Four key air travel innovations you’ll want to watch

3 minute read, posted on 11/20/2018, by Peter Mullen

air travel

More than ever, changes in the airline industry are impacting tourism as a whole, as travel becomes a more accessible experience globally. These customer experience (CX) innovations are worth a watch to keep your finger on the pulse of what’s happening with air travel.

Augmented reality

Air New Zealand has been working on augmented reality (AI) to create targeted in-flight experiences during air travel. The concept: Personalizing the experience by outfitting crew with the Microsoft HoloLens, which aggregates and displays on their lenses information – such as a customer’s preferred meal and drinks choice, travel plans and loyalty membership details.

The airline has also teamed up with a spatial computing company to create a digital multiplayer game that allows players to explore New Zealand in virtual reality. Watch it Here

Flights on demand (for short hops at least)

Uber has planned an on-demand fleet of electric vertical takeoff and landing (VTOL) aircraft that will roam cities as soon as 2020.

Air Bus has set up shop in Silicon Valley and is planning its own personal airplane proposition – also scheduled to “land” in the same timeframe. Reports are saying they are co-operating with Uber to crack some of the trickier problems.

The most interesting thing? The business model:

The cost of Uber Aeroplane per mile will be largely equivalent to using regular Uber in the car on the ground. Watch it Here

Flying subscriptions

Speaking of innovative business models – Surf Air has recently released their all-you-can-fly subscription service to customers in Britain and Europe. If you’re interested in learning more about why this pricing model works so well for them, check out this interview with Mac Kern, Vice President of Commercial Planning.

Equally important to Surf Air is the customer experience they deliver.  Below is a great example – a booking process that takes less than 23 seconds!  Watch it Here

Electric airplanes

Flying cars and electric airplanes they’re not as far away in the air travel future as we all think. Zunum Aero is aiming to change the way that people travel by producing “hybrid electric.” Boeing seems to be pretty on board with this, having invested in the company.

By the early 2020s, the company plans to operate electric aircraft to carry 10-15 passengers on trips up to 680 miles. It says, “The cost of such flights could be as low as $25 each way.” Watch it Here

At VXI, I’m focused on helping my clients innovate the customer experience. Let us know what you think of these ideas as food for thought about how you do business.

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