Airline Innovation Could Take A Bite Out Of Delays

from the stuck-in-a-holding-pattern dept

It will come as no surprise to air travelers that this year has been the worst on record for flight delays and cancellations. Since technology failures played a role in some of the year's worst headaches, it's a fair question to ask whether better technology might fix what's broken with air travel. There's little debate that the nation's air traffic control system needs updating; contentions arise over who will take responsibility for it. Yet, while the FAA and the airline industry might spend another decade hashing out major infrastructure upgrades, the airlines should be investing now in technology that can provide relief to their customers in the short term. Investments to improve areas such as crew management, gate management, and flight scheduling, would take compounding bites out of the problem of delays. Yield management systems, technology in which airlines already invest substantial sums, could be tweaked to account for goodwill lost to cancellations and delays. Most significantly, more information given to air travelers, both at the time they purchase tickets and at the time they fly, will arm them to make better decisions about when, where, and whether or not to get on an airplane. Airlines would do well to consider how technology innovation could improve their customers' experience. Much as JetBlue distinguished itself early on by offering superior service, passengers will reward an airline that provides an overall better travel experience. Airlines need not fear the costs of making these investments, because the cost of not making them could be much higher. Witness, again, JetBlue, whose reputation and stock price have still not recovered from customer relations missteps made earlier this year. Instead, airlines that employ new tech to take some of the pain out of air travel may join the growing number of companies who find themselves rewarded by shareholders for providing better service to their customers.
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Filed Under: airlines, innovation

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  1. identicon
    Seth, 3 Oct 2007 @ 5:40pm

    Re: Re: You didn't really say anything

    Really? Gov't agencies, huge costs and an industry that lives on bail-outs. The airlines that make even a small attempt on any one of these are rewarded quite hansomly, as was pointed out with JetBlue.

    Just because the pain points are obvious doesn't mean the solutions are easy to put into place. That is why I was surprised Dan even wrote about these. All of these areas have been dicussed before, so wasn't sure what he was going after with this post. Nothing new was really brought up. No novel proposal to fix any one of these problems, or new piece of information that recently came to light.

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