Keeping customers informed while traveling is a daunting task for airlines. There’s so much technology available to communicate. Yet, in most cases, it feels like airlines can do more to keep customers informed.
I saw something interesting at Orlando airport recently. Southwest Airlines has installed video boards behind the counters at their gates. On top of basic information, they’re including live positioning of the inbound aircraft and weather data.
I’m sure it helps eliminate some questions for the gate agents as well. Regardless, I really like the addition of key information like this to the gate area. Keeping customers informed is so important, especially when flights are delayed.
As I stared at the monitors, I thought of the United Airlines app. It does a really good job keeping customers informed in a slightly different way. The app will allow you to track your flight’s status. But, it will also allow you to “go back” multiple flights to see if your plane is having problems much earlier in the day. By clicking on “Where is this aircraft coming from?” you’ll see the previous flight. You can keep doing that until you find your plane on its current flight, which could literally be the day prior to your travel.
The Final Two Pennies
I like what both Southwest and United are doing here. I’m hoping to see both adopt the other’s ideas. Detailed information in the app and at the gate are table stakes for airlines. With all the stress associated with flying today, enhancements like this can help keep passengers at ease.
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