United Airline`s CTO to Keynote BEA e-World

Rob Robless, chief technology officer for UAL Loyalty Services, will be the keynote speaker at e-World 2002 , BEA System`s seventh annual developer conference, to be held 24-27 February 2002 in San Diego.
Robless will speak on how United Airlines is using BEA technology for United.com and its associated wireless systems.

As the CTO of UAL Loyalty Services, UAL Corporation?fs customer loyalty programs and e-commerce subsidiary, Robless  is scheduled to speak on how his teams are leveraging technology to provide such services as automated check-in, self-service kiosks, Internet access in airport terminals and airplanes, wireless access to travel information and other traveler-friendly services aimed at improving UAL customers?f experience and overall satisfaction.

“Providing outstanding customer service and convenience for travelers, combined with the highest possible safety and security, has always been a priority for the travel industry,” Robless said. “The legacy IT systems in the airline industry are often proprietary and arcane, making improvements difficult. With BEA WebLogic, however, we are building a corporate IT infrastructure using XML, J2EE and Web Services to integrate a wide variety of data and transactions and ensure timely delivery of information throughout our system.”

Three months ago, United Airlines launched a wireless service permitting passengers book flights from WAP-enabled devices. Travelers accessing the airline`s ua2go.com Web site can also view itineraries and check departure and arrival times and seat assignments. For the past year, United has offered a paging service that automatically notifies registered passengers of flight delays, cancellations, and gate changes.

United Airlines sent 160,000 of these alerts to passengers during the first 10 months of the year to WAP phones and Palm Pilot VII personal digital assistants, Robless said. The percentage of total passengers using wireless devices is still small, but UAL is banking on growth in demand for this technology.


“It`s developing a lot of good will just from having these devices, and a lot of passengers indicate they want more of these personalized services,” Robless told Information Week. He predicts that this information will be delivered to many more locations and channels, including devices in automobiles, hotel rooms, and airport kiosks. “We want to create an experience in which the traveler walks on, walks off, just like on a bus,” he said. 

This year?fs BEA conference will include new products announcements aimed at extending the company`s technical and market leadership position in the growing application infrastructure market, including BEA?fs forthcoming development framework and run-time environment, which is designed to simplify Java development for non-J2EE experts. BEA eWorld 2002 will also feature panels, break-out sessions and hands-on demos focusing on key industry trends such as standards, integration, portals, Web services, and more.

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