Last week, at the Hamburg Aircraft Interiors Expo, much excitement was generated by some of the innovative technological advancements set to change the in-flight cabin experience.
From a partnership with Bose, to improve in-flight entertainment with a range of noise-cancelling headphones to Twinings, for a great cup of tea, brand partnerships are a growing trend for airlines in an aim to enhance passenger comfort and experience.
The second in a stream of improvements is the issue of tablet computers to flight attendants, who are now able to be better connected and will be able, for example, to warn passengers of baggage delays or problems to save stress at the carousel. The tablets will be connected to passenger headrest consoles, enabling them to request help or order directly from the console to the tablet.
In addition to improving passenger experience, the issue of the tablet will streamline communications to the flight deck and to ground-based personnel and will increase efficient operations, maximising the resources of staff for airlines and airports.
In Holland, KLM announced the release of their latest mobile app, following the realisation of the growth of passenger connectivity via Smartphone use. The airline hopes to begin a free in-flight wifi trial later this year. They will introduce real-time customer service operations for passengers to provide feedback and have problems dealt with immediately via an intranet connected to teams of iPad-bearing staff.
Virgin America is also developing a similar interactive service, with both airlines paving the way for passenger satisfaction and confidence.
Another interesting reveal at the expo was a growing market for airline and airport specific ‘souvenirs’. Designers are using the latest trends in fashion to create mementos that passengers will want to use long after their flight experience and creating a realistic income stream for the airlines.
Take the stylish Finnair teaset, for example: