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Thursday, November 26, 2020

Airlines As Travel Guides: New Tools For International Travel

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The global health crisis is continuing to take its toll on the aviation industry this year. As a result, several airlines have introduced new tools to help passengers travel amid the ever-changing conditions around the world.

American and Delta Planes at LAX
Airlines are turning to modern technology to help passengers navigate travel. Photo: Getty Images

Mapping the situation

This week, Delta Air Lines announced the launch of an interactive travel requirements map to assist passengers with the planning of their trips. According to a press release seen by Simple Flying, the Atlanta-based carrier is providing an “at-a-glance look at travel requirements, COVID testing and additional features to make planning travel easier.” The operator emphasizes that this feature is the latest way that it is using technology to address passenger feedback and lead when it comes to industry recovery efforts.

The tool gives insight into the following aspects at a desired destination:

  • Quarantine and testing requirements
  • Local health information
  • Local COVID-19 guidelines
  • Travel forms and paperwork
  • Links to the necessary forms and applications needed before flying

Rhonda Crawford, Delta VP – Global Distribution and Digital Strategy, spoke about how the initiative helps the company’s customers. Altogether, it helps to give passengers more control over their travels.

“We are focused on ways we can make planning your next trip as simple and personalized as possible,” Crawford said in the release.

“As we shared at CES, Delta’s future is rooted in the intersection of technology and the customer experience. We want customers to have full control over their journey, and that begins with a digital-first experience that is easy to navigate and packed with the information you need to know before you travel.”

Delta Cabin
Delta has been showing its intent in helping to maintain safe operations. Photo: Delta Air Lines

In good company

This move follows United’s launch of its interactive map feature powered by Google Flight Search Enterprise Technology. In September, United highlighted that its customers can use the system to easily compare and shop for flights, based on departure airport, budget, and location type. Altogether, planners can simultaneously compare options to various destinations in a single search.

According to a press release viewed by Simple Flying, United’s feature presently offers filters to view areas that are popular for the following attractions:

  • Beaches
  • Beer & Breweries
  • Culture
  • National Parks
  • Cuisine
  • Hiking
  • Outdoors
  • Romantic
  • Snorkeling and Scuba
  • Winter Sports

Linda Jojo, United’s EVP for Technology and Chief Digital Officer, shared that the airline had reinvented the way people search for flights and introduced something new that provides better results and is simple to use. Notably, the carrier leveraged the innovation of Google’s Flight Search technology to offer an all-encompassing solution that streamlines the search process and allows travelers to find suitable flights more easily.

United has been implementing similar features across its platforms. For instance, it also offers advice on domestic and global conditions through another interactive feature.

United Map
United is another carrier that isn’t slowing down with its modern measures. Photo: United Airlines

Industry efforts

Also in September, American Airlines shared that it is making planning easier for passengers who are eager to reconnect with loved ones across the globe. Subsequently, the Texan outfit launched a new travel tool, powered by Sherpa, to help fliers swiftly see the current pandemic travel guidelines for domestic and international destinations. When a destination is entered via the tool, results will show up-to-date guidelines, along with travel requirements.

Above all, conditions are constantly changing across the globe, and it can be hard to keep up. So, initiatives such as those that these airlines are implementing could go a long way in the bid to help the industry recover heading into 2021.

Altogether, what are your thoughts about airlines introducing new tools to help guide travelers in the current climate? Do you feel that more carriers should place similar measures? Let us know what you think of the initiatives in the comment section.



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