The seat-back magazine and menu are now a QR code on Singapore’s Scoot. The carrier is launching the ScootHub in-flight portal starting in December, serving as a one-stop shop for on-board customer needs.
ScootHub enables us to resume valued services in a safe, low-touch manner, improving customers’ experiences and – through reduction in paper-based collaterals – improving our environmental sustainability too.– Campbell Wilson, Scoot’s Chief Executive Officer
The digital implementation, built in partnership with AirFi, replaces paper menus, duty-free catalogs, and the inflight magazine with a digital option. Scoot CEO Campbell Wilson notes that the new options also reduce interactions between passengers and crew on board, consistent with other low-touch or no-touch innovations the carrier implemented since the onset of the pandemic. And with those reduced interactions the company can bring back some of its services, including the buy-on-board meals that previously were suspended.
Along with in-flight dining returning relatively quickly Scoot anticipates the addition of other services through the ScootHub portal.
- From April 2021 passengers will have the opportunity to browse and book destination-specific activities. The system will sync upon arrival (no live in-flight internet link) and complete the transactions on behalf of travelers.
- The carrier anticipates expanding the shopping experience from a small selection of items available for fulfillment on board to the entire KrisShop.com market by the middle of 2021.
- By the end of 2021 the moving map will include options for geo-specific advertising, with attractions, tours, or experiences pinned for passengers to explore on board and, more importantly, book while in the sky, delivering a commission to the carrier.
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AirFi co-founder Martijn Moret highlighted the speed with which the platform was developed and deployed, “We are impressed with the forward looking vision of the Scoot team, and congratulate everyone involved – including our long-term partner SATS, KrisShop and the AirFi team – on rolling this out within just 3 months.”
There are some limitations to the offering as it launches, however, beyond the timeline for adding the new advertising and marketing options. The system is not capable of handling credit card payments directly today. That feature is expected to activate by the end of Q1 2021. In the interim passengers will present a card to the cabin crew for food purchases.
And, as with most BYOD solutions to the in-flight entertainment and shopping experience there is the question of device battery life. Scoot is a step ahead in some ways, with its fleet of 787s offering in-seat power outlets. But it also remains an outlier on that front, charging passengers for power on board. The big difference now is that they can place the order for the activation from their device, assuming it has sufficient power remaining to complete the transaction.
In a sign of the lifecycle of the on-board digital consumer experience it is worth noting that the new ScootHub displaces the legacy ScooTV streaming IFE product on board the 787s. The industry saw a flurry of activity as first generation IFC solutions were upgraded or replaced when their contracts expired and we could now be on the cusp of similar for some of these streaming IFE and on-board shopping solutions.
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