Thursday, June 26, 2008

Can Web 2.0 help United Airlines to reduce flight delays ?

Can Web 2.0 help United Airlines save millions by tackling flight delay issues?

Cost of Flight delays to Airlines
Fact :
The congressional Joint Economic Committee, in a report released Thursday, found that the total cost of domestic air traffic delays to the American economy in 2007 was almost $41 billion.

That included $19 billion in extra operating costs for the airlines, $12 billion in costs to passengers from reduced productivity and lost business and leisure opportunities and almost $10 billion in indirect costs, particularly to food and lodging industries that rely on air traffic.

Is Web 2.0 for real ?

Josh Bernoff has made some valid points on "Why Web 2.0 Is No Bubble: Corporations Are Willing to Pay for It". Interesting article and his book "Groundswell" will be a new lighthouse for corporate strategy.

One of the simple Web 2.0 solutions for United Airlines
Here's my 2 cents on how Web 2.0 could potentially help a common man and United airlines to tackle flight delays.
Travelers who are stuck up at airports due to flight delays and usually stuck up in long queues of customer service have now started voicing their opinion using Twitter to communicate about flight delays.

Check out 'Summize' that captures real time twitter tweets. Search for United Flight delays to get a picture of the sorry state of United Airlines travelers.

United Airlines Customer service department could subscribe to RSS feed for this search . and keep a tab on customer dissatisfaction caused due to flight delays and improve their customer service programs to reach out , to hear , to regain trust and to build relationships with customers .

This could improve customer satisfaction and major reduction in McKinsey expenses on customer service consulting.

I advocate that all enterprises esp from employees from Customer service and Marketing read "
The Whuffie Factor" by Tara Hunt . It presents new opportunities and new trends of getting in touch with customers rather than just having a FAQ like "How can I contact United?"
Check out Tara's Interview here.

I see so many bright IT folks working at United ( source : LinkedIn), wish they could influence the Strategy grey heads there.

Hope some smart guy starts off Photo Tweets to capture the long Queues at United Terminals..( without getting into Legal troubles ..) .More power to customers..

Needless to say .. was a victim and now a problem solver :)
Btw , United Airlines could subscribe to my Blog and pay me a fraction of cost savings and share a tiny fraction of their Marketing/Consulting budget ..

Waiting for the day of " monetization of user generated solutions " :)


Tara Hunt said...

That's a great idea, Sam! Hmmm...still editing the book. I may have to use that...with attribution of course. :)

Sam said...

Thanks Tara! This was a surprise... and a very pleasant one!!! :-)

Please feel free to use this idea in your book... Good luck with The Whuffie Factor!! I'm sure it will be a game changing book and a very helpful read for a lot of us.