Muscat: Mobile information technology is revolutionising the way people travel today and new smartphone applications are giving travellers more control over their travel choices, formalities and preferences that help them enjoy hassle-free mobility.
Using mobile technology for customer outreach and smart travel, SriLankan Airlines' IT arm has developed a mobile application jointly with the Virtusa Corporation that consists of many features, breaking new ground in offering 'Self Service Fast Travel' options for smartphone users.
SriLankan Airlines passengers holding confirmed tickets will be able to access flight reservation details on their smartphones and check-in themselves on their own, to avoid waiting in long queues. This facility enables the passengers to select their seats and obtain a boarding pass displayed with a Quick Response (QR) code.
In addition, it enables group check-in; track status of selected flights; check flight schedules; access FlySmiLes services; and sign up to receive mobile alerts for special deals, fares and packages.
Hi-tech travel options
"Customers are increasingly accepting hi-tech travel options. Global customer surveys indicate a demand for opportunities for passengers to take control of their own travel needs for greater convenience," said SriLankan's chief executive officer, Kapila Chandrasena. "As our customers' needs evolve, so will the services and products we offer. Mobiles, android, kiosks and the Web are redefining future travel trends."
SriLankan Airlines, Manager, Oman, Lakshman Weerasooriya said, "Passengers can now check-in from wherever they are, between 2-24 hours prior to their departure. Mobile check-in is allowed on all ex-Colombo flights to SriLankan's entire online network of 32 destinations in 20 countries, for all passengers except those who need special assistance. As for Muscat passengers, this facility will be opened soon.
"Our goal is to simplify passenger travel through digital aids across all touch points where our customers can interact with us. SriLankan is looking at all avenues to facilitate the needs of today's information-driven passengers worldwide."
He added: "The mobile application is now available as a free download at the iTunes Apple Store and the Google Play Store, with more features to be added in the near future.
We are not only 'Simplifying the Business' for the airline, but for the airports as well."
Commenting on the partnership, Virtusa's Chairman and CEO Kris Canekeratne, said, "As the travel industry in Sri Lanka expands, we are pleased to be joining SriLankan Airlines, the island's national carrier, to develop a convenient service for passengers. Being a global IT services company, our focus is to provide industry-leading solutions that transform the customer experience, especially for service intensive industries such as travel and airlines, and thereby provide our clients with significant value that differentiates them in the markets they serve."
Global Fast Travel
The International Air Transport Association (IATA), which initiated a Global Fast Travel programme aimed at eliminating 'pain points' in a passenger's 'airport journey', has also helped in saving millions of dollars for the airline industry. The programme is one of IATA's 'Simplifying the Business' initiatives. 'Fast Travel' identifies a number of self-service options to add efficiency to the travel experience from check-in to
IATA has also ignited interest in a travel scenario that will eventually adopt an ideal 'Checkpoint of the Future' to streamline security processors at the airports as well.
Predictions are that by the year 2020, 80 per cent of global passengers will be offered a completely self-service facility throughout their journey, that will cover check-in; bags ready-to-go; document checks; flight re-booking; self boarding and bag recovery.