Rapid technology advancements are not a surprise in the 21st century. Advanced machinery/software performing tasks at incredible speed and with efficiency above all human standards is a common site in this era. The airline industry is no exception to this. The industry has seen the automation of several tasks that were before only possible manually. An excellent example of this would be the self-service kiosks, which have replaced the jobs performed by the personnel at the airfield recently.
Automation has changed how the airline industry functions and its demands to progress even further. However, enlisting automation as a “boon” or “bane” is an endless debate. Automation has its own merits and demerits, like every other thing present in this universe.
To list a few of the positive effects of automation, it skyrocketed the productivity and efficiency of the industry, making tasks easy to execute and less time-consuming. We can see this in online self-check-in systems.
Advancements in this area have led to a better quality of services and a decline in human-made errors. Machines remain unaffected by factors such as emotions, thus providing consistent output and stability to the industry. It further eases the process for customers and service providers. Chatbot automation has led to faster resolution of customer problems by providing easy-to-employ solutions to common issues.
They reduce the pressure on customer-care centres and reduce the requirement of labour, which will lead to more significant profits for the business owners, leading to cheaper products.
Automation is streamlining many aspects of the airline industry, reducing costs, improving efficiency, and enhancing the customer experience. Below is the airline industries area where automation brought a huge difference:
Self-Service Kiosks: Automated check-in kiosks and self-boarding gates reduce the need for human check-in agents.
Predictive Maintenance: Airlines use predictive maintenance to reduce costs and improve safety by automating the detection of potential mechanical issues.
Chatbots: Airlines use chatbots to provide customers with real-time information and support, reducing the need for human customer service representatives.
Pricing Optimization: Automated pricing algorithms adjust ticket prices in real-time, based on demand and other factors, to maximize revenue.
Inventory Management: Airlines use automation to optimize the allocation of seats, baggage space, and fuel, reducing the need for manual decision-making.
This aspect can, however, can cause concern about automating every service. The masses have always resisted the development of new technologies that change people’s livelihoods. People thus misinterpret recent technological advancements as a source of infinite job loss. It is, however, like viewing only one side of the coin. The development of new technologies has always led to employment and forced people to develop new skills, an essential aspect of human development. For example, adopting kiosks will create jobs in the kiosks’ maintenance, enhancement, etc., which will more than compensate for the job loss caused. So, viewing automation as a cause of job loss is unjust.
Technology automation requires a significant sync-up between business owners and governments (and banks). It requires huge capital expenditure to set this technology up, which creates the need for cheaper loans that are more accessible to everyone. The government and educational institutes have to ensure a better education output with its centre on human skill development and acquiring relevant knowledge, which would be essential to put this technology in place firmly. A skilled workforce would lead to the quick elimination of flaws in the system and regular enhancement of the user’s experience. Accountability for problems caused by the machine (the black box problem) would need fixing. The process executed by the machine is so complex, with amounts of data so vast, that the system developer may not be able to explain a particular process performed or the decision taken by the machine and hence may struggle to fix it. Advancements in this field have promised to eradicate this problem.
To conclude, automation is a technology which has led to widespread disruption in the airline industry; in a very positive way, i.e. this technology has led to an increase in customer satisfaction, lower cost of goods and a substantial boom in the airline industry as a whole.
Kanchan Aggarwal is a Lead Business Consultant at IGT Solutions’ Intelligent Automation and Analytics Practice. With 13 years of rich experience in Development, Testing, and Business Consulting acrossthe Travel domain, Kanchan has worked extensively on PSS, GDS, Merchandising, Payment solutions, Business processes, and Agile methodologies.