Published on : Monday, March 25, 2019
Latvian airline airBaltic and Finnish technology firm Reaktor are planning to introduce a state-of-the-art booking system that will make the customer experience of booking flights much faster and easier. By putting the passenger’s needs first, the system is set to pave the way for modern digital services in the airline industry.
The booking systems of airlines have not kept up with the wider changes in the industry in the last few decades: Growing security measures and increasing complexity of ticket pricing have rendered most systems inefficient. Users have been straddled with page after page of “options” – things they can opt in and out of, like checked-in baggage or in-flight meals – all the while being asked to provide increasing amounts of personal information. For the traveler, booking a flight has become a lengthy, exhausting process.
airBaltic plans to change that. In cooperation with the Finnish technology firm Reaktor it has designed a pioneering, streamlined booking system. The companies compare its use to the effortlessness of buying a concert ticket. Grounded firmly on insight from user tests and in-depth interviews with airBaltic's customers, the new design pivots on the needs of the passenger.
“You don't have to give extra details, you don't have to decide on how many bags you're bringing, you don’t have to provide a passport number, nor do you need to click “no” to countless insurance offers – you simply choose a flight and buy it,” says Heikki Mantere, UX Designer at Reaktor.
“The top priorities of airBaltic are safety, punctuality and service,” says Jouni Oksanen, Senior Vice President of eCommerce, Sales and Marketing at airBaltic. “The new booking system prioritizes all three and places the traveler at the core of the service. airBaltic’s innovative three- step user experience will disrupt the industry with its speed, convenience, and ease.”
Here’s how it works:
1) Choose your flight airBaltic’s booking engine will give passengers all of the crucial information at once, allowing them to make informed choices while choosing travel dates. That means users won’t have to go back and forth between screens, trying to find the best combination of price, availability, and time of flight. Instead, they’ll be able to see all the available options at once.
2) Pay for it Rather than combing through option after option before arriving at a final price, users will be able to see the full cost of the flight from the get-go, and make decisions between readily comparable bundles. Each fare will tell the user explicitly what is included, and what the prices are the prices for other services. Customers can also unbundle from that set anything they might not want. Then they pay for it, and they’re done. Fully booked.
3) Come back at any time to fill in passenger details and request extra services
Users can log in at any time before the scheduled flight to fill in necessary passenger details and select any extras they might want (bags, seat selection, food among others). Why would one need to decide straight away, anyway? The flight may be a long way off, and there is no way for the passenger to know what he may need. Asking for these details later makes it possible for airlines to sell extra services when they are the most relevant to the customer.