Company: IBM, Travel and Transportation
Submitted by: BSMG Worldwide
(SWITZERLAND) Swissair’s most frequent passengers – mainly members of the business community pressed for time – are saving precious minutes thanks to an IBM solution which speeds up their check-in.
Selected customers of Swissair – a unit of the SAirGroup – are using Web-enabled mobile phones and other hand held computing devices to register for a booked flight out of Switzerland..
The Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) solution frees customers from standing in line at ticket counters. Their phone screens displays the kind of information normally printed on a boarding pass – the exact departure time, gate and seat number.
Swissair is the first airline to introduce the wireless check-in service – although other major transport companies are partnering with IBM to work on the same kind of technology.
Swissair intends to extend the initiative further as more services, such as online booking and reservations, become available. The current solution allows passengers to log on to Swissair’s Web site via their mobile phones. The site recognises the phone number, checks the client in and – if necessary – relays any relevant information, such as changes in flight plans, to the passenger.
Said Gerhard Romanescu, Vice President of Swissair Customer Care:
“By introducing the Wireless Application Protocol (WAP) mobile phone check-in service, Swissair has gone a decisive step further in taking full advantage of the most sophisticated communication technology available.
“In a pioneering role, Swissair provides the individual customer with tailor-made services they can use irrespective of time or location.”
Swissair – fast approaching its seventieth anniversary – flies passengers to around 170 destinations in more than seventy countries and is rated one of the world’s top airlines.
The technical basis of Swissair’s WAP application was developed by IBM’s Zurich Research Laboratory, where scientists are developing elements of the company’s worldwide pervasive computing initiative.
Their goal is to give customers access to Internet-based communications and services via many kinds of devices, including cell phones, personal digital devices, and other everyday electronic devices.
As well as the Swissair check-in service, IBM scientists have demonstrated attractive new services for mobile users, including access to such information as train schedules and telephone listings. As the system ‘knows’ the location of the cellular telephone at all times, it can provide specific local information such as street maps, lists of restaurants, and movie programmes. All these solutions point to greater convenience for end users. As Sandra Karl, Manager of Product Communications, Swissair, observes:
“With its Care Programme, Swissair does its utmost to make the journey for its passengers as hassle-free as possible.
“Offering different and customer-focused possibilities for check-in by using latest the technological developments is one step in the customer-oriented
Customer Care Programme
“The solution which IBM developed in strong relationship with our team fully our requirements and supports our goal to satisfy needs of our frequent travellers. We are very happy with the customer oriented and flexible service that the IBM Lab supplies.”