EasyJet has not been shy about the success of its adoption of AirFi‘s on-board shopping and entertainment platform in recent months. Getting the hardware on board and enabling the portal is just the first step. Simon Cox, the carrier’s Director for InFlight Retail, recently shared some insights with PaxEx.Aero on what’s next as the program matures.
We think the potential of the system to reach customers is far, far wider than what is happening today. – Simon Cox, Director InFlight Retail for easyJet
Note: PaxEx.Aero was compensated to moderate the AirFi Customer Innovation Days event. All content from the sessions was, however, strictly off the record. This story was reported outside of that remit based on willingness of attendees to talk about their plans and expectations on the record.
Beyond an infotainment portal
Getting the AirFi kit on board opened up the inflight portal experience. Even with minimal amplification on-board, passenger interaction is growing. There are games, of course. Plus an very nice moving map implementations.
Cox is keen on the value those systems bring to the cabin, “We’re still in the early stages of understanding exactly what the full value will be to the customer, but they appreciate it. They give it 4.7/5 stars for the experience.” And the data analytics available to the carrier – plus customer surveys – shows travelers are exploring the various infotainment options. “They love to move the map; who doesn’t love a moving map? They’re playing on the games, and it’s showing that they’re willing to engage with the platform, with fairly limited promotion on board.”
The portal also offers a digital version of the snacks and duty free catalogs. This is ultimately where the company expects to expand from passenger entertainment to broader engagement, including a revenue push.
First up will be an order-to-seat function, expected to go live within “the next couple of months.” Allowing passengers to get snacks or shop without waiting for the cart to come down the aisle can dramatically increase sales potential. But it also comes with some challenges.
As Cox explains, “We think the potential of the system to reach customers is far, far wider than what is happening today. And the killer application in increasing the engagement will be when we enable order-to-seat in the next couple of months.”
As with the initial system rollout, easyJet will take advantage of the carrier’s diversity across three operating certificates (AOCs) and 28 crew bases to enable buy-on-board. Deploying any new in-flight offering over 327 planes is a challenge. By launching one AOC at a time, the company can test and refine solutions based on “understanding how the crew and our customers are engaging with us” through the rollout period.
In addition to creating flexibility for customers on order timing, AirFi’s data suggests the digital order interface significantly increases cart size as well. Rather than feeling rushed trying to pick options with the flight attendant in the aisle, travelers browse the full catalog and, ultimately, shop more. Cox is optimistic this will carry over to the easyJet implementation.
He also is keen on the next steps in the deployment to open further ancillary revenue opportunities.
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