The right foundation – Allison O’Neil

The right foundation – Allison O’Neil

...attain a single view of the customer – one that keeps them informed about what’s happening to a particular passenger at every point across the whole journey.

Allison O'Neill, Vice President Passenger Solutions, SITA

Allison O"NeillSITA’s IT Trends Surveys tell us that travelers increasingly expect an always-on travel experience, with access to information and services whenever and wherever they want, no matter what device they’re using.

We know from these surveys that passengers are hungry for information. And we know that the IT underpinning the journey has the potential to enhance their experiences and keep them happy and stress-free.

Single view

But for airlines the crux of the challenge is to attain a single view of the customer – one that keeps them informed about what’s happening to a particular passenger at every point across the whole journey.

It demands a full understanding of what passengers are looking for and when, with the ability to provide contextual information or services to them in an appropriate, non-intrusive manner.

Success in doing that comes down to data and how sufficiently it’s transformed into intelligent information that can be used to make the journey for travelers a tailored, seamless and happy one.

Single source

It requires a single data source that enables the airline to tailor information and services to a particular passenger at particular points during the trip.

In the complex ecosystem of air transport – which is becoming ever more joined up by trends like nose-to-tail connected aircraft and beacon technology – making this work successfully and collaboratively is no easy feat.

Yet having the technology platform that can churn out the data is business critical. But it must be remembered that this data is just a means to an end.

You also need to possess the capacity, scalability and efficiency to transform it into usable information for passengers. It's tailored information, not data, that must be conveyed to passengers. That’s what will help them on their trip, rather than hinder, burden or frustrate them.


This means that airlines must ensure they have the right fundamentals in place before they can ever attain this level of passenger recognition and communication.

It demands investment in new generation passenger services, such as SITA’s Horizon Passenger Services System (PSS), with the right architecture, data model and capabilities to put into place a single data source.

And it means choosing a PSS that enables you to be forward-thinking with the flexibility to adapt to technological changes as they arise.

If you get this foundation right, then you'll be able to keep your passengers happy while avoiding investment over and over again as time moves on, and trends and technologies evolve.

See also

The emotional journey

The emotional journeyIn a first for the industry, SITA research uncovers strong correlations between IT in travel and the emotional experiences of travelers at the steps along the way.

> Read the article

Ashraf Ayoub
Travelers are part of a connected community of stakeholders that shares interests, experiences, options and purchases. For the airline, it’s all about how to cater for and cope with this connected community and cater for the travelers’ rapidly emerging expectations.
Ashraf Ayoub , Chief Information Officer, Royal Jordanian Airlines
Read Ashraf's column: "Tailoring the trip"

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