OUR RECENT POSTS

How Covid-19 may impact future inflight experience?

How Covid-19 may impact future inflight experience?

Whilst current pandemic has dramatic consequences on your daily operations, there is merely no doubt that it will also change the passengers’ expectations and behaviors when they will resume their travel habits.

Needless saying that face masks, gloves and extra care of the cleaning routines will probably become the standard. Beyond that, one can easily imagine that inflight magazine, food & drink menus as well as seatback screens and PCUs will become less popular to the benefit of personal device.

The good news is that the technology is ready!

Pairing the seatback IFE to the PED is becoming a standard among the IFE manufacturers, inflight magazine can be turned into an inflight webzine experience, food & beverage as well as onboard duty-free catalog can easily be digitized to provide a seamless purchasing experience.

No power? No IFE!

As PED-based inflight experience is set to become a passenger sought-after, the first step is undoubtedly to consider the in-seat power for 2-hour+ flight.Here again, the manufacturers now offer monetizable in-seat power solutions.

What about the content?

As the physical impacts need to be managed, the psychological entailment must also be addressed. There are few doubts the passengers’ stress level will be higher especially during the reopening early stages. To help your passengers, don’t hesitate to include in your content offering wellbeing content: calm & relax videos, respiratory function improvement, meditation…

There are still many unknowns and economic uncertainties at this stage but we believe that strong competition opportunities will quickly arise for the “day after” and therefore consider as our mission to support our customers in looking forward, providing ROI-based solutions meeting your customers’ expectations.

Balance your content between seatback screens & IFC server

Balance your content between seatback screens & IFC server

According to eMarketer, between 48% and 70% of people in the United States use a second screen to browse online while they watch a show, according to its importance. Of course, such trend is not limited to the US, and can be witnessed in quite anyplace in the world. Since passengers expect to feel like at home during their flight, airlines’ content managers need to keep this trend on top of mind, when deciding the content strategy.

A Cost Saving Opportunity

The good news is that such trend represents a huge opportunity to make savings on the operations. The cost of seatback screen content update is quite significant in the whole budget, involving update cycles from one to more than 6 months! On the opposite, content update is far more affordable on an IFC/W-IFE platform, even with a daily or weekly cycle.
Then, by balancing seatback content & IFC, airlines will both meet their passengers’ expectations and reduce operational costs.

Delight Your Passengers

Of course, many passengers will tap into the IFC to email and socialize as there are watching their program on the screen. However, our recommendation would be to transfer most of the games, the digital press, the destination services.
Some content maybe duplicated, such as onboard shopping catalogue, and airline branding section.
Reduced update cycles and connectivity are also two major levers that can be activated to boost the passengers’ engagement, and satisfaction. A good point for your NPS (Net Promoter Score)!

Make Money Out Of It

Beyond the cost savings, airlines can easily generate direct ancillary revenues from the second screen usage. At first through the advertising, since you create new media spaces, with additional touchpoints. Then of course, through onboard sales (snacking, duty free, home delivery goods…).

Promote It!

You offer a new service onboard? Promote it! Most of the passengers don’t even know they can use their device onboard. Hence, rely on all the possible touchpoints, including your seatback screen, to promote your new offering.

PXCom onboard LOT Polish Airlines

PXCom onboard LOT Polish Airlines

PXCom is proud to contribute to LOT Polish’ long-haul passenger experience. We have been selected to integrate 3 apps on their Thales Avant IFE platform: Destination Section, Corporate Section and Meals Menus.

PXCom is well known for its cutting edge technology, creating new sections on the legacy seatbacks IFE, simplifying the digital content management process and its related cost, whilst delivering a web-like user passengers experience.
As for all PXCom project, PXCom has fully customized the apps’ GUI to deliver a full UX consistency throughout the entire IFE.

Interactive Destination Guides

PXCom and Arrival Guides (A Lonely Planet Company) have partnered to provide LOT Polish Passengers with engaging destination content, covering 100% of the company’s growing network of B787-operated destinations.
Passengers will find all the destination top activities, restaurants/cafes/bars and shopping points of interest that will enlighten their journey.

Corporate Section

LOT has chosen to rely on PXCom technology to manage all the corporate branding on their IFE. Thank to the offered flexibility, such section can now be managed like a website, by publishing news in a couple of clicks. Since all the contents are already produced by the airline for web and mobile purpose, LOT Polish’ corporate section is “just” a new added distribution channel, leveraging a captive touchpoint.

Meals Menus

PXCom technology can also be used to manage the onboard meals menus presentation. Segmented by seatclass and route, passengers will be soon able to discover the meals options for their flight. Beyond all the storytelling that can be done around meals and beverage, it is also a good opportunity for the airline to get rid of the printed menus management.

The future of Inflight magazines

The future of Inflight magazines

Written press has had its own revolution about 10 years ago with the apparition of the first smartphones. Editors are in constant evolution ever since to retain their readers and advertisers but also to find a viable and sustainable economic model. This change has, of course, also affected the world of consumers magazines, including the ones from airlines available on board of airplanes: the inflight magazines.

According to Mark Tjhung (Forbes, “No, the inflight mag is not dead”), this number one communication channel for airlines that we all love to flip through when traveling, Inflight magazine is far from being dead. Mark is certainly right as the pleasure of reading a paper book or magazine is still very important for a number of passengers. However, the economic and environmental impacts (overconsumption of fuel, logistics costs…) lead airlines to rethink this media.

To better understand the importance of their reflexion, you need to know that the weight of onboard magazines per airplane varies from 80 to 200 kg depending on the number of pages and the number of passengers. On short- and mid-haul flights, this additional weight represents in average an extra consumption from 10 tonnes of kerosene per aircraft per year, and about the double for long-haul. As for the environmental impact, for each tonne of kerosene consumed, we count 3 tonnes of CO2 produced… Quite a challenge!

Airlines, who used to offer a large range of daily press, have yet decided to go digital by offering through their app the same newspapers they had in paper. The success of Adaptive Channel, a major player in the digital press onboard, is a good proof for it.

The next step has just been taken thanks to PXCom (embedded technologies) and Adaptive Channel (online press system) getting together to offer a 100% interactive reading experience on seatbacks or on the new passenger experience systems based on embedded Wi-Fi servers. This innovation, unveiled during last APEX Expo Boston, allows airlines to reassure their advertisers and benefit from complementary revenues.

Indeed, like paper press, ad sales in inflight magazines are dropping, due to the complexity of targeting and engaging the chosen audience. Thanks to XPlore by PXCom, brands will be able to create targeted and measurable campaigns with original contents in order to offer an unforgettable digital experience to the passengers!

Two new features for Dubai Air Show 2019

Two new features for Dubai Air Show 2019

ATR, the leading regional aircraft manufacturer, unveils at Dubai Airshow 2019 two new features on its onboard wireless IFE solution:

  • Aircraft 360° visit
  • interactive Quizz

Both developed by PXCom, those innovative solutions bringing significant value to the airline branding strategy, have been implemented on ATR selected w-IFE, CabinStream from Amphenol/Phitek.

Immersive experience onboard

Airlines invest to produce immersive experiences of their premium classes, new aircraft interiors, new lounges… that they integrate in their on-the-ground communication strategy. PXCom’ 360° player for IFE platforms seamlessly enables airlines to extend the ROI of such investment to in the #inflight touchpoint with their passengers, one of the most engaging throughout the journey.

Onboard live events

iQuizz provides airlines with a software tool to create in a couple of clicks an interactive quiz that can be launched by the cabin crew and “played” onboard by the passengers.

Dedicated to create inflight events, iQuizz can also be used by brands willing to organize inflight promotional operations, generating ancillary revenues for the airlines.

A comprehensive overview of the inflight content offering (2/2)

A comprehensive overview of the inflight content offering (2/2)

Last month we introduced you to the first part of the inflight content that can delight and engage your passengers. This month we complete this overview always keeping in mind that all the components forming your passengers experience must generate ancillary revenues (directly or indirectly) and/or optimize your IFEC costs.

Corporate Section – Airline Branding 

Forget the poor videos expensive to produce and barely watched by the passenger. It’s time to reuse all your existing assets : your website content, your alliance content when it exists, your inflight magazine content…All these contents will form a comprehensive and dynamic corporate section. And thanks to digital you can engage your passenger in a deeper relationship. Here are some examples: 
  • You (or your alliance) open a new lounge? Promote it, and offer your passenger a voucher to test it
  • You celebrate your airline’s birthday? Time to have a specific GUI for that, and highlight your airline saga throughout all these years. To do so, you can organize a quiz enabling your passengers to win some goodies of yours
  • You receive a new aircraft: promote it, and by the way mention the destinations it will operate introducing a call-to-action enabling your passenger to buy a ticket for the maiden flight
 
The examples are countless. The secret is through the home page of your GUI to ensure a regular promotion of such content.

Health & Wellness 

The 21st century has ushered in an incredible array of opportunities for travelers of every kind to seek out uncharted horizons; to simplify their international schedules; to bolster the perks they receive during their journey…it truly is a new world of adventure, affordability, and convenience. Passengers are at the forefront of this (literal) ‘movement’, demonstrating a keen awareness with regards to maximizing both the value and enjoyment to be found in their domestic and international transportation itineraries
 
However, as these same savvy and experienced travel veterans can attest to, the journey itself can take a toll on the body’s ability to function at optimal health levels. Long-haul flights, waiting at airports can force us to cramp our bodies into a small seat for numerous hours at a time (amidst dehydrating circumstances, to boot).   
 
When traveling on a multi-hour flight, for instance, the combination of plane travel stress, time zone/sleep pattern changes, and altered eating schedules can disturb your mind/body balance. The effort involved in combating the resulting jet lag after long haul travel can make you feel exhausted. A solution to these oftentimes-challenging circumstances involves a simple series of mental techniques, physical routines, and basic preparation mindsets that will improve your vitality and energize the nervous system, enabling you to stay focused and alert – especially when you have meetings to attend soon after landing. They will also help to maintain a healthy digestive system (especially if you’ve been seated for long periods of time) and provide ways in which to help you relax, unwind, and aid in a restful night sleep

Meals menus

There is so much storytelling to do when it comes to treating your passengers with the onboard meals! Especially in the premium classes, for which you invest so much to delight your passengers. 
 
Your IFE can become the digital showcase of your onboard menus and snacking offering. From dietary information to cooking advice brought by your selected chef, the range of content is really huge.
 
This section on your IFE deserves a real editorial committee. What about having your sommelier give your passengers some advice about wine tasting? What if the champagne producer provided you with history about its soil? Of course, the content has not to be produced directly by your team, but more likely being free-of-charge provided by your handpicked partners and blent with the content coming from your favorite catering supplier.
 
You can even go further and shift to a true onboard shopping experience. For example, having discovered a wine onboard, your passenger can buy some bottles directly through the IFE/C and have them delivered at home!
 
When it comes to presenting the snacking menu, keep in mind that the product manufacturers will be more than happy to promote them on this dedicated channel to boost the sales. 

Digitized Inflight Magazine & Thematic channels

You want to reduce weight onboard? One of the solutions is to digitize your inflight magazine. Such opportunity will also enable full digital advertising, increasing the revenues initially generated by your magazine. To achieve this goal, you can either go through an enhanced pdf reader, delivering “article view” for a more comfortable reading experience, or go full digital, offering your passengers a true web-like experience. This latter solution is also a good tool to pimp your website and get even more traffic through the SEO increase that it generates.
On your IFE, your infight magazine can be split into several sections/subsections introducing thematic digital channels : fashion, art & lifestyle, …One of this thematic channel that has to be but at the forefront of your IFE’s home page is the Corporate Section (see next chapter)
A comprehensive overview of the inflight content offering (1/2)

A comprehensive overview of the inflight content offering (1/2)

A compelling portfolio of content hosted on your IFE/C platform is one of the three pillars to build ​successful ancillary-generating passengers experience. The new trend is to offer your passengers a web-like experience: your IFE/C is no longer a plain screen providing Video-On-Demand! At the age of media consumption commonality, you are committed to wow your passengers.

Videos 

Credits : Nello Consulting

“Blockbusters are a no-brainer”. This is what we often hear from the industry. Obviously, when speaking about long haul flights, this assertion is true. However, blockbusters are not the only video content. As Raphael, from Nello consulting mentions it:

Nowadays, content is everywhere and a good way to escape from hours of flight is to watch interesting content. Generally speaking, most of the passengers are thinking that they absolutely need to watch a blockbuster to have a good time, it’s not 100% true! Especially if we add the constraint of a short or medium-haul-flight, passengers don’t have the time to watch a full-length movie and the airline companies are often obliged to reduce the offer to some low-level documentaries. It’s not true anymore and even people will tell you that passengers are now downloading content to their smartphone before to take off, it is only representing 5% of the population. What about the others? Airline companies still need to keep their passenger entertained. How? By choosing relevant content and not accepting everything. If you’ll take the time to look at it, there is plenty of categories that worth the case: 

  • You’re looking to keep children quiet.? There is plenty of animation from old time to the most recent with famous brands sometimes forgotten
  • You’re looking to address millenials? What about discovering the e-sport magazine with the top trends video games
  • You’re looking to entertain all generations? What about adding short form awarded movies? You’ll be surprised to recognize also a famous actor or some gold nugget.
  • Did you get a fan of Sports aboard? Offer the weekly highlights of the matches of several soccer teams or propose the band new formula electric.”

There are so many hidden gems, produced by every culture, that you will be surprised…as will be your passengers! Adding on the top of that sponsored video content, and you get the perfect mix for your passengers…and your budget.

Audio

Credits : Nello Consulting

Forget the traditional “Listen” section. Turn it into “Musical Experiences”. Since most of the passengers carry their own music on their device, providing them with the top charts, top classical is not always relevant. Your passengers are about to discover new cultures, new worlds, then offer them a musical glimpse of the in-destination music offering.

You can also include a handpicked selection of less-known artists that match to your airline brand. Or, if you don’t have the budget, you can get such selection sponsored by a music provider or a fragrance brand.

As the video is also a sought-after media, you can create a “music videos” subsection in which you offer the top 10 by music genre and/or add the set of trendy deejays

Games

Credits : Gladi8tor

Did you know that the gaming industry is one of the most dynamic industry (+11% CAGR)? Gaming is no longer a children activity. Most of the age groups, most of the social categories are impacted.

Wouldn’t you like to promote a new onboarded game within your social community, and offer your future passengers to win credits and have them redeemed them during their flight? Wouldn’t you like to organize e-sport tournaments from one aircraft to another? Would you be looking for a branded famous car race game sponsored by your official rental car partner?

All this is now possible. We highly recommended to have a real gaming strategy setup throughout the entire journey. Thanks to that, additional ancillary revenues can be driven:

  • Directly from advertising and in-game upselling
  • Indirectly through loyalty enhancement

To achieve such goal, it is mandatory to phase the project, since such strategy may involve several stakeholders in your company: IFE team, IT team, Digital Communication…

Moving Map

Credits : FlightPath3D

Who has been bored watching the aircraft slowly progressing along its flight path? Such experience can now be dramatically improved with interactive moving maps offering a Google Maps/Google earth-like experience. Thanks to high-end interactive moving maps such as FlightPath3D, your passenger can browse, swipe, zoom, and be delighted with engaging points of interest, theme-based, that can also be sponsored. Did you know that such digital experience is one of the most sought after by the passengers?

Destination Content and Services

Credits : PXCom

Did you know that 80% of the travelers rely on their paper tourist guide during their trip to sort the best points of interest and activities that will enlighten their journey? Not only tourists are looking after in-destination activities, with the rise of leisure, but you will also delight your business travelers.

Their flight is the perfect moment to engage them with a sought-after service, especially if you also provide them with the ability to book some tickets, download discount coupons…

However, you must absolutely avoid providing them with plain user-generated content such as Tripadvisor. They can access it everywhere from their mobile, at any time when they are connected. Such content contributes to the success of your brand. Prefer offering curated content, blending cold advice with seasonal editorial recommendations for a better experience.

Digital Press

Credits : Adaptive Channel

Newspapers and magazines are a traditional form of entertainment for passengers, however switching to digital press now provides airlines with significant benefits. Switching to digital press provides airlines with the rare opportunity to simultaneously reduce costs and improve the passenger experience, a rare feat for any airline with budget constraints and demanding passengers!  It reduces logistical and cleaning costs associated with a printed press but most importantly by reducing the onboard weight, it reduces fuel consumption and CO2 emissions. On the cabin front, the digital press allows passengers to be entertained on board but also at the gate and after the flight with newspapers and magazines that are always up to date and never run out.

Digital press is also an experience that passengers really enjoy in particular on short and medium haul flights which traditionally lack a proper IFE service. For airlines, digital press may be made available to passengers on any IFE systems such as Seat-back IFE and Wireless IFE but also on the passenger’s own mobile device using a cloud based service when no IFE is available (Mobile IFE)”, states Laurent SAFAR, Adaptive Channel’s CEO

It should also be mentioned that on-board reading experience passenger experience has been enhanced by the availability of high-end eReaders which allow passengers the full use of their mobile device to read their favorite newspapers and magazines in page mode as well as in article mode, a feature particularly useful with a smartphone!

There are so many more content opportunities and strategies to discover! Don’t miss our next month issue of PXConnect for the second part of this overview.

A NEW AWARD FOR PXCom! ?

A NEW AWARD FOR PXCom! ?

TravelWell® : AWARD WINNER!?

PXCom, Charlotte Dodson Yoga and SkyLights Inc. are proud to win the Inflight MEA 2019 Best Supplier Innovation Award for TravelWell®, the only 360° Health & Wellness experience, that elevates the passenger’s experience throughout the entire journey, whilst creating ancillary revenue opportunities for the airlines.

TravelWell® is your new immersive guest experience in health and well-being as a lifestyle digital channel, that passengers can enjoy before the flight through the airline mobile app, on the lounges wifi, during the flight regardless of the IFE/C platform, on SkyLights’ Allosky VR headset and after the flight on their own device.

Royalty & celebrity yoga teacher, Charlotte Dodson is your traveling companion to help you feel good along the way, offering visually-rich guided meditations in VR, FLYWELL onboard exercises as well as nutritional advice.

As with all of PXCom solutions, TravelWell® comes with a comprehensive set of monetizing opportunities, from onboard shopping to native advertising to in-destination sponsoring options.

5 INFLIGHTS TRENDS TO WATCH IN 2019

5 INFLIGHTS TRENDS TO WATCH IN 2019

2019 INFLIGHT TRENDS

Inflight Connectivity

RouteHappy’s Annual Inflight Wifi Report is expected to be released In less than one month. Last year’s release showed a 17% increase on 2017 with 82 airlines offering inflight connectivity. No doubt that this year’s report will highlight a rapid increase of equipped aircraft. Yet, 2018 has also stressed the limits of Inflight Connectivity, especially when it comes to ensuring a sustainable ROI for those airlines who have heavily invested in the enhancements. Although there is no magical formula, stacking specific solutions car significantly offset some costs:

  • Use the IFC beyond the simple pax pleasure, especially for MRO usage, weather/routes optimization…
  • Use the IFC for operational cabin crew reports, saving costs
  • Split content between seatback & IFC in order to drive audience and monetization opportunities
  • Integrate connectivity-free ad-serving solution
  • Include partnerships for streaming services…

To date, Finnair appears to be one of the best in class, relying on its high-end Nordic Sky Wifi that drives ancillary revenues based on food and beverage, travel retail and upgrade sales, bundled with seamless payment solutions, especially targeting Chinese passengers with Alipay.

Personalization

Will PNR and customer data eventually be linked to the IFE platforms? As of today, it is no longer a technical issue, as Thales showcased it recently on its latest Inflyt platform. Neither it is a legal issue since GDPR provides the right frame to it and all the airlines collect personal information for their ticket sales process. The big question is ‘who will be the first airline to accept sharing that data on a third party platform to allow a full journey-through personalized experience’. Thanks to both the cookies technology and their mobile app, airline get a strong understanding of their passengers. Blend it with data gathered during the flight and a strong Netflix-like recommendation engine, and you can feed a virtuous circle that produces an ever more personalized inflight experience.

The first inflight chatbots

The airline has embraced chatbot technology for the last two years, offering interactive communication with their passengers…on the ground. In the wake of the personalization quest, such technology will help passengers in rapidly adapting the onboard experience to their immediate need from finding the right content at the right moment to experiencing more customer-centric onboard shopping. Of course, the stake is to add to your IFE platform a connectivity-free chatbot

Content disruption

During the last two years, we have witnessed the explosion of Netflix, Amazon Prime and another video on demand platforms. The media industry, at least for the BtoC model, has definitely shifted to a consumption-based business model. What about the airlines? No doubt that by the end of the year, disruptive content service providers will eventually manage to negotiate with the majors, to drop down the usual “flat fee” to offer their airline customer a kind of pay-per-view business model.

Blockchain for the onboard payment

Last year we saw a couple of exiting statements unveiling the adoption of the blockchain technology. Among them, Singapore Airlines unveiled KrysPay, which it claims to be “the world’s first blockchain-based airline loyalty digital wallet”. Shall we see it bundled with the “Tap & Pay” technology developed by Panasonic and rolled out on Level Airlines? Beyond that, blockchain or not, one of the big expected improvement for this year is a dramatic change in the onboard payment user experience. As payment is the last possible touch point that could lead to a shopping abortion, a seamless payment experience like on-the-ground has become a no-brainer stake for the airlines.

Is your inflight content really adapted to your flight operations?

Is your inflight content really adapted to your flight operations?

One size does not fit all

When it comes to inflight content, airlines spend thousands USD per month, up to millions per year, to delight their passengers with the best possible content during hours of flight.
Whilst it’s a no brainer to have a minimum portfolio of movies -but not only- for long haul flights, it becomes a nonsense to have such offering for flights under two hours, unless you can organize a (costly) streaming feature throughout the entire journey!

Suggested methodology

For short and medium haul flights, which represent 70% of the worldwide daily flights, you need to reconsider your inflight entertainment offering.

First step: define some routes segments. For example: flights under 2h00 and flights between 2 and 4 hours.

For the second step, request the help of your marketing team. They should be able to provide you with customers profiles per segment and period of the year. However, be careful, start simple! Avoid defining to many profiles/routes sub-segments.

The result of such analysis is a simple matrix:

Rows: route segments
Columns: route subsegments (e.g domestic, domestic<>Northern Europe,…)

According to the considered season (start with two), each cell of the matrix can be filled with passengers’ general information: x% business traveler, y% family, top 3 nationalities…

For each cell, adding the number of transported pax gives you the weight of importance in your content decision process.

Don’t forget the advertising component

When it comes to content consumption, you also need to consider the forecasted advertising revenues. If you expect to get significant advertising revenues out of your inflight platform, you need to ensure an average of 4 advertising exposure per flight per passenger.

Hence, how do you expect to monetize your inflight offering with 45-minute expensive TV programs on a 1H15mn flight?
In such case, you need to ensure that each “content” will be no longer than 15 to 20 mn.

Assuming your IFE software is able to display the right set of content according to the route and passenger profile, you are now ready to source the right content…at the right price! Don’t miss our next articles dedicated to a comprehensive overview of the inflight content offering, and organizing an effective and valuable passengers’ feedback.

The limits of user generated content

The limits of user generated content

The limits of user generated content

The temptation to use non-professional content (commonly referred to as “User-Generated Content”) from the most well-known review sites (TripAdvisor, Booking, OpenTable…) is extremely high for our clients: airlines, rail and bus companies… And what could be easier than opening an API and filling the passenger entertainment system with the opinions of thousands of users?

The Shed at Dulwich (London) case speaks volumes about the limits of these platforms. In a couple of months, this fake restaurant created by an independent journalist succeeded in becoming one of London’s top-rated restaurants!

Certainly, these platforms are useful, essential even, for a sort of quality control on what is in store for us.

But when passengers consult content on entertainment systems on planes, buses or trains, the company’s image is at stake. Of course, the company displays the source of this content, and will even spend a lot of money to use the brand of the platform in question. However, these have no added value, nor provide a service to their customers, since this information can be accessed by anyone with a smartphone or tablet.

It is essential, therefore, that this content comes from professionals in tourism, gastronomy, or other sectors… And that it is published or produced upon the company’s request.

Once at their destination, inspired passengers are entirely free to check these platforms, to see if the on-board favourite picks match their inclinations at the time.

To take things one step further, if transport companies wish to introduce a scoring system of recommendations that takes inspiration from this content, they can. With tools such as XPlore by PXCom, they can organise their own opinion community, starting a virtuous cycle of personalising recommendations to match the tastes and habits of their passengers as closely as possible.

Suscribe now to the newsletter to stay informed about Airline/IFE industry !