Pas­sen­gers lack­ing per­son­alised ser­vice

7 Days in Dubai - - BUSINESS - @ThatPad­dyRyan pa­trick@7days.ae

Avi­a­tion is lag­ging be­hind other in­dus­tries when it comes to giv­ing con­sumers a good, per­son­alised ser­vice. That was the con­sen­sus from a num­ber of avi­a­tion ex­perts at the IATA World Pas­sen­ger Sym­po­sium in Dubai. Ai­dan Bro­gan, CEO of Datalex, a dig­i­tal plat­form for travel re­tail­ers, be­lieves that tech­nol­ogy is not be­ing used by air­lines the way it should be. “At the minute if we’re [the world] mov­ing at a Fer­rari pace, the way tech­nol­ogy is go­ing, in five years’ time we will be go­ing like a rocket,” said Bro­gan. “Young peo­ple look at Spo­tify, Net­flix and then air­line apps. An air­line app isn’t as im­pres­sive be­cause they tra­di­tion­ally use ar­chaic mod­els, they don’t care. By Pa­trick Ryan

“My 18-year-old doesn’t un­der­stand why there’s a dif­fer­ence be­tween the apps for Net­flix, Spo­tify, Aer Lin­gus and Bri­tish Air­ways.”

Bro­gan be­lieves that in the near fu­ture, Google will be­come the main player in the in­dus­try.

“Google knows when you’re in­ter­ested in trav­el­ling be­fore you do be­cause of all the data they have,” ex­plains Bro­gan.

Marc Rosen­berg, the pres­i­dent of con­sul­tancy group Strat­a­con­nex, feels that air­lines are not help­ing them­selves when it comes to giv­ing the cus­tomers what they want.

“Air­lines only have an­cil­lary of­fers [like Emi­rates’ re­cent de­ci­sion to al­low pas­sen­gers to pay ex­tra to choose where they sit] through their own web­sites,” he said.

“Travel agen­cies are still our big­gest point of sales. You have to ask who is talk­ing to who when it comes to these de­ci­sions.”

Matthias Walther, Pana­sonic’s Se­nior Man­ager of In­te­grated Mar­ket­ing Com­mu­ni­ca­tion, mean­while agreed that pas­sen­gers want a per­son­alised ser­vice and it is up to the in­dus­try to pro­vide it.

“Peo­ple want to be able to walk onto an air­plane and be recog­nised as a fre­quent flyer when they switch on their phone,” he said.

“There’s no way around the fact that your mo­bile de­vice is ba­si­cally your iden­tity.

“The idea is when you walk into an air­plane you walk into a net­work and once you log into the sys­tem it recog­nises you.

“You will get in­for­ma­tion on what sim­i­lar movies you watched last time and you can use air miles to pro­vide cer­tain things. It should be able to bring up your Face­book or Spo­tify pref­er­ences.”

He added that pas­sen­gers should be able to log into the air­line’s app be­fore­hand and set up a queue of movies to watch.

“When you think of the time you have on the air­craft, you have more in­ter­ac­tion with the air­line,” he said.

“You’re locked in and you can’t es­cape. It’s the most valu­able time you can pos­si­bly have. If all you do is push your own pro­mo­tions on peo­ple all they will do is zone out.”

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