Can car bookings help boost in-flight ancillary revenues? Wireless IFE and retailing supplier AirFi is banking on it, adding integration with global ground transport marketplace Transferz to its in-flight platform. Passengers will be able to book a ride to their destination while in flight and be assured the service will be delivered upon arrival.
We see the wireless IFE portal as a gateway to broader e-commerce success and enhanced ancillary revenue for our airline partners. This partnership is a great example of how we help airlines improve their bottom lines.– AirFi CEO Job Heimerikx
Passengers connected to the wireless onboard network can access the engine with one click, enter their destination hotel (or residence, office, etc.), the number of people in their party, the amount of luggage they have, or any other special need to view suitable rides and prices.
Key to the value proposition of this offering, the price estimates and payment handling can be completed in both online and offline cabin scenarios (i.e. with or without in-flight internet connectivity).
Transferz guarantees that a ride can be arranged at any airport within their network through the application in as little as 20 minutes, which is about the time a passenger without luggage would need to get from the aircraft to the landside arrivals area in a small airport.
Transferz CEO Johan van Vulpen notes, “We have 6 years of experience working with only the most reputable and well-established ground transfer companies at over 1,500 airports globally. Each of our transfer partners must comply with our strict service level agreements, with tough criteria for driver checks, cleaning standards, fleet sustainability, safety, and more. This makes it possible for us to give the passenger true peace of mind, which is especially important
when they arrive at a new destination for the first time.”
AirFi is not the first vendor to try integrating ground transfer bookings into its in-flight services platform. FlightPath3D previously talked up integration with Uber for its moving map solution, for example. Getting the solution deployed on planes is a bigger step, however, and AirFi notes that the Transferz application can be easily added to the IFE portal of existing AirFi customers and will be a pre-integrated option for new customers.
It is a relatively low risk, low cost integration opportunity. Whether it proves compelling to consumers, however, remains to be seen.
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