A relatively new passenger experience with airlines like Lufthansa, Austrian Airlines, Eurowings and Air Berlin is the use of the web-based Media Box platform supplied by Media Carrier, a subsidiary of the German media and logistics giant MELO Group. Up until recently Media Box was only used to enable passengers to download reading material onto personal internet-enabled devices prior to flights. Now big players, Virgin Atlantic and Oman Air have entered the fray, signing up to the platform for use in its first-class and business-class lounges. In the process Media Box has undergone some major enhancements, significantly expanding the scope of inflight entertainment and also morphing into useful customer data analysis tool.
Dermot O’Connor, co-founder and vice president of engineering at Boxever, a company dedicated to helping the travel sector make the most of data, says airlines are starting to better understand the value of making use of data from a variety of channels, including inflight entertainment devices. The benefit lies in bringing disparate channels of data together to help build a more detailed, individual profile of each passenger and turning it into something of value, he says.
Early in September Virgin Atlantic started using the services of Media Box in its ‘Clubhouse’ lounges, redirecting passengers to the Virgin Atlantic version of Media Box. By selecting their flight number, passengers access a range of information and media, tailored to their flight.
Apart from newspapers and magazines that can be downloaded from national and international media, flight numbers correspond with specific information relevant to their travel route, such as wellness treatments or details like whether they will need sunglasses or a raincoat at their arrival destination.
Philipp J. Jacke, managing director of Media Carrier, says their “enhanced” Media Box has been developed to offer customised solutions for clients. “It has the look and feel that each airline require while providing passengers with comprehensive and up to date information. This means customers know before boarding which exclusive menu will be served during the flight, what weather they can expect at their destination airport, or whether they are able to indulge in a foot reflexology treatment in the Clubhouse Spa. A news ticker provides breaking news about global events.”
Above: Philipp J. Jacke
For Oman Air, which also started using Media Box in September, Media Carrier added an analytics tool. Alongside supplying the airline with one of the largest e-paper media libraries, including local and Arab media, it also uses an analysis of downloads to enable the airline to track which media is favoured by specific passenger groups. The aim is to use these results to create a more targeted service in future.
In an era where airlines are starting to understand and value big data, this expansion of inflight entertainment could very well be a game changer.
- Under the title “The disruptive change of digital reading in the airline in-flight sector”, Media Carrier’s Philipp J. Jacke will be one of some 40 international speakers at FIPP Asia-Pacific taking place on 27-28 September in Singapore.
Media Carrier is a member of FIPP.
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