On the Move or In the Sky: Mobility Makes Life Easy for Travel and Hospitality Customers

The mobile era is creating new customer expectations during travel. People want their information and to stay connected wherever they may be going. The companies that understand how important mobility is for hospitality and travel are setting themselves up for success in the future. It helps that these companies are starting to become more optimistic about guest and passenger spending, and are thus using mobility to better engage with customers. Microsoft has the technology and experience to work with our hospitality and travel customers to create seamless and personal guest experiences that drive consistency and value with mobile solutions.

Flying can be a pain, but when it comes to air travel, Delta Air Lines is cruising ahead of the curve with its mobile technology in both the cabin and the cockpit. Their global team of more than 19,000 flight attendants have started using Nokia Lumia 820 handsets powered by Windows Phone 8 to better interact with customers on board. Flight attendants have reported that they can get through the cabin faster with their new point of sale solution and its improving customer service. The goal with this in-cabin mobile solution is to improve the customer experience with faster transaction times for point of sale and the ability to upgrade passengers’ seats in flight, among others. Delta continues to analyze and invest in mobile technologies that will further how their flight attendants interact with customers.

Delta is also equipping its 11,000 pilots worldwide with Surface 2 devices packaged with Jeppesen’s industry-leading FliteDeck Pro, an Electronic Flight Bag (EFB) solution built specifically for the Windows platform that will replace the traditional paper documents used by pilots to navigate during flight.  The new lightweight handheld devices and FliteDeck Pro provides pilots electronic access to navigation data, reference documents and checklists. Use of FliteDeck Pro is expected to save the airline $11 million per year through reduced fuel consumption and associated costs, and helps to lessen the environmental impact of each flight.  FliteDeck Pro provides access to Jeppesen’s global library of terminal charts, change notices and text, as well as data distribution and deployment support. FliteDeck Pro increases situational awareness through faster, real-time access to information like weather and NOTAMs and reduces pilot workload by eliminating manual paper revisions and the need to haul 30-50pounds of paper materials for each flight. You can see exactly how Delta is using their EFBs in these videos by Delta and Surface.

Not only that, but Delta has utilized Microsoft Dynamics to deliver the industry’s first e-commerce/web store front that manages all of the critical execution and fulfillment processes including supply chain management, catalog and merchandising, order fulfillment, shipping, payment, shopping cart and more. This provides Delta with the backend power needed to manage an international airline with ease. It leverages the Avanade Mobile Airline Platform, which applies real-time connectivity and customer personalization to redesign inflight sales and service that  nhances the passenger experience.

Avanade’s Work Redesigned research indicates that progressive companies are utilizing consumer technologies to enable employees to get work done in new ways. Avanade’s work with Delta is an example of companies embracing this trend. The mobile airline solution is based on Avanade’s capabilities and deep expertise with the Microsoft Dynamics AX platform, mobile technologies, and managed services. The solution supports “bring your own device” programs using Windows 8 as a base.

Once travelers arrive at their destination and hotel, they’re probably still far away their friends and family (and co-workers for business travelers) for a period of time. To keep travelers connected to the people and information they need, Sheraton has deployed over 1,000 Windows 8.1 kiosks in their hotels and bars. Sheraton is also creating interactive apps that take advantage of touch computing to offer guests information on local attractions. It is easily updated by Sheraton concierges, giving them a competitive customer service advantage over other hotels. They also use Windows 8 to manage security and mobile devices using intuitive, multi-touch computing. understanding their customers is important, and Sheraton knows just what they need to relax and connect after a long day of traveling.

“When people come together, they’re happier and business guest are more productive,” said Hoyt H. Harper II, Sheraton Global Brand Leaders, Starwood Hotels and Resorts. “So we create opportunities for social engagement, in the hotel and online. To do this, we use technology and our relationship with Microsoft as the key enabler.”


Stay tuned here for additional insight into business mobility across business sectors. For more information about what Microsoft is doing with business mobility, be sure to visit the Business Mobility Newsroom and the Microsoft Business Newsroom for updates on how we are innovating with in mobility around the world.