Doing Business

Modern Online Retailing: Elevating the Airline Experience

Trường Lăng

October 19, 2023

Doing Business

Modern Online Retailing: Elevating the Airline Experience

Trường Lăng

October 19, 2023

In the realm of the airline industry, modern online retailing has emerged as the driving force behind a transformative digital customer experience. As travelers embark on their journeys, from booking flights to reaching cruising altitudes, the pivotal role of technology is redefining every step. Airlines are rapidly adopting innovative strategies to meet the growing expectations of modern travelers, streamlining processes, and offering personalized services. Join us in this exploration of the key trends and innovations reshaping the modern online retailing landscape within the aviation sector and revolutionizing the way passengers interact with airlines throughout their journey.

Digital Transformation in Booking and Pre-flight Experience

In the ever-evolving landscape of the modern airline industry, a profound digital transformation has taken root, revolutionizing the way passengers engage with airlines during the booking and pre-flight stages of their journeys. This shift has empowered airlines to offer passengers personalized booking experiences that cater to their individual preferences and needs, ultimately enhancing the overall digital customer experience.

One of the central strategies in this digital transformation is the use of digital platforms and online booking systems. Airlines are leveraging these platforms to provide passengers with seamless and highly personalized booking experiences. For instance, imagine booking a flight where the airline’s website remembers your previous travel choices and offers you seat preferences, meal options, and even in-flight entertainment tailored to your previous selections. This level of personalization is becoming increasingly common, and it’s all thanks to the data-driven capabilities of modern airline retailing.

Furthermore, airlines are employing dynamic pricing and bundling strategies to craft unique and enticing offers for individual passengers. Dynamic pricing involves adjusting ticket prices in real-time based on various factors like demand, time of booking, and historical data. This ensures that passengers get the most competitive fares while allowing airlines to optimize their revenue. Bundling and upselling, on the other hand, enable airlines to offer passengers a range of services and extras that align with their preferences. For example, a passenger booking a family vacation might receive bundled offers that include child-friendly services, extra baggage allowances, and in-flight entertainment packages.

Several airlines have emerged as pioneers in implementing these strategies effectively. Based on passenger profiles and previous travel behavior airlines now can suggest cabin class upgrades, recommend add-ons like Wi-Fi or lounge access, and even tailor meal options to dietary preferences. This not only enhances the digital booking process but also carries through to the in-flight experience.

AirAsia, a budget airline, has embraced dynamic pricing by implementing a “freemium” model. This means that passengers can choose between a basic fare with essential services and a premium package with added perks. The flexibility offered allows passengers to customize their journey to their liking, providing excellent value and personalization.

Streamlining the Check-in and Security Process

In today’s fast-paced landscape of modern airline retailing, optimizing the check-in and security procedures stands as a top priority. Airlines are harnessing cutting-edge technologies and innovative methods to elevate the digital customer experience right from the moment travelers set foot in the airport.

The advent of New Distribution Capability (NDC) and ONE Order has brought about a monumental transformation in ticketing and baggage handling, simplifying operations and reducing intricacies. NDC empowers airlines to offer passengers personalized fare choices and services directly, enhancing their range of options and overall transparency. Conversely, ONE Order consolidates the various documents linked to air travel, such as tickets and boarding passes, into a unified digital dossier. Airlines like Lufthansa have enthusiastically embraced these advancements, streamlining booking, check-in, and baggage services for their patrons.

Streamlining the Check in and Security Process in the Aviation Industry
Lufthansa has embraced NDC and ONE Order, streamlining booking, check-in, and baggage services. Source: Lufthansa

Mobile applications and self-service kiosks have emerged as true game-changers, providing passengers with a smooth and efficient check-in experience. Through mobile apps, travelers can remotely complete check-in procedures, acquire digital boarding passes, and receive real-time updates on flight status. At airports, self-service kiosks facilitate a seamless experience, enabling passengers to print boarding passes, select seats, and independently manage their luggage. This not only reduces wait times but also empowers passengers by granting them more control over their journey.

Furthermore, biometric recognition technologies have made significant strides in revolutionizing check-in and security processes. Airlines and airports alike are increasingly adopting biometric solutions to expedite passenger verification. For instance, facial recognition technology is now employed at check-in counters and security checkpoints for swift identity confirmation. This innovation not only bolsters security but also substantially reduces wait times, culminating in a more fluid airport experience.

Many airlines and airports around the globe have embraced biometric solutions with resounding success. Delta Air Lines, for instance, has introduced biometric boarding at airports such as Hartsfield-Jackson Atlanta International Airport. Travelers simply approach a camera, undergo a facial scan, and proceed to board the aircraft seamlessly, eliminating the need for physical boarding passes and identity checks.

Orlando International Airport has also made headlines by implementing facial recognition technology in collaboration with airlines like British Airways. Passengers traveling on select international routes can now relish an end-to-end biometric journey, from check-in to boarding, ensuring a swift and secure process.

The advantages of an optimized check-in and security process are manifold. Travelers save precious time, reducing stress and frustration. Additionally, the streamlined process bolsters passenger contentment, allowing them to focus more on the enjoyment of their journey rather than procedural obstacles.

Streamlining the Check in and Security Process in the airline industry
The advantages of an optimized check-in and security process are manifold. Source: Internet

Onboard Comfort and In-flight Services

In the dynamic landscape of modern airline retailing, the focus on enhancing onboard comfort and in-flight services is more prominent than ever. Airlines across the globe are leveraging cutting-edge digital innovations to transform the digital customer experience from the moment passengers step onto the aircraft until they reach their destination.

One noteworthy transformation can be seen in the realm of in-flight entertainment and connectivity. Airlines are going to great lengths to offer passengers personalized entertainment options. For instance, Qatar Airways provides its passengers with the Oryx One in-flight entertainment system, which boasts an extensive library of movies, TV shows, music, and games. Travelers can curate their entertainment playlists, ensuring they have an enjoyable and tailored in-flight experience. 

Onboard Comfort and In flight Services in the Airline Industry
Qatar Airways provides its passengers with the Oryx One in-flight entertainment system. Source: Qatar Airways

Moreover, Wi-Fi connectivity has become a staple on many airlines. American Airlines, for example, partners with Viasat to provide high-speed Wi-Fi on its flights. This connectivity not only allows passengers to stay connected but also facilitates inflight streaming and online work, further enhancing the travel experience.

In the realm of cabin conditions, the Internet of Things (IoT) is making a significant impact. Airline companies have adopted IoT sensors in its aircraft to monitor air quality. This real-time data helps the cabin crew make necessary adjustments to ensure passenger comfort. For instance, if the cabin becomes too dry, the system can automatically adjust the humidity levels, creating a more comfortable atmosphere.

Another exciting development is the digitization of onboard retail and dining. Airline carriers have embraced mobile apps for passengers to order food and beverages directly to their seats. By using the airline’s app, passengers can browse menus, make selections, and complete payments with ease. This digital approach streamlines the service process, reducing wait times, and offering passengers greater control over their dining experience.

Preparing for Landing and Beyond

In the final leg of the passenger journey, airlines are leaving no stone unturned when it comes to leveraging technology for a seamless experience. As travelers prepare for landing and beyond, digital solutions play a pivotal role in ensuring their journeys conclude on a positive note.

One notable application of technology in this phase is the use of predictive analytics and Artificial Intelligence (AI) to prepare passengers for the landing process. Airlines are harnessing data and AI algorithms to provide passengers with real-time updates on weather conditions, expected turbulence, and estimated arrival times. Such proactive communication enhances passengers’ preparedness and reduces anxiety.

Moreover, AI-driven chatbots and virtual assistants have become invaluable in addressing passenger queries and concerns during landing. Air France-KLM, for example, utilizes AI-powered chatbots to provide passengers with information on baggage retrieval, transportation options, and local services at their arrival airports. These chatbots offer real-time responses, ensuring passengers have access to relevant information at their fingertips.

Data analytics also come into play to predict and mitigate potential disruptions during the journey’s final phases. Airlines use data analysis to identify potential issues with baggage handling and ensure a smoother transition for passengers from the aircraft to the baggage claim area. This data-driven approach minimizes wait times and enhances overall passenger satisfaction.

Furthermore, digital solutions extend to post-flight services. Airlines are using mobile apps and online platforms to offer passengers convenient options for ground transportation, accommodation, and local experiences. For instance, Cathay Pacific provides its passengers with access to a range of services through its mobile app, from booking airport transfers to exploring dining and shopping options at their destination.

Final Thoughts

In conclusion, the modern online retailing strategies explored in this article underscore the paramount importance of delivering an impeccable digital customer experience across the passenger journey. Airlines must continually evolve, leveraging technology to streamline processes, enhance personalization, and elevate passenger satisfaction. As the aviation industry embraces the digital age, the journey from booking to landing presents opportunities for innovation and optimization. To embark on this transformative journey and navigate the intricacies of modern online retailing, airlines- especially those in Vietnam, can rely on Viettonkin as a steadfast partner. We invite you to access the full version of our latest whitepaper “Unleashing Vietnam’s Potential: Accelerating Growth in the Aviation Industry through Digital Transformation” – a collaborative endeavor with IBS Software –  a leading SaaS solutions provider to the travel industry globally. Contact us today. Your passengers deserve nothing less than a seamless and convenient travel experience, and we are here to help you deliver just that.

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