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31 July 2018 | Blog

Automating airline operations and delivering unforgettable customer experiences with 15below

  • Faster, smoother, stress-free journeys through the airport for maximum efficiency

  • Automated check-in to relieve pressure on airport desks and reduce queues

  • Personalised passenger communications to inform, advise and promote

  • 80% of schedule changes resolved within minutes

Automating communications should be a priority for airlines looking to achieve optimum operational performance and, perhaps more importantly, deliver the ultimate customer experience that will build passenger loyalty and strengthen an airline’s reputation.

At 15below, our unrivalled product portfolio has been designed to tackle all the pinch points for both airline staff and passengers, resulting in faster, smoother and stress-free journeys through the airport. With many airports operating at or close to capacity, automation is a key tool in the bid to achieve optimum efficiency.

Automating processes allows our customers to finely hone their operations while informing, advising and delighting passengers at every stage of their journeys. By working with us and utilising our sophisticated automation solutions, airlines free up their employees to provide the human touch and a personal, bespoke service to each customer they encounter.

That is not to say automated output lacks a responsive, human-like approach though. In fact, the machine can be programmed to offer a flawless service in line with that of the best human agent. What’s more, automated communications can act upon ‘common sense’ much like an employee would, such as by considering time zones and the urgency of a message before deciding whether to send immediately or apply a night-time filter.

Our innovative, unique and comprehensive solutions integrate with all the major databases around the world to provide perfectly curated content and information for passengers that contribute to remarkable customer experiences and help airlines achieve their key operational objectives.

Moving quickly through the airport with zero stress with SWISS

One of our recent projects saw the hugely successful implementation of Automated Check-In (ACI) and Home-Printed Bag Tags (HPBT) with Swiss International Air Lines (SWISS); helping the carrier to move more people than ever before by maximising the limited amount of space available to it at some airports.

ACI helps to prevent queues at check-in desks. The 15below platform scans PNRs to find eligible passengers before inviting them to automatically check-in at the click of a button. Once they accept, boarding passes are sent and passengers can proceed to either the bag drop or security areas, bypassing busy check-in desks.

By investing in HPBT, SWISS has been able to further reduce airport queues by allowing passengers flying from certain airports to print their own luggage tags, apply them to bags and simply drop them at a dedicated point within the airport. This has saved a considerable amount of time in comparison with the classic bag drop system involving printing and attaching tags on-site, freeing up SWISS staff to focus on special service requests and passengers requiring a tailored service.

It also allows all passengers to arrive at the airport with more information, meaning they can proceed through the airport without feelings of stress or anxiety and with plenty of time to shop and make use of the facilities.

Read the in-depth story of SWISS’ work with 15below to discover the full range of benefits it is now enjoying

Resolving 80% of schedule changes in minutes with JetBlue

Another of our most rewarding projects came with US carrier JetBlue. It previously faced the laborious task of manually contacting tens of thousands of passengers to inform them of schedule changes each time its flight timetable was updated.

However, after working with us to develop a tailored automated schedule change solution as part of our Disruption module, JetBlue started to process 78% of all schedule changes within minutes. With just a fifth of customers needing to be contacted manually, significant amounts of time, resource and money were saved.

Read the full details of JetBlue’s schedule change solution and how it generated huge operational gains

One platform; nine modules

Our product can be broken down into nine specific modules, each tackling different business needs and helping to improve operations and service in a multitude of ways. In addition to those outlined with SWISS and JetBlue, just a few examples of further modules and features of the industry-leading 15below platform include:

  • Boarding passes – Boarding passes can be sent to customers to print at home or to be used via mobile devices. Our technology also allows requests for duplicates to be dealt with automatically.
  • Special service handling – Group bookings, unaccompanied minors, ESTA requirements and other specific requests often demand careful handling. But with our bespoke tool, these time-consuming processes can be entirely automated.
  • Flight status – Delay, diversion or gate change? Our Flight Status solution allows customers to keep passengers and staff calm while getting them where they need to be.
  • Day of travel disruption – Our platform is constantly evolving and more personalised notifications are being sent than ever before. These aim to reduce stress levels among employees and passengers, reduce queues at airport desks and minimise confusion and frustration.
  • Electronic vouchers – The 15below platform can be used to distribute electronic vouchers to passengers entitled to food and beverages during disruption. This eliminates the need for paper vouchers, ensures the system cannot be abused and reduces manual handling requirements.
  • Tours and activities – Airlines can send invitations for tailored tours and activities to passengers affected by disruption as an act of goodwill or to prevent them from waiting at the airport.

What does the future hold?

Rapid technological changes and the ongoing pursuit of optimum customer experiences will lead to further advances in travel technology in the months and years ahead.

The number of passengers is predicted to increase from four billion in 2017 to 7.2 billion in 2035, while customer expectations are also likely to rise. This presents a challenge to airlines to deal with disruption more effectively or be left behind competitors who successfully meet these demands.

Self-serve facilities will become more widespread as airlines and airports strive to serve more passengers often with either zero or minimal increase in terminal capacity.

With the recent implementation of IATA Resolution 753, automation of the entire baggage journey is likely to become a priority. The successful launch of our Home-Printed Bag Tags product with SWISS is an early indicator that baggage is an area in which significant operational and service gains can be made.

At 15below, our Product team and developers are working on a range of new and innovative solutions to keep us at the forefront of the booming travel technology market.

We look forward to offering our growing portfolio of solutions and modules to travel companies looking to select a best-of-breed provider capable of developing the specialist products they need to meet their customers’ expectations.