Artificial intelligence is sprawling swiftly over an extensive terrain: from self-driving cars to digital home assistants, strategizing investment to battlefield strategies. And now, it has even entered the skies. AI Algorithms are now being used to learn to predict flight delays, make airline ticketing process painless, personalize in-flight customer experience, improve operational efficiency and keep pace with customer demand.

Well, whether it’s linking in-flight data with the entire customer journey or mapping the gap between physical and digital experiences, AI is repeatedly proving its value to the airline’s industry. This article aims to present a comprehensive look at few popular applications of artificial intelligence in the airline industry, so fasten your seatbelts as we take you through all this interesting information.

How Is AI Proving Value For the Airline Sector?

Slow and poor responses to travel issues and ever-increasing trouble with handling mass hysteria has always put the airlines in the black zone. Here is how airlines are making into the good books of their customers with AI.

Bringing Personal Attention – Personal attention is the key to create brand loyalty. Artificial Intelligence and predictive analytics help in personalizing the customers journey. With the help of AI, airlines are delivering relevant content to their customers on different platforms (Ads, emails, social media and mobile apps) which is driving more engagement.

Offer Real-Time Interactions - AI is allowing the airlines to complete service-related tasks and humanize the overall travel experience which is again tailored for the individual travellers. For example, lost baggage is always frustrating for the customer, with AI technology the airline could get quickly alerted on the lost-baggage issue. An airline agent could proactively reach the customer and help them personally to resolve it. Such prompt and personal interactions display commitment to customer needs and drives repeat business for the airlines.

Addressing Customer Service Issues – According to a survey, 14 percent of airlines and 9 percent of airports already use chatbots. Virtual assistants and chatbots powered by AI are giving passengers and customers a much better experience today. Thanks to AI, customers no longer wait for representatives, they get instant answers to their queries today.

A survey of senior IT executives by SITA, a Geneva-based aviation technology firm owned by airlines and airports, finds that 52 percent of airlines plan major artificial intelligence programs. While there can be many applications of artificial Intelligence in the Airlines, AI Assistants, Smart Logistics and Facial Recognition as the most popular ones.

Real-Time Applications Of Artificial Intelligence: Examples From Industry Top Leaders

Some airlines and industry-related companies are already harnessing the power of AI to stay competitive in the industry. Check out who they are:

Delta Airlines: They announced $600,000 investment in 4 automated self-service bag checking kiosks one of which incorporates Facial Recognition. The airline claims, the facial recognition technology would be used to verify their customer identity by matching customer faces to their passport photos. Earlier the airline also introduced self-service luggage drops. For this airline, AI is more about bring speed to the entire process, also it’s about empowering their customers to easily go through the travel ribbon.

United Airlines – This year United Airlines announced their collaboration with “Amazon Alexa” known as “United Skill”. This app allows Alexa users to find answers to common questions about the airline, like flight statuses, flight times and amenities and even check in.

Southwest Airlines – They use machine learning techniques like the time series analysis and pattern recognition to improve their data mining capabilities. According to Jeff Hamlet, former Director of Air Operations Assurance (Southwest Airlines), these approaches have enabled them to identify potential flight anomalies found in pilots’ data reports. The findings were further relayed to air traffic control at the spot of arrival and even contributed to avoidance of an incident.

Other noteworthy examples:

SalesForce, introduced Einstein, this is an AI product which helps with machine learning, predictive analysis. This product would help the airlines with customer service, predictive lead scoring and intelligent marketing.

Spencer, a socially aware robot by KLM. This robot was introduced to the Amsterdam Airport Schiphol in December 2015, it can scan passenger’s boarding pass and also guide them to the right airport gate.

Japan Airlines, Glasgow Airport, and EVA Air have presented their own robot customer service agents.

Final Thoughts

The kind of innovations AI would bring into the airline industry is pretty uncertain, but, one thing is sure: it will continue to make big strides. AI algorithms would continue to play a significant role in how leading airlines leverage their data to reap valuable outcomes for their companies.