Thomas Cook Airlines UK is investing more than 1million in state-of-the art ground and in-flight computer systems to maximise on board sales and further improve service for passengers on board its aircraft.
Benefits of this investment include the ability to offer its Customers more sophisticated promotions and flexible payment methods, cash tracking functionality, faster customer transaction processing times and new data handling mechanisms.
Office-based hardware and software at the airlines Manchester headquarters has already been upgraded in readiness for the introduction of the new hand held mobile sales units due to be used on flights later this year.
The airline has worked with system suppliers WM-data Novo of Finland since 2002, to design the new software and state of the art applications to its own criteria. It believes that it will set new standards among charter operators in retail on-board sales efficiency and sophistication with the introduction of modern retailing techniques.
The new hand held computers called Falcons, are the latest product from TouchStar Technologies Ltd operating on Windows CE based software that take advantage of bar code functionality, the latest battery technology and data encryption methods to securely record all on-board sales, with fast, integrated printing of receipts. The hand-helds will work in tandem with the office-based systems including a crew room application,
cash tracking and banking modules to provide a complete audit trail as well as instant sales information.
Customers will be able to use Switch cards, which the current system does not offer. The Falcons will also enable the airline to implement more flexible Customer promotional offers such as Buy One Get Get One Free.
“We believe this system will provide a real boost to our in-flight sales as well as making purchase swifter and more straightforward for Customers”, said Joanna Wild, Director of the airlines Customer Services.
“Getting real time information on sales for each flight will enable us to respond to trends and stock accordingly. Our current units can be very temperamental and the sales process is often very slow because of this.”
“The Falcons will enable us to offer a much quicker cabin service and eliminate potential irritation for both passengers and crew.”