Alaska Airlines and Boeing came up with another use for the Connexion by Boeing service during a recent demonstration flight, suggesting new ways this technology could be used to enhance customer service.
A Boeing executive onboard was scheduled on an Alaska Airlines flight shortly after and realized he would have little time to check in at the airport to make his flight. Using the Connexion by Boeing service, the executive was able to check in via the Internet at www.alaskaair.com
and print his boarding pass while in flight.
“This is another Alaska Airlines first,” said Robert Reeder, Alaska`s senior vice president of information and communication services. “We became the first airline to print out a boarding pass online at 30,000 feet. This shows what a little creativity can do when you`re working with high quality, user-friendly technology.”
Alaska Airlines is one of 17 airlines working with Connexion by Boeing on finalizing the Connexion by Boeing service.
The boarding pass was issued onboard Connexion One, a specially equipped Boeing 737 being used to demonstrated overall system capability and to certify portions of the on-board hardware, systems and procedures that enable commercial airlines and other aircraft such as executive jets, to offer passengers real-time high-speed Internet and Intranet access, television and e-mail and entertainment content. Aircraft operators could also benefit from in-flight access to aircraft and crew data. Boeing is also studying the potential applicability of the Connexion broadband in-flight data services for enhancing aviation security.
“What`s exciting about this service is that we haven`t even begun to imagine all the ways this technology can be used to serve the needs of airlines and travelers,” said Stan Deal, director, commercial sales for Connexion by Boeing.
“Imagine a scenario where you`re worrying that you`ll miss a connecting flight because the flight you`re on was delayed by weather,” Deal said. “With Connexion by Boeing, I could re-book myself on another flight. Better yet, imagine the competitive advantage an airline could have by incorporating this capability into customer service. A flight attendant walks up to you and says you`ve been re-booked on a flight that leaves an hour later and hands you a new boarding pass.”
An industry leader in technology, Alaska Airlines became the first U.S. carrier to sell tickets online via the Internet in 1995, and in September 1999 set another first with the introduction of online check-in. Alaska customers can purchase tickets, check in and print boarding passes online from their home or office, and check in for their flight with a wireless device on the way to the airport.
The Connexion by Boeing service is currently available to the executive services market in the U.S., which includes operators of private and government aircraft. The company also said it remains on track with leading European carrier Lufthansa to begin service trial in late 2002 or early 2003.