I looked down the blue screen for my Kulula flight to Cape Town. Looked to the right and my worst fears were realized and summed up in one word drenched in bright red. Delayed. Crowds of annoyed passengers littered the airport floor and inaudible intercom apologizes went unnoticed. After a frustrating wait at the airport for my delayed flight, I sort a solution that could perhaps ease passengers pain.
I actually like Kulula flights. They are original, funny and wear green. My type of crazies. And airline delays are usually expected but the combination of how late it was and how tired and hungry I was, grew an annoyance with the airline and anything wearing green. Several things would have made the experience more bearable.
1. Knowing when the plane was really coming
2. Getting some food
3. Discount off the price of the ticket
Communication is a big thing and one platform airlines, like Kulula, could use is the mobile device platform. More specifically a mobile app. Everyone carries a phone these days and some even manage to keep theirs on while the plane is taking off #smh. Currently the announcements made over the intercom are not clear and if you were in the bathroom at the time of an announcement, you could miss it entirely. Trevor Noah was not kidding about how bad the announcements can get. Designing a mobile app that can showcase the three points I have stated earlier, would go a long way in informing relevant information to the passenger.
Kulula currently has this functionality on their website, detailing the flight, scheduled departure, terminal, gate and scheduled arrival times. However, what a mobile app gives a user/passenger is more broad and personalized experience of this information. Imagine, a user could login into the app using a booking reference, track that specific flight and get notifications around any flight announcements made. This ensures that relevant information gets to the user, in a timely manner that could make the difference between catching or missing a flight.
Not to say everything is not clearly marked in an airport, but an app could quickly bring up information on the closest shops, toilets or waiting areas. These are areas passengers frequent and it makes sense that they be found more easily. A half awake, irritated and hungry passenger is bound to get lost even in a small airport.
This would be my personal favourite. Not too many airlines understand the extent that a late flight may have on their passengers. To ensure the highest standards are maintained by airlines, awarding passengers with discount points for future tickets, would definitely make travelling more enjoyable. The airline would retain customers and passengers have cheaper tickets the next time they fly. Win-win.
In conclusion, I think we have the information, what may be lacking is effectively getting it to airline passengers. To see the concepts I have designed for airlines around this subject, you can take a look at