Qatar Airways Cabin Crew Getting Smartphones

Qatar Airways Cabin Crew Getting Smartphones

10

Qatar Airways has just unveiled the next step in its digital transformation, and it involves equipping crews with smartphones…

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. 😉

Qatar Airways’ new smartphone for crews

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?

Will these smartphones help personalize service?

Bottom line

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?

Conversations (10)
The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.
Type your response here.

If you'd like to participate in the discussion, please adhere to our commenting guidelines. Anyone can comment, and your email address will not be published. Register to save your unique username and earn special OMAAT reputation perks!

  1. splane21 Member

    In economy smart phones are very useful for special meals. Lufthansa was able to deliver special meals quickly (on a flight with over 100) as it was all on their iPad/smart phone (with a seating chart and colors) so they just brought out the meals on a cart and handed out special meals when they got to a seat with a special meal indication on their iPad. They were also able to search passengers by...

    In economy smart phones are very useful for special meals. Lufthansa was able to deliver special meals quickly (on a flight with over 100) as it was all on their iPad/smart phone (with a seating chart and colors) so they just brought out the meals on a cart and handed out special meals when they got to a seat with a special meal indication on their iPad. They were also able to search passengers by name if they switched seats to appropriately hand out special meals.

    AF/SAS on the other hand took forever as they were bringing them out two at a time and delivering them to specific seats based on the seat number written on each meal

  2. Phillip Diamond

    Ditto on the Emirates comment. It makes for a very off putting experience. In addition to the crew just staring at their smartphone all the time and not engaging with passengers, there is also an over-reliance on the technology and way too much “computer says no”! I found it detrimental to service flow!

  3. Rob Guest

    Call me a dinosaur too but bring back the old drinks and meal service by trolley.More interaction between crew and customers and...more importantly a lot quicker!!

  4. Ryan Guest

    Just had a Qatar Airways business class Qsuite flight a couple weeks ago from LAX to Doha. This was the first time I saw the crew taking orders with the smartphone. Exactly as you said, rather impersonal, but it’s a food order, so I don’t care. The staff and crew are always exceptional and I take Qatar whenever possible because it’s the best product in the sky. I have another r/t Qatar Airways flight tomorrow...

    Just had a Qatar Airways business class Qsuite flight a couple weeks ago from LAX to Doha. This was the first time I saw the crew taking orders with the smartphone. Exactly as you said, rather impersonal, but it’s a food order, so I don’t care. The staff and crew are always exceptional and I take Qatar whenever possible because it’s the best product in the sky. I have another r/t Qatar Airways flight tomorrow and will see if the smartphones are used then as well.
    Regardless, the flights, the Al Safwa first class lounge, and the great service are outstanding.

  5. SullyofDoha Guest

    This could be more of a trojan horse which could be used by Qatar Airways HR to track crew movement and be able to communicate orders/directives to staff 24/7. No rest for the wicked!

  6. Tom Guest

    Delta's cabin crew are equipped with smartphones, and can use them to take orders but I usually see them using pen and paper. I think its just a lot easier to use a pencil (especially for customization/notes? than it is to type out comments in a standard app. That said, they do break them out to answer questions about gate changes, tight connections, etc., since they can see the entire itinerary.

    1. betterbub Diamond

      You can always figure out where your pen is in relation to the paper so things can be scribbled down as you think of something else but using 2 blunt fingers to tap tiny buttons without tactile references on the screen is harder and you probably have to break your concentration to do that

  7. betterbub Diamond

    Hah jokes on them I already had a smartphone for years now

  8. Finora Guest

    Will the app also shoot out a laser to vaporize passengers and staff who voice and criticism of Qatar Airways ?

    Adding new tech on top of a malign autocracy just makes it more efficient at doing evil.

  9. Alvin | YTHK Diamond

    "12-hour flight from Doha to Manchester, with an A330 that looks a mighty lot like a 787."

    I think DOH-MAN gets A350s, which means impressively not a single thing adds up here.

Featured Comments Most helpful comments ( as chosen by the OMAAT community ).

The comments on this page have not been provided, reviewed, approved or otherwise endorsed by any advertiser, and it is not an advertiser's responsibility to ensure posts and/or questions are answered.

splane21 Member

In economy smart phones are very useful for special meals. Lufthansa was able to deliver special meals quickly (on a flight with over 100) as it was all on their iPad/smart phone (with a seating chart and colors) so they just brought out the meals on a cart and handed out special meals when they got to a seat with a special meal indication on their iPad. They were also able to search passengers by name if they switched seats to appropriately hand out special meals. AF/SAS on the other hand took forever as they were bringing them out two at a time and delivering them to specific seats based on the seat number written on each meal

0
Phillip Diamond

Ditto on the Emirates comment. It makes for a very off putting experience. In addition to the crew just staring at their smartphone all the time and not engaging with passengers, there is also an over-reliance on the technology and way too much “computer says no”! I found it detrimental to service flow!

0
Rob Guest

Call me a dinosaur too but bring back the old drinks and meal service by trolley.More interaction between crew and customers and...more importantly a lot quicker!!

0
Meet Ben Schlappig, OMAAT Founder
5,163,247 Miles Traveled

32,614,600 Words Written

35,045 Posts Published

Keep Exploring OMAAT