During the April event in Berlin, we heard from travel industry leaders across sectors. And after first speaking to them on stage, we took another few minutes with the executives to get more insight in our backstage Skift Take Studio.
Chief Marketing Officer Kenny Jacobs sees an opportunity in doing more of that selling — for a dedicated security lane or priority boarding, for example — through the carrier’s app as passengers are rushing to their flight.
“It sounds simple, but you’d be amazed the amount of airlines that weren’t making this functionality available in their apps,” he said. “And I think more have done that, we’ve done that, and we’ve seen great reception from customers for doing that.”
And, Jacobs pointed out, the strategy is good for the bottom line.
“Because you’re getting that last-minute opportunity to upsell them or cross-sell them to a different type of product at the most relevant time for them on the day of travel,” he said.
In addition to the ways airlines can better use mobile, Jacobs also discussed the obstacle that security presents to travelers. While he acknowledged that the need for security and regulations is legitimate, Jacobs said the experience is often so negative as to outweigh other positive elements of air travel.
“I think airports and regulators … could embrace technology more to say actually, how do you search customers and their belongings using tehcnology in a way that is safer for the airport and for the airline but also less obtrusive to those customers,” he said.