Analysts say a new feature on the Delta SkyPro app, which is used by the carrier’s flight attendants, could be an important step forward in airline customer service.
The feature, which the airline rolled out in December, mines Delta’s storehouse of data ahead of each domestic flight and gives flight attendants a prioritized list of customers to recognize based on details like Medallion status, corporate traveler standing and SkyMiles milestones.
More significantly, according to analysts, the feature informs flight attendants which passengers have experienced significant delays on recent itineraries. They are then able to approach those passengers to offer recognition of the frustration they endured. Delta spokeswoman Ashton Morrow said that in some cases flight attendants would be empowered to use SkyPro’s information on who has suffered recent delays or other inconveniences to offer some sort of service during the flight, such as an upgrade or perhaps free food service.
“Sometimes all people want is an acknowledgment and an apology and a promise that the crew will help them have a better journey,” Atmosphere Research Group analyst Henry Harteveldt said.
Delta says that SkyPro is using big data on a larger scale than competing airlines. The new features augment SkyPro functions introduced beginning in 2015 that gave flight attendants information on connecting flights as well as passenger names and their SkyMiles loyalty status.
The new functionality, for example, enables flight attendants to congratulate a corporate traveler who is crossing the million-mile threshold.
Still, Bob Offutt, senior technology analyst at Phocuswright, said the big breakthrough with the SkyPro upgrade is that it’s not just focusing on the trip at hand but is looking at experiences passengers have had during previous Delta flights.
“It’s cross-journey, it’s cross-trip, which is very passenger oriented, and that’s what airlines need to do these days,” he said.
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