The Brighton tech company urges airlines to modernize to avoid ‘disaster’

AIRLINES have just 12 months to modernize or risk going under, a technology expert has warned.

Carlene Jackson’s Brighton-based firm Cloud9 Insight specializes in digital transformation.

It has published “Better or Bust: A Three Point Digital Plan to Rescue the Airline Industry” based on the analysis of more than 800 of its own projects.

The recommendations – made in an open letter to airlines – come during a summer of travel chaos, with Heathrow Airport alone asking airlines to cancel 10,000 flights.

According to the consultancy, the disruption could drive vacationers to stay if the situation doesn’t improve by the summer of 2024.

And those who continue to fly will choose airlines known for their digital modernity, Ms Jackson claims.

The Argus: Carlene Jackson CEO of Cloud9 InsightCarlene Jackson, CEO of Cloud9 Insight

Ms Jackson said: “Having flown many times this year and 80 per cent of flights being canceled or significantly delayed, I expect people will be looking at alternative family holiday options, particularly as our summers get hotter.

“These disruptions also make business travel questionable at a time when video team meetings are also becoming more of the norm.”

The company’s open letter urges airlines:

1. Better provide tailored flight experiences based on the data they have on customers’ travel preferences, e.g. B. where they like to sit on an airplane

2. Reward loyalty better

3. Install better back office systems to enable better management of customer relationships and business processes

“The problems are caused by creaky technology that makes the customer feel like the airline’s right hand doesn’t know what its left hand is doing,” Jackson said.

The Argus: Huge queues have been spotted at airports, including Gatwick, as airports and airlines struggle with staff shortagesHuge queues have been spotted at airports, including Gatwick, as airports and airlines struggle with staff shortages

“Travelers will be treated as a homogenous bloc when it would be relatively easy to provide tailored experiences based on the data airlines have on flyers.”

Ms Jackson said it could mean things like assigning a window seat to passengers who like to enjoy the view, or sending food and drink offers to passengers’ phones based on what they’ve already consumed.

She said: “The last piece of this crazy puzzle is the outdated technology that airlines use.

“Often, a system such as B. bookings, not properly integrate into another, e.g. B. A refund system, which means that customer service agents cannot process a passenger request.”

Cloud9 Insight based its recommendations on more than a decade of experience working with hospitality and travel companies.

These sectors as a whole are also at risk of “digital stagnation” as is the airline industry, Ms Jackson added.

“The travel and vacation industry in general, as well as the hospitality industry, requires the same level of digital transformation to avoid being bitten by the issues currently plaguing airlines,” she said.

“They need to think about creating better screen views of the data they have stored about customers so they can provide better experiences.

“They also need to overhaul their back office systems to better integrate with the services their customers use. Digital standstill is a real risk.”

Read Cloud9 Insight’s full recommendations here: The Brighton tech company urges airlines to modernize to avoid ‘disaster’

Fry Electronics Team

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