APEX Insight: Armed with passenger data, crewmembers can tailor their services to the individual, down to wishing him or her happy birthday. In this section of the multipart feature, we explore some of the ways airlines are innovating in personalizing their PaxEx.

Airline crewmembers may dread hearing the following words from a dissatisfied frequent flyer: “Do you know who I am?” However, carriers are now deploying technologies that can help them immediately identify passengers by name, elite status and even connecting gate.

American Airlines is a pioneer in this field, having become the first airline to deploy mobile tablets containing passenger information to all of its flight attendants in 2012. Today, American’s flight attendants use the Samsung Galaxy Note 3. According to Ross Feinstein, a spokesperson for American Airlines, “The tablets provide them with a variety of tools, including a seat map with customer information.” The seat map enables flight attendants to identify customers by name and AAdvantage status, and verify whether they have preordered a meal. And even for economy passengers, flight attendants use the tablets for credit card transactions when selling snacks, meals and alcoholic beverages. The mobile app also helps them provide connecting gate information to passengers.

“[SITAONAIR’s] CrewTab application helps airlines deliver personalized service by allowing cabin crew to access passengers’ profiles, preferences and frequent-flyer status.”

Another innovator in this area is SITAONAIR, which uses in-flight connectivity with customer relationship management practices. Its CrewTab application helps airlines deliver personalized service by allowing cabin crew to access passengers’ profiles, preferences and frequent-flyer status. CrewTab also connects to SITA’s Departure Control Services, which automates check-in, boarding and load planning. According to Dominique El Bez, vice-president of Strategy, SITAONAIR, CrewTab can even inform flight attendants of a passenger’s birthday, so crew can “surprise and delight” the individual with a celebratory gift. Around 3,000 crewmembers from 11 airlines are currently using CrewTab.

“As these in-flight tools become available to more flight crews, more passengers will become confident that flight attendants truly do know who they are.”

After testing an improved Guest Services Tool on 75 routes, Delta Air Lines is now deploying it for all flight attendants with SkyPro devices. The tool enables crewmembers to address customers by name, know their Medallion status, and even know whether they’ve suffered a past service disruption. As these in-flight tools become available to more flight crews, more passengers will become confident that flight attendants truly do know who they are.

“Passenger Profiles” was originally published in the 7.4 September/October issue of APEX Experience magazine.