We wanted to improve the customer experience related to in-flight amenities, while allowing airlines to more effectively and efficiently customize their supplies for a certain flight. On the customer-facing side, high-paying customers would find huge value in being able to request and schedule amenities beforehand. For example, a customer could get on the plane and already find their favorite drink waiting, or on long flights, dictate when their meals would come, so they could effectively plan a sleep schedule. On the business-facing side, this data would allow the airline to create a better prediction model on what needs to be stocked for a particular flight.
What it does
Our app is targeted for premium flyers, like Delta One. It is designed to provide better service in order to drive more purchases and increase user return rate. It is currently a stand-alone app that allows users to schedule what they want to be delivered to them and when they want it delivered during the flight, although it could fit into the existing Fly Delta mobile app easily. It also allows for scheduling of amenities at premium airport hangouts (like Delta SkyClub) in the case of a layover. Although Delta currently supports requesting special meals, these are limited only to the ones related to dietary restrictions. For premium customers paying thousands of dollars, we feel that this would add value.
How we built it
We build it with Android Studio and Java.
Challenges we ran into
Finding a unique idea that would make a meaningful impact for the customer experience if implemented and adopted. This project was the culmination of a lot of user research and professional feedback. We went through many ideas and through a proof of concept for a different idea before landing on this one. We were constantly engaging with people to get their opinion in order to make this application as relevant and as useful as possible. While a lot of our ideas got shot down, we pushed through to this one.
Accomplishments that we're proud of
Having the courage to abandon our original idea 18 hours in and to pivot towards a new but more needed and unique idea.
What we learned
Don't be afraid to pivot after your original ideas get proven unnecessary or already implemented. How to design for users that we are not. Thinking about the business side.
What's next for HackGTOne
Integration into an airline's full user ecosystem. Currently all of our data is hard coded because the actual user accounts and flights associated with those accounts for an airline isn't public information. We want to integrate this into an airline's existing mobile application to give the user to customize their flight experience during purchase or check-in, and make this option seamlessly integrated into the existing infrastructure and customer workflow. When connected with the airline's system, the application will also fill in a full list of services that can be put on the flight.
In addition, we created only one side to this application: the user-facing side. Ideally we want to have a business-facing application that is connected to this information. This enterprise app would allow for the airline to see the amount of each item requested for each flight allowing them to have a better idea of what to load on the plane, and to better facilitate existing models of prediction. This app would also have a schedule for the dedicated flight attendant, so they can serve the customers according to their requests.
Currently, this app is meant only to be a feature for First Class and above (Delta One). We want to offer a small subset of this experience to all classes that will give a rough schedule of when the flight crew will distribute amenities during the flight. For example, on a 15 hour flight, a customer would enjoy knowing that a meal is planning to come 1 hour in, so they would stay up for that instead of sleeping and missing the meal.
Finally, in terms of technology, we built the current app on Android as a proof of concept but also plan to port it to iOS, and it would be ideal to also have it integrated in the website.