What can airlines learn from Uber – Presentation from #WLCAC

This week, I was invited by Terrapinn to deliver a presentation on the “Uberisation of airlines” at their World Aviation Festival in London. It wasn’t really about a self-service model that Uber is known for, but rather about how apps like Uber are shaping travellers’ habits and what airlines can do to keep up.

What can airlines learn from Uber?

I made three key points in my presentation on how airlines can see inspiration from apps like Uber.

  1. Seek and respond to real-time feedback – Airlines have a rare opportunity where they can now recover from a bad customer experience, during the customer journey itself, due to connectivity. Uber does this very well, by issuing quick refunds and responding to feedback.
  2. Ratings for airlines – Uber allows riders to rate drivers, and at the same time drivers can rate riders too. What if airlines allowed crew to be rated?
  3. Simplify the app – Uber is worth $50 billion due to its adoptability – and that is driven by its simple app. Airlines have a tendency to put a five-step booking process in their apps. And business travellers are increasingly used to 1-click booking for a ride. Airlines need to create apps that are simple, and contextually relevant to passengers. I shared a couple of examples of jetBlue’s new app, and the easyJet mobile app, which allows scanning of passports.

I’ve embedded the presentation here for your reference. Would love a discussion on Twitter (@simpliflying) and in the comments below. You can view some more photos from the workshop here.

Shashank Nigam

Shashank Nigam

Shashank Nigam is a globally sought-after consultant, speaker and thought leader on airline branding and customer engagement strategy. He is the Founder and CEO of SimpliFlying, one of the world’s largest aviation marketing firms working with over 85 aviation clients in the last ten years. Nigam is also the youngest winner of the Global Brand Leadership Award and has addressed senior executives globally, from Chile to China. Nigam’s impassioned and honest perspectives on airline marketing have found their way to over 100 leading media outlets, including the BBC, CNBC, Reuters and Bloomberg, and into leading publications such as The Wall Street Journal and the New York Times. He writes a dedicated monthly column in Flight’s Airline Business, challenging the typical assumptions about airline marketing. His new book on airline marketing, SOAR, is an Amazon bestseller that’s shaking up the industry and inspiring other industries to learn from the best airlines. Born in India, raised in Singapore, he now lives with his wife and two young daughters in Toronto.
Shashank Nigam
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  • Mohith Krishna

    Good one.

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