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The future of flight shopping – AI in millions of homes

by Alexander v. Bernstorff

I learned that there is the expectation of certain users that airline offers should be displayed irrespective of their relevance and irrespective of their availability. They call it transparency.

In other words: People want to see things that are not relevant to them or that they cannot purchase.


Let’s think retail! You want to buy a new MP3 player in an electronics shop. The shop owner knows that you are a music lover and that you are not an Apple user. Which of the two options do you prefer?

  1. He will show you a Pioneer high-end portable player and a lower priced, but still audiophile model of Sony. Both are very good devices, but the Pioneer has advanced features, such as a very good headphone amp and high-res lossless audio playback.
  2. He will show you the Pioneer and the Sony MP3 player. In addition, he’ll show you Apple iPods and iPhones. Last but not least, he’s asking you to have a look at three different low-end models which he might have on stock, but is unsure.

So, what does this have to do with InteRES?

InteRES is offering software for airlines that is helping them to take back control over their offer, introduce a simplifying product engineering process and at the same time increase the relevance of offers created for their customers, all distributed via an NDC API.

Looking at our product people are asking me “Where is all the other stuff, the filed fares?” Well, you mean the complexity-called-choice that’s only confusing the customer? It’s gone!

During the very first NDC workgroup meeting someone talked about a horrendous number of fares on an O&D. A dear colleague of BA stood up and said (quote): “The customer wants to go from A to B for God’s sake. He doesn’t need ten thousand different offers.” It was the inauguration of NDC.

Now think voice control. No doubt, AI will be the new UX (as Colleagues from Transavia stated during a presentation at last week’s TTE in London). And no doubt it is going to happen quickly. Amazon already sold over 10 Million of their Echo/Alexa devices. As a matter of fact, people will want to use AI for as much as they can and this will include flight bookings if we accept it or not.

Here’s my point, food-for-thought: How will airline offers need to look like and be distributed in an Alexa world? Think it through, carefully, end-to-end. And if you find that the current airline offer design and distribution process might not be fully future-proof, then please call us as we’re having a solution in place that is built for the future, not for the past.

Re-think choice, relevance and distribution!

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