Skift Travel News Blog

Short stories and posts about the daily news happenings around the travel industry.

Airlines

IDEAS: Qatar Airways to Provide Cabin Crew with Smart Technology

2 months ago

Qatar Airways has launched a new digital initiative designed to support cabin crew in delivering a more personalized experience for its customers in the air.

Credit: Qatar Airways

The new in-house application provides information on passengers flying with Qatar Airways, through customer profiles that provide insights into any special service requests and preferences, as well as real-time updates on flight information.

The carrier has said in a release that it expects to reach the first milestone in this phase of the digital rollout in the coming months, by providing more than 15,000 mobile devices to cabin crew, with additional plans to expand its scope to Hamad International Airport and overseas airports and lounges.


Skift Ideas uncovers the most creative and forward-thinking innovations happening across travel. We celebrate innovation through our Skift IDEA Awards and hear from leaders on our Ideas podcast.

You can listen and subscribe to the Skift Ideas Podcast through your favorite podcast app here.

Airlines

IDEAS: Air Canada Introduces New Tracking Tool for Baggage and Mobility Aids

3 months ago

Air Canada is launching a new feature within its mobile app that will enable customers to track their baggage and mobility aids in real time.

Air Canada Customers Can Now Track their Baggage and Mobility Aids while Travelling in Canada.
Credit: Air Canada

According to the U.S. Department of Transportation, more than one in every 100 wheelchairs and scooters that travel in the cargo hold of an aircraft on domestic flights are damaged, delayed, or lost.

The tracking feature, which is integrated into the Air Canada mobile app, will provide updates on items at key milestones throughout the journey, and has been implemented to provide travelers with ‘added confidence and improve the overall customer experience through greater convenience,’ according to Air Canada.

Although only available to customers traveling within Canada at present, Air Canada expects the feature to be expanded to U.S. flights next year. 

“At Air Canada, we know that apart from a safe, comfortable journey, the prompt delivery of baggage and mobility aids is a top priority for our customers. We already achieve a very high reliability rate, but to further elevate our service we are introducing a new tracking feature in the Air Canada mobile app to give customers real-time information, greater certainty about the movement of their belongings during their trip, and heightened convenience,” said Tom Stevens, vice president, customer experience and operations strategy at Air Canada in a release.


Skift Ideas uncovers the most creative and forward-thinking innovations happening across travel. We celebrate innovation through our Skift IDEA Awards and hear from leaders on our Ideas podcast.

You can listen and subscribe to the Skift Ideas Podcast through your favorite podcast app here.

Airlines

Southwest Hires Consultant to Assess the Airline’s Tech Systems

1 year ago

The CEO of Southwest Airlines issued a statement to customers with new details about actions the company is taking following the debacle in the last week of December. 

The most notable new information that CEO Bob Jordan shared is that the company has created a board committee to review the company’s response during that time, and consultancy Oliver Wyman has been hired to assess the airline’s systems.

The actions are in response to several issues that led to nearly 16,000 cancellations, caused primarily by a lack of investment in back-end technology. Southwest said the incident could cost the company up to $825 million

In the short term, the company is working on updating the crew recovery system, enhancing the crew communications tools, and establishing supplemental operational staffing

As Southwest has said, the company plans to spend about $1 billion on tech upgrades. The recent disruption will accelerate those plans, Jordan stated. 

He also stated that, as of the end of last week, nearly all bags have been returned and nearly all refunds and reimbursements have been processed. 

“We fell short of your expectations and the high standards we have of ourselves, and for that we are deeply sorry. It is our steadfast commitment to make the necessary changes to address the issues we faced and to regain your trust and confidence,” Jordan said in the statement.

The company is holding its quarterly earnings call next week, during which executives will likely further discuss the issue.

The U.S. Department of Transportation has said it is investigating the issue, and a group of U.S. senators sent a letter Friday demanding that Jordan answer questions about the incident.