Qatar Airways has just unveiled the next step in its digital transformation, and it involves equipping crews with smartphones…
In this post:
Qatar Airways flight attendants get digital devices
Thanks to a new digital project, Qatar Airways plans to equip its 15,000 cabin crew with smartphones featuring an in-house application. The intent is to use these smartphones to be able to deliver a more personalized experience onboard for customers, with access to real-time flight and customer updates.
Among other things, these smartphones will allow crews to view passengers’ profiles, including Privilege Club and oneworld information, as well as all special service requests and preferences, for a more personalized journey.
In the first phase of this, we can expect that all Qatar Airways cabin crew will be given these smartphones in the coming months. Eventually the plan is to expand the scope of this to Qatar Airways airport employees, including at Hamad International Airport and at outstations.
Qatar Airways is far from the first airline to equip crews with smartphones, and I have to imagine that eventually the goal will also be to take meal and drink orders by smartphone, rather than with pen and paper.
Here’s how Qatar Airways CEO Badr Mohammed Al Meer describes this announcements (I still can’t believe Akbar Al Baker is gone!):
“We, at Qatar Airways, are incredibly excited to introduce a new phase in the airline’s digital transformation, especially one that will enhance our world-class onboard experience. As leaders in industry innovation and digital adoption, Qatar Airways excels in identifying and responding to emerging trends for the comfort and convenience of our passengers and this project is a defining step towards a more connected and insightful interaction between our customers and staff.”
Hopefully the in-house app is a bit more accurate than the one shown below, displaying a 12-hour flight from Doha to Manchester, with an A330 that looks a mighty lot like a 787. 😉
My take on smartphones as part of the service flow
It’s always great to give crews more resources to take care of customers, and that’s something that technology can help with. A few thoughts, though…
First of all, while I’m all for smartphones being used to be able to deal with disruptions, I don’t generally love them as part of the overall service flow.
Call me traditional (and it’s ironic because I don’t use a pen and paper for anything), but I don’t like how on airlines like Emirates, they take your meal and drink order on a smartphone. They’re basically looking at a phone screen the entire time they’re talking to you, and that doesn’t feel personalized at all. Never mind the fact that it seems to be more time consuming…
Beyond a different way to take orders, though, I’m curious how this will actually be used in practice? Currently on Qatar Airways, the cabin manager has an iPad which contains passenger information. What’s the upside to equipping all cabin crew with smartphones? Is it to easily be able to share connecting flight information to people? What other level of personalization will be offered?
Qatar Airways cabin crew are getting new smartphones, intended to help personalize the passenger experience. While it’s always good to give crews the tools to improve the passenger experience, I’m not sure this is actually that much of a game changer for the average crew member. I’m curious to see what this implementation is like.
What do you make of Qatar Airways crews being equipped with smartphones?