In this day and age, it seems that almost all our personal information is fair game to marketers – even airlines are jumping on the bandwagon, in case you didn’t already know!
You might not know this but they’re really good at capturing your personal data, which includes things like the credit cards you use, the places you fly to and your spending pattern, based on a recent article by Bloomberg.
It is no big secret that they use your information, just like hotels, they need this to personalise their service to you. For example, they can apologise for the flight delay you experience last week or give you a free upgrade if you’re a frequent business class flier that got stuck in economy. Sounds cool, right?
Oscar Munoz, chief executive of United Continental Holdings Inc. explains this by saying, “We have enough data about who you are, where you fly, and more importantly, when we’ve delayed you, cancelled you, made you change your seat, spilled coffee on you – we have the points of failure and the points of success. I think our customers need better service and better personalisation today. And that’s what we’re focusing on.”
Of course, this leads to the question, “How much personal data can be used to enhance customer service before slipping into the ‘too much information’ realm, where a traveller may feel uncomfortable?” You know, creepy stalker mode?
Guests would be wondering next, if they know about my birthday, what else could the possibly know about me? Maybe they could even collect data on the movies you watch or the snacks you eat so that they could tailor their services better to your travel persona.
It’s not a new thing but every big international airline is exploring how to tailor its approach more specifically to you. In fact, British Airlines has more than 40 apps for various customer service aspects of a journey to make their guests feel more “special.”
Singapore Airlines have also started to use tablets two years ago so that they can customise their services and create digital “voyage reports” after each flight. Some airlines are facing the issue of how widely this information should be distributed and how it can be used to add value.
While there are still many questions and doubts about this, guess it’s not a surprise anymore in this digital era!
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