Just over half a century ago, the transatlantic jet age came to Heathrow, when a Pan American Boeing 707 Clipper roared over the western suburbs of Greater London on her final approach. Back then, it was personal in a very human sort of way. Fast forward a decade or so and the estimated global air passenger numbers in 1970 totalled just over 300 million; the age of mass cost-effective airline travel was on its way – along with the beginning of the degradation of service as the Golden Age of air travel disappeared along with the first generations of crews serving the public as they soared through the skies.
Here we are, as the start of the third decade of the 21st century is less than a month away – and the growth of air travel even since the start of the new millennium is both dizzying and mind boggling: 2019 – 4.6 billion air passengers – 130% more than 2004.
The 2037 prediction makes for sobering reading: over 8 billion of us heading into the wild blue yonder in just 365 days.
15 years ago – 2004 in fact, the demands of passengers were vastly different to what is now expected as a matter of course. Yet, airlines, airports and the extended ecosystem haven’t kept up the pace, sometimes with a technology offering that is so out of date, you’d probably want to paint it in a day-glo sepia.
Despite the demands of passengers – more tech savvy with an in-built need to be constantly connected, the airlines – in fact, the aviation industry generally, hasn’t even reached the taxiway to match this demand with a service offering that works seamlessly at home, en-route to the airport, the various stages of getting to the plane, in the air, back on the ground and onward from there.
The basic passenger journey is 12-14 discrete steps – so making it compelling, seamless, with opportunities to interact with a larger ecosystem is where it’s at in 2020.
In three short years, the use of a smart airline app for passenger interaction has doubled and dumb SMS is pretty much about to start a freefall. Then add in the little known fact, almost one third of us – if there was a way – would pay for last minute purchases even when on the 12-14 step journey as a typical airline passenger!
It all falls down in that pressurised high speed aluminium tube – connectivity. Or to be more precise, what connectivity? This is where FrontM comes in. The seamless, connected, personalised travel experience is here – passenger delight equals revenue and we’re here to make it happen. Easily!
In this series of blogs, I’m going to introduce you to what FrontM can and will do for the air traveller ecosystem. We’ll also follow the adventures as our intrepid virtual air traveller – the one and only Cecilia Bramley -as she navigates the world using her connected FrontM app – with airlines the world over.