Flying the Friendlier Skies: Airlines Use Data to Improve Passenger Experience

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Delta Big Data

Major airlines are prime candidates for apps that deliver passenger information to their crews, such as birthdays, rewards status, even food choices where they still exist.

Delta flight attendants will now be equipped with a Guest Service Tool on their smartphones delivering instant access to passenger data.

The tool replaces the infamous onboard manual that weighs five pounds and is 500 pages long. “Eventually, flight attendants will be able to deliver food and beverage options that meet customer preferences and better identify those customers who may have had a previous disruption in their travel,” said Allison Ausband, Delta’s senior vice president of in-flight service, in Mashable.

For those concerned about privacy, Ausband said Delta’s tool only uses data provided by passengers and it will eventually be used for in-flight amenities as well.

Last year the airline provided 22,000 attendants with Lumia 1520 “phablets,” and starting September 1, with manuals loaded on the phones, Delta claims it will reduce its carbon footprint by 1,800 metric tons annually.

Across the pond, KLM Royal Dutch Airlines, is investing in Dutch start-up Undagrid, along with Amsterdam airport Schiphol, Rabobank and the Delft University of Technology, on a platform that connects devices to each other and the internet.

Targeting the aviation, logistics, building and agriculture industries, Undagrid lets IoT devices create their own expanding network that works off a single battery for several years, reports Business Insider.

The Undagrid app is used at Schiphol Airport on baggage carts and aircraft stairs to transmit information to nearby devices that relay it on, so ground equipment like dollies, carts, and staircases communicate their positions directly with each other.

It’s just the tip of the iceberg as the IoT and aviation take to the friendly skies traversed by millions of consumers on a regular basis.

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