Mobile technology comes to the airline industry
Posted on Thursday 16 June 2011
Social media and mobile technology are predicted to have a large impact on the way that the air travel industry is run over the next five years, reports Benzinga, an internet news source. Technology is expected to transform the way many facets of the trade function, from the method used to broadcast notifications to the options customers have to pay for their tickets.
According to a recent report by Amadeus, a global travel technology and transaction processor, location-based services and integration with social media are two trends that will shape the future of the airline industry. The organization, which interviewed more than 2,500 individuals for its survey, also asserts that emerging mobile technologies such as 'push notifications' are increasingly becoming mainstream and will transform the traveler's experience in upcoming years.
Travelers surveyed indicated that they are receptive to the utilization of mobile technology and would select one airline over another based on its offering of mobile services. Out of the almost 3,000 people who took part in the study, 16 percent currently use smartphones to book vacations. Out of those who identify as frequent fliers, this number increases to 33 percent. In addition, 3.4 percent of all airline customers check-in for their flights using their cell phones or other mobile devices. This figure is even higher among Asian travelers.
Airlines who took part in the study revealed that they currently offer mobile technology solutions for passengers to check-in, view their itinerary and receive notifications on the status of their flights. An emerging technology that was indicated as being in the development stage is the option to book ancillary services via a mobile device. Currently only 1.4 percent of travelers have utilized this option, with many more expected to begin in the next 12 months.
Of the nine major global airlines that are represented in the report, all pointed to customer demand as a main factor in their development of mobile solutions and services.
"According to iSuppli Corp, over 73 percent of the world's population - which equates to five billion people - carry a mobile device of some form," Norm Rose, a representative from Travel Tech Consulting, told the news source. "And so essentially, airlines need to work out how to effectively monetize the mobile channel. Airlines across the world currently have an incredibly unique opportunity to use mobile technology; not only for product differentiation but also to allow incremental sales and encourage increased brand loyalty. But crucially, they must also keep pace with ever-changing passenger expectations."
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