Now Reviews: Sharing the airline passenger experience in real-time through Eezeer

Though I couldn’t get to the Airline Passenger Experience Expo (APEX10) this year due to client engagements in Toronto, I’ve been following closely updates from the likes of Mary Kirby and Jon Ostrower. And I almost feel like I’m there myself. But, why is that? Because they are sharing their experiences from the conference, in real-time.

These days it is safe to assume that at least a couple of passengers per flight would be tweeting or updating their social status (like American Airlines learnt) when they are in the plane. Regardless of whether they have wi-fi available. And often, they are rating the airline experience itself.

Why existing airline ratings don’t work?

For a long time, the airline industry has lacked a good alternative to what TripAdvisor does for hotels. Yes, there are the Skytrax ratings and other annual magazine airline rankings – but I personally feel they’re irrelevant – for three key reasons:

  1. They are annual – that means they are never current enough to be relevant when I fly
  2. They are for the whole airline – the brand experience on an Air France flight from Nice to Paris can be vastly different on one from Paris to Boston – so how does it matter that an airline has a generic 3 star rating or 5 star?
  3. Airlines sometimes need to pay to be ranked – so doesn’t that make the whole system flawed?

The future of airline ratings = Ezeer?

Sharing of airline passenger experience in real-time can be a valuable asset not just for travelers, but also airlines and travel agents (online, or offline).

A new version of Ezeer.com launched today, which integrates what they call “now” reviews, which are essentially airline reviews submitted in real-time, while people are traveling! So they can be rating food with specific hashtags on a flight, or using the Ezeer iPhone app.

As a traveler, you can view individual airline’s ratings, as well as compare different airlines using charts. Though, my favorite feature is that they’ve started threading Twitter conversations between travelers and airlines together, and given them sentiment ratings – whether they are positive or negative. And at one glance, you can get a feel of whether the airline is responsive on social media or not – allowing you to choose how to engage with the airline.

In fact, the website is full of rich nuggets of information which I’d encourage you to explore. Quite fascinating, really, as a frequent traveler.

The big potential – airlines and airports themselves

While parallels to TripAdvisor will always be drawn, I feel the big potential for Ezeer lies in focusing on the airlines and airports themselves. Imagine if an airline’s social media team can get feedback on how responsive they are compared to their competitors. Or how good an airport is resolving customer service issues online, and are they improving over time?

I feel large organizations would be willing to pay for such real-time data, as long as some analysis is added on top. It’s something that makes their job easier and makes them more productive. Dashboards showing a brand rating over time, for specific routes would be a goldmine to explore – if Ezeer can come up with those as well.

What do you think? Does Ezeer have to potential to become the TripAdvisor of the airline industry? Would you use it as a traveler? Let’s hear it in the comments and over on Twitter (@simpliflying)

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