The two companies have opted to combine Paxport’s Passenger Data Management System with MI Airline’s ‘Connected Crew’ tablet software to create a new data and POS (point-of-sale) system that delivers information from the Paxport database to cabin crew tablets.
Some airlines already use the Paxport system to collect information on passenger preferences through booking pathways and previous inflight choices in order to build a more comprehensive picture of each passenger. But by feeding Connected Crew with information from Paxport’s systems, the data can be leveraged in the aircraft cabin to offer passengers the services and buying opportunities that are most likely to satisfy their needs, says Paxport.
Using Paxport data, Connected Crew can describe passenger preferences by name and seat allocation, so that not only will the cabin crew know a traveller’s name, but they’ll also know what they usually buy from the duty free trolley, their status in the airline’s loyalty programme and their onboard requirements, adds Paxport.
With the addition of intra-cabin wireless connectivity, all attendants can be made aware of outstanding orders, which in turn can facilitate an immediate response to more prosaic problems. An unexpected need for decaf coffee, for example, can be satisfied quickly, tablet-to-tablet, through a so-called galley view, without the need to ‘ping’ the attendant call button or a dash back to the galley, according to the firms.
Matthias Funke, sales director at MI Airline, says: “The Paxport information is presented on the crew tablet as either an interactive seat map or a traditional list. Users can sort, filter, scroll and drill down for more information.” Tablets pre-load data automatically before a flight, and download sales transaction and other information as soon as they are back on the ground. Time-sensitive information, including equipment faults, can also be transmitted through inflight connectivity if available.
Updates, promotions, route-specific data and other information is easily uploaded, say the two firms. This means that airlines can exploit marketing programmes that target particular sectors or passenger types. So, for example, if a group of passengers are on a family holiday, the crew will know they are a group, as well as what package they booked and how frequently they travel. If some members of the group have flown with the airline before and bought perfume from the trolley, the system will identify them and the opportunity for personalised sales.
According to Paxport CEO Peter Lövgren, the system makes money for the airline while improving the passenger experience. But for some of us, flying is about individual space and private time. How does the system satisfy the needs of the ‘cocooner’? Funke says: “The system learns that you’re a cocooner, but it can’t deduce that from booking data. The information is gathered through interaction with the cabin crew, who make notes on their tablet. The notes are attached to a passenger’s electronic record and sent back via Paxport to the master customer record. The next time they fly, there’ll be an icon next to their name indicating that they are to be left alone.”
There is also provision for passengers to access a portable onboard server via PED, which lets them order and pay for duty free and refreshments. Transactions appear on crew tablets for fulfilment.
Lövgren says Paxport has been serving airlines and tour operators for more than a decade. Thirty-five airlines across Europe and North Africa – representing around 15 million passengers – employ the Passenger Data Management System. Information is collected from the moment of ticket purchase, but requires no additional input from the traveller; Paxport simply gathers and collates the ‘data trail’ left behind when we fly.
Paxport and MI Airline declined to comment on whether or not they have secured an airline customer for their new integrated solution through Connected Crew, though they hinted that a couple of deals are in the offing.
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