-flat beds, onboard Wi-fi, and in some cases fine dining and comfy bedding.

So it’s fitting that in 2013 airlines and their partners will continue to innovate while still looking for ways to monetise better service, both directly through ancillary revenues and indirectly through fares.
Specifically, more airlines are learning that for passengers, the key to an enhanced in-flight experience comes down to delivering genuine customer engagement, alongside a variety of retail offerings, just as they’ve come to enjoy and expect elsewhere in their lives. But in order for that to take place, several commitments from airlines must be met:
• An unflinching embrace of passenger technology - think smartphones, tablets and smart cards that include NFC technology or other contactless payment methods - so that the cabin becomes more akin to everything passengers do on the ground.
• The use of PEDs by cabin crew to augment their knowledge of passenger needs, wants and desires, turning a passenger into a name with a history that goes beyond their immediate travel plans… not just as an anonymous seat and row number;
• The reliance on next-generation In-Flight Entertainment (IFE) and Point-of-Sale (POS) technologies that make the shopping experience seamless and pleasant, for both passengers and cabin crews.

Central to an enhanced – and monetised – travel experience, one that offers value in a genuine manner, is knowledge of your customer. Like retail stores, using analytics to collect, organise and act on the metrics generated by the point of sale technologies is critical if the cabin is to become an engaging sky-high shopping destination that rivals those on the ground. Analytics or business intelligence data now include: product and sale performance, passenger behaviour, passenger profiles and preferences, the routes they typically fly, and whether they are travelling for business or for pleasure. With this knowledge, an airline can now understand passenger demand in each market and truly deliver on it. And, in the process, the airline will not only satisfy its customers but materially improve its onboard revenues.

Evolving from point of sale to point of service
In the cabin, point of sale must transform into what I like to call “point of service,” evolving from an anonymous transaction-based environment to something far more knowledgeable and personal, for example:
• Does that passenger prefer a glass of red wine, or a glass of scotch?
• Are they a frequent flyer and what information about connecting flights and gates do they need?
• What will the passenger do at the destination and can the airline help them make the trip more enjoyable by offering a relevant selection of ground connections and destination-based activities?

Previously, customers swiped a card and the transaction was complete. Today, passengers are viewed holistically with personal histories that go beyond their immediate travel plans and therefore the products offered to them speak to that finely tuned picture.

The good news is that airlines are already going in this direction. US Airways, for instance, became the first airline in 2012 to go live with contactless payments and retail analytics, while British Airways launched its “Know Me” programme, which allows cabin crews to search images of passengers via Google on their iPads in an effort to literally connect a name with a face. For passengers, these developments mean enhanced services. For airlines, it means new ways to promote service-driven ancillary revenue solutions and improved profitability.

Next generation In-Flight Entertainment (IFE) solutions offer an entirely new customer experience, not only through much larger selections of entertainment options but also expand beyond movies, music and games. IFE solutions now become an extension of an airline’s store, offering passengers relevant content they want based on their destination. The end result is that travellers no longer have to wait until arrival to purchase activities and ground connections, but can do so from the comfort of their seat while making great use of their time in the air. What’s more, these IFE solutions now come at much lower cost points and weigh less by utilising streaming technology. Combined, these weight reductions and wireless solutions can translate into millions of dollars of fuel and maintenance cost savings per year. And if that’s how much one airline can save in costs and earn in extra revenue with a single change, think about the impact on the industry when these tech-centric and consumer-focused policies become more accepted and common throughout the cabin?

Airline retrofitting costs aren’t cheap and the required cabin crew training also comes with a price tag. But customer centricity and customer service is a lesson that winning airlines are fully embracing to better weather global economic challenges, rising fuel costs and aggressive competition from new and old rivals alike.

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