Airline apps take the customer experience to new heights

By Becky Lawlor

Seated passenger holding a tablet and using airline apps to book a flight


As more passengers travel with mobile devices, airline apps have taken off. Yet many airlines still have some distance to go before their app experience truly soars.

Today, 98 percent of all airline passengers carry at least one device and 70 percent carry two or more devices when they travel, according to SITA’s Passenger IT Trends Survey 2017. Given how attached travelers are to their devices, airline enterprises should be innovating with mobile apps.

Yet according to research by Eight Million Stories, only 82 percent of the top 50 airlines have an iOS mobile app and only 14 percent have mobile applications that can serve iOS, Android and Blackberry devices. In the UK, British Airways is the sole airline with a mobile app that spans iOS, Android and Blackberry devices.

The industry has some catching up to do. Here’s how airlines can leverage enterprise apps to improve the travel experience and increase passenger loyalty.

Streamline and improve the travel experience

Airlines’ primary focus may be transporting passengers from one destination to another, but customers are judging and choosing airlines by more than just the in-flight experience. The customer journey begins with their ticket purchase and ends when passengers have their luggage and leave the airport.

There are a number of airline apps that can make all these steps a better customer service experience. From simplifying the booking process to allowing passengers to check into their flight and receive flight status updates, mobile apps can make each step more convenient. In fact, according to SITA’s survey, 74 percent of passengers would use alerts on flight and gate changes if they were pushed to their mobile devices.

Airline apps can offer further convenience by allowing travelers to add checked baggage, select seats and pay for fees or upgrades directly from their mobile devices. Some apps also provide gate information and terminal maps to help passengers quickly navigate airports and get to their gates on time.

Help travelers from takeoff to landing

Mobile apps are useful even while passengers are in the air. As more airlines charge for refreshments and meals, entertainment and other amenities, an app can streamline this process for customers and airline employees. Mobile apps can even offer passengers the opportunity to preorder meals, ensuring that everyone gets what they want and that airlines don’t run out of food before meeting all their passengers’ needs.

Providing passenger entertainment through apps is another way airlines can enhance the traveler experience. Passengers can see what entertainment options are available, pay for wifi and have access to an interactive flight experience.

Fly higher with airline apps

The airline industry is highly competitive, and passengers are sensitive to every stage of the flight experience. Applying mobile innovation to airline apps makes the entire customer experience more convenient and streamlined, gaining loyalty from travelers. By investing in mobile today, airlines make it possible to soar higher and further with customers now and in the future.

Written By

Becky Lawlor

Technology Writer

Becky Lawlor is a freelance technology writer specializing in mobility, cloud computing, unified communications and collaboration solutions. She develops and writes content that helps technology buyers understand and evaluate technology solutions, modernize their IT infrastructure…

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