The degree and use of e-commerce determines an airline’s ability to compete in the market. Hence all airlines use it as an effective marketing tool, to cut the cost and increase efficiency. Some airlines may be ahead of others in the effective use of e-commerce. However most of the airlines are adept in its use in the following areas:
They all have websites, which allow customers to book a seat online from home or office. This also allows the customers to compare the prices being offered by various competitors, so that they are able to buy the cheapest ticket.
Airlines also offer online facility the facility to choose the desired seat: window , aisle or bulkhead in some cases.
The trend of mobile check-in is also picking up the pace among many airlines, saving passengers the hassle of standing in a line for check-in. Self check-in kiosks also cuts down passengers’ check-in time.
Frequent Flyer Programmes (FFPs) are being managed online by almost all airlines.
It is also helping airlines reach out to the customers in case the flight is delayed or advanced.
Introduction of new products or a new destinations and price discounts etc are also be advertised on company website and social media like twitter and facebook etc.
Online customer feedback and complaints are helping management better administrate the affairs of airlines.
Introduction of RFID system has substantially lowered the airlines losses on account of baggage loss.
Revenue management system is the most effective user of e-commerce. It changes prices from day to day, hour to hour and even minute to minute, all automatically taking into account the time left for the flight and number of seats available.
Very soon e-airway bills may be a reality.
Airlines are able to find out, soon after take off, whether or not a particular flight is profitable.
For further information kindly check link below, which is an excerpt from Michael’s upcoming book titled “Airline E-commerce: Log on.Take off” . He can be reached at. .