Flights are taking to the skies once more.
However, it will not be an easy route back to managing pre-pandemic 2020 passenger volumes without the right technology to automate workflows and drive innovation.
IT leads are increasingly looking to implement cost-efficient technology that will both stabilize and improve the flexibility of operations without disruption.
So what technology will meet the challenge?
This guide looks at how smart data capture on mobile apps can do this and help you:
- Scale capacity for peak periods
- Win back passengers through digital transformation
- Enable mobile agents and automate processes
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1. Scale capacity for travel peaks
The air travel industry is battling headwinds. Severe staffing issues, lost baggage, lengthy check-in queues, plus last-minute flight delays and cancellations have caused major disruption and widespread customer friction.
Airlines have struggled to rehire, train, and onboard new staff quickly enough.
Compared with pre-covid levels, there were 2.3 million fewer jobs in the aviation industry by September 2021. These figures include a 29% fall in contracted staff at airports, such as ground handlers, where 1.7 million jobs were lost.
Empowering existing and new employees to do more with a simple-to-use and intuitive mobile tool is a new travel essential to scale and keep customers happy quickly.
Scalable agent capacity on demand
Every employee with an easy-to-implement mobile device enabled with smart data capture can be employed as a mobile agent.
Customer service capacity isn’t limited by expensive stationary check-in or boarding equipment.
Resources can be scaled quickly, without disruption, to handle anything from fluctuating passenger numbers to last-minute gate changes.
Create a flexible work-ready team
Smartphones enabled with smart data capture are intuitive and familiar. Staff can be onboarded to handle passenger peaks with minimal training required.
Agents can use a single device for multiple tasks and switch between them seamlessly.
The employee experience is further enhanced with intuitive functionality such as tap to scan, select a barcode, or augmented reality (AR) instructions overlaid on the screen.
Read more about scaling during peak periods.
Transform digitally to win back passengers
Digital transformation is a vital part of recovery as airlines push back to pre-pandemic levels.
The perfect storm of increased passenger numbers and limited staff is fueling a need to do more with less. And in a way that recaptures the hearts and minds of returning passengers.
While some airlines are already on their digitalization journey, others grapple with disconnected systems and fixed workstations.
Smart data capture technology offers an accessible solution to address these issues, get more out of existing capacity and have a stable platform for future innovation.
For example, enabling agents to work anywhere in the airport eliminates the restriction of fixed podium working. Mobile agents can do any task on the move from check-in to boarding, while ground staff can track passengers and their baggage.
This speeds up workflows and reduces passenger waiting times.
Customer story – How Alaska Airlines modernized boarding with mobile ID scanning
Working with Scandit, Alaska Airlines replaced costly gate hardware with high-performance mobile scanning. Their new mobile app freed agents to provide hassle-free boarding and complete customer service workflows much more efficiently.
“Enabling our agents to be mobile, frees them from being tied to hardware and allows us to reimagine the boarding experience without the usual podiums. If we need to change gates, we can just walk over with our iPads. If there is a guest that needs special assistance before boarding, we can provide customer service beside them instead of having them come to the podium.”
Francis Brown, Product Manager at Alaska Airlines
Automate processes for agent and customer efficiency
Air travel is a service-driven industry. Elevated levels of customer service ensure passengers choose the same airline repeatedly.
Aside from price, an airline is judged on its efficiency, punctuality, and quality of service delivery. Processes and workflows affect all these factors.
Slow or clunky processes are inadequate to deal with fluctuating passenger volumes.
It’s hard to implement software updates for old check-in terminals. And outdated workflows require multiple contact points between passengers and staff for even the simplest tasks.
Innovative technology like smart data capture on smart devices offers an accessible solution to automate air travel workflows and deliver actionable insights.
Turn employees into super-efficient mobile agents
Giving every employee a smart device equipped with smart data capture turns them into super-efficient mobile agents.
They can switch seamlessly between multiple tasks and provide passengers with up-to-the-minute travel information with a simple scan of a boarding card.
Empower customers with self-service options
Adding smart data capture to a passenger app can help to speed up and streamline journeys. With a self-service app, passengers simply scan a passport or valid ID to check in online or check in their luggage using their smartphone.
They avoid check-in queuing and the airport mitigates check-in backlogs. Personal data is also captured accurately without any mistakes.
Improve customer experience through technology
Air travel operators have to go the extra mile to win back the confidence and loyalty of customers.
Airport operations run on data at every touchpoint from check-in to flight boarding.
Empowering workers and passengers with the right tools and real-time information is the secret to better decision-making and superior customer service.
Airlines can personalize customer experiences and boost upsell opportunities.
For example, scanning a passenger’s boarding pass or ID combined with augmented reality displays enables agents to manage flight or seat changes, give passengers access to lounges or offer customized upsells like food discounts or flight upgrades.
Every passenger scan captures data, enhancing services in the future. For example, capturing a passenger’s duty-free purchasing history enables an airport operator to offer promotions when they next fly.
Read more about taking passenger experiences to a higher plane.
Reap the full benefits of smart data capture
Modern technology, such as smart data capture on mobile devices, gives airlines and their customers a simple, low-cost way of reducing costs, streamlining processes and enhancing customer service.
Here’s how smart data capture can do this and help you:
Deliver friction-free mobile services: Mobile agents can process passenger tickets, boarding cards, baggage tags or IDs with greater efficiency.
Shorten check-in queues: Agents with smart devices can check in passengers faster and reduce queuing times.
Give passengers convenient self-check-in: Passengers can scan their passports or ID to check in online. This avoids the risk of human error, frustrating queuing and alerts passengers of out-of-date passports.
Improve passenger interaction: Augmented reality (AR) functionality gives agents instant access to real-time information so they can change seats, change flights or inform passengers about gate assignments, flight schedules, upgrades or qualifying travel vouchers. Watch how.
Provide instant lounge access: A boarding pass scan gives passengers easy access to lounge facilities. Lounge hosts can access information such as frequent flier discounts.
Customer story: Scandinavian Airlines delivered superior customer service with a Scandit-Powered App
Scandinavian Airlines reduced costs while improving customer experience by replacing expensive, dedicated scanners with a Scandit-powered smartphone app.
Using a single mobile app, customer service agents are able to provide a highly personalized and seamless experience for passengers.
“Mobile devices serve our digital strategy to create more efficient processes. Our operating staff deliver superior customer service by scanning boarding passes, passports, luggage packages, and coupons with Scandit-powered mobile devices instead of traditional scanner devices.”
Sören Fredriksson, IT Project Manager, SAS.
Deploy smart data capture to take customer service to new heights
Smartphones equipped with Scandit Smart Data Capture is the solution that delivers on all fronts.
They have inbuilt flexibility and can be easily updated. New innovations are easily adopted like augmented reality without complex workarounds due to long tech cycles.
All tasks are done through a single device, from check-in to boarding and passenger management to baggage management. Passengers can also self-serve to avoid friction.
It’s quick and straightforward to add Scandit Smart Data Capture into your existing IT infrastructure including native and web apps. It works with unrivaled performance on over 20,000 models of smart devices and captures data from any code.
If you would like to discuss how we could help you to take customer service to new heights, please get in touch.