On the second day of APEX TECH, the Connectivity Working Group proposed integrating two approaches to measuring in-flight connectivity: quality of service (QoS) and quality of experience (QoE). The APEX 0415 Part 2 working group also provided an update. Speakers from Japan Airlines, Aeromexico and Virgin Atlantic discussed earpieces for crewmembers, digital ecosystems and cotton candy.
To read the takeaways from day one of APEX TECH May 2019, click here.
JAL Says Tech Can Help Flight Crew Improve Service On Board
“What is it like to be a flight attendant? It’s a lot of hard work, and it’s about teamwork,” explained Akira Mitsumasu, VP Global Marketing, Japan Airlines (JAL).
Looking to enhance crew communications, JAL tested a Sony-supplied earpiece technology that provided both voice and head-movement messaging. However, Mitsumasu acknowledged that while the earpiece helped, it also added an additional layer of stress to the multi-tasking responsibilities of the flight attendants. “If we can really fine-tune the various use cases within the cabin environment, it will work even better,” he said.
Planned to be in service next year, JAL’s tablet-based Sky Concierge Project will provide the crew with detailed information about a passenger’s journey.
Virgin Atlantic Sees Innovation in Small Ideas
Does innovation necessarily always equal technology? Not so, according to Daniel Kerzner, VP Customer Experience, Virgin Atlantic. “Technology can help us innovate, but sometimes innovation can come from a simple idea,” Kerzner said.
So far, these so-called simple ideas have translated into Virgin Atlantic providing a glass of champagne with cotton candy on top to passengers flying on their birthday, diffusing a custom scent developed by Rachel Vosper on board aircraft, serving mile-high afternoon tea developed by celebrity pastry chef Eric Landlard, partnering with Happy Socks and offering high quality pajamas in business class.
“There is no such thing as one big idea, but there are lots of small ideas along the way. The small things are what people remember. It’s what makes brands like Virgin Atlantic stand out,” Kerzner said.
APEX Focuses on Personalization for 2019
For 2019, the APEX Board of Governors has identified the personalization of the passenger experience as an area of focus.
In a panel discussion moderated by APEX CEO Joe Leader, airline and industry executives chimed in with their thoughts on this timely topic. “What we want to do is provide some guidance that both airlines and suppliers will follow, that will result in a meaningful advancement of personalization,” explained Michael Childers, Lufthansa Systems and Chair, APEX Technology Committee.
Access to – and the sharing of – passengers’ personal data is a key challenge in developing customized travel experiences. Jon Norris, FlightPath3D, suggests that using contextual and behavioral data may provide less obstacles. “We’re technologists. We tend to jump down the technology rabbit hole, and we get very, very absorbed in ultra-pinpointed individual personal information. Is that really necessary?”
“The path to personalization is a long one,” said Fergal Murray, chief commercial officer, Viasat Ireland. “At the point you’re thinking of targeting at the individual level, informed consent is a critical best practice.”
APEX Connectivity Working Group Report
How do we measure connectivity on aircraft? In a highly detailed interactive session with participation from audience members, Peter Sevcik, founder and CTO of NetForecast, provided the latest updates on the APEX Connectivity Working Group’s (CWG) efforts to define a common set of metrics to define, measure and sustain in-flight connectivity.
The CWG’s latest draft document proposes integrating two approaches to measuring IFC: quality of service (QoS) and quality of experience (QoE). QoS measures an IFC infrastructure and what is under a service provider’s control, but it doesn’t describe passenger experience. QoE, however measures the user experience at the seat level, including how passengers are using their devices on board.
Based on this approach, the CWG proposes to create a predicted Net Promoter Score.
APEX 0415P2 Working Group Update
The APEX 0415 Part 2 working group has focused on developing a specification that integrates the in-flight entertainment industry’s content delivery supply chain into the broader content delivery ecosystem. The specification has been updated to reflect new security requirements from production studios.
Working group chairs Phil Watson, from Panasonic Avionics, and Juraj Siska, from IdeaNova Technologies, reviewed changes in the latest draft that include forensic watermarking, playback device and content requirements, wireless content loading and language clarification. The draft specification was voted upon by the APEX members in attendance and was approved.
Aeroméxico’s Switch to Connecting People, Not Places
“The power of the brand reflects a great customer experience,” said Andrés Castañeda, CXO/CMO, Aeroméxico.
One of the top 30 most powerful brands in Mexico, the airline has shifted its philosophy from connecting locations to connecting people. “Instead of flying to a place, we’re flying to a person,” he said.
Aeroméxico has renewed its digital ecosystem, a process that has included a new mobile app, new check-in kiosks, and a chatbot that’s integrated with the WorldTracer baggage tracking system. Castañeda explained that the airline is working to see a single view of the customer by mixing technology, processes and policies with the airline’s cultural change management, to empower front-line staff to enable personal passenger experiences.