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3 Ways Technology Makes Life Easier For Both Airlines and Customers

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Flying through the air, strapped into a metal dart full of anxious people breathing recycled air, it's not a scenario most people want to experience more than they have to. For many Americans though, flying has become a regular part of life for both work and play. Whether you're one of those flying to get somewhere or you're one of those flying to provide services for the business people and vacationers of the world, technology has changed the game. Here are three ways that technology has made life easier for both those working at the airlines and their customers.

1. Technology Allows For Rapid Route Updates

When you step up to the check-in desk at the airport there's a degree of magic that goes on. Based on your ID, the desk agent finds your route, prints your passes and luggage tags and guides you to the correct gate. Before the advent of cloud computing, all of this took place through heavy computer data lines which each airline would have to run from every airport to its departure control system or DCS. It's one reason airlines chose specific home bases as their hubs because these data lines were extremely expensive. The physical data connection also meant that it could take months for a new route to be established in the system and disseminated to all the airports which would connect with that route.

Now, new routes can be added quickly and seamlessly with the centralized cloud that does away with physical connections and allows all airports to access real-time data. In 2019, small Eastern European airliner Adria Airways suddenly declared bankruptcy and canceled all its flights. Some of those routes were to smaller, less popular airports, leaving them underserved or without any flights. Lufthansa was able to use the power of the cloud to establish routes to those underserved communities without a hitch.

2. Technology Increases Operational Efficiency

Besides the ability to pivot quickly and provide services where they are needed, technology means that airlines operate more efficiently, saving passengers time and saving airlines money. Passengers don't enjoy waiting at airport gates, buying overpriced food in overcrowded restaurants. When airlines assure they are running on time, customers are happy. Airlines use rugged laptops that connect with flight applications to ensure that maintenance issues are handled before they create delays. Onboard tech systems can actually notify groundcrews of issues before a plane lands so diagnostics and repairs can take place while the cabin crew cleans up seatback pockets and runs the vacuum.

Operational efficiency is even more important for the bottom line of the airline. An idle plane waiting for repairs costs the airline an estimated $81 every minute. Soon, every plane in a fleet will have a digital double that will show how the wear and tear of each flight affects every part and system on the plane, allowing the maintenance crews to pull planes for maintenance before they cause delays in the overall system.

3. Technology Allows For Personalization

Operational efficiency is important for cutting costs and it keeps passengers satisfied, but great service goes beyond satisfaction. Technology is paving the way for airlines to provide truly customized service that gives passengers a stellar experience. Software that allows customers to track their luggage through the whole flight including track transfers and when it will come out of the baggage chute, gives them a sense of control that flying can lack. Current technology is already increasing personal service. Instead of one big in-flight movie, screens in the back of the passenger seats allow passengers to choose their own entertainment options, including games, movies, TV shows, or the plane's progress on its flight path.

Technology will continue to change the industry, implementing the internet of things into every aspect of flight. While it may never be as comfortable as staying home, technology has transformed flying into a customizable experience that is more likely to run on time and feel comfortable than ever before.

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