Humankind is made of billions of people. Each of these humans has a unique walk of life, religious belief, and set of priorities. No two people are alike. However, there is one common bond that we all join together in unity on: our common hatred of air travel.
When commercial air travel first made its debut, it was intended only for the elite class, and came with a luxurious experience. However, as it became more mainstream and priced so that the “common man” could travel by air, the comforts of traveling by air dissipated. Now, we are strip searched and treated like criminals just to get to the airplane gate. The most basic travel necessities are robbed from us: closed-toed shoes, liquids that exceed 3 oz, toenail clippers. We have to pay an arm and a leg to bring our own belongings onto the plane. We are crammed on those airplanes like sardines in a tiny can. Nothing about traveling is enjoyable.
Well, except for one thing. The in flight entertainment systems
(or IFE systems for short). The IFE systems on a plane are the little ray of sunshine in an otherwise miserable experience. In flight entertainment companies provide a service that strives to fulfill one purpose: to improve the experience of the traveler.
Now considering the opposite side of the story; if you work in the commercial airline industry, you know how tight budgets are. Every penny counts in this extremely volatile industry. Because of this, many of the decision-makers in aircraft design have opted to save the money and forgo IFE systems altogether. While it might make sense to save the money upfront, the cost of aircraft display systems pays for itself over time. Let’s consider the ways that IFE systems pay for themselves:
- Creating a positive experience creates a positive reputation.
Many times, the prices of commercial flights are fairly competitive between airlines. When a traveler has the option of choosing which airline they’ll travel with, one of the biggest factors in their decision-making process is the reputation of the airline. We won’t name names here, but their is one airline that recently got a lot of negative press for kicking some travelers off the plane for wearing leggings, and then physically dragging a ticket-holder off another aircraft. When a traveler has the option of traveling with that airline or another, the negative reputation that they’ve created for themselves by being horrifically non-customer-centric makes them the least-likely choice.
On the other hand, when an airline focuses on positive experiences with their travelers, it creates the opposite situation. One airline has focused on traveler experiences, allowing travelers check bags for free and choose their own seats. This airline it the first choice travelers make.
Installing good quality IFE systems is an inexpensive step in the process of helping travelers have positive experiences and creating a good reputation.
- In flight entertainment creates more streams of revenue.
In such a competitive industry, all airlines are looking for new ways to generate profits. Some airlines charge a premium for seat choices. Many others charge a fee to check bags. Others sell food on the flight. Every additional fee allows airline companies to make a little extra money and improve profit margins.
There are several revenue streams that come with good IFE systems. Some airlines charge a fee to use the system. Others sell advertisement space at a premium, since travelers give the IFE their undivided attention. Others sell the movies or headphones for a small fee. IFE systems offer multiple opportunities to increase profits on the flights.
- IFE systems are a small piece in creating brand loyalty.
If you know the story of Pavlov’s dog, you know what’s going on here. Pavlov rang a bell every time he gave his dog a treat. Eventually, the bell and the treat became synonymous in the dogs’ brain and the sound of the bell ringing triggered the dog’s salvatory glands to prepare for the treat. Likewise, when you create a positive experience for travelers through IFE systems, you’re essentially the IFE system is the treat and your airline will become synonymous with the positive experience. Your travelers will develop brand loyalty through their positive experience, even if they don’t specifically choose their airline based on the availability of a good IFE system.
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