As a consumer, you run a range of risks when taking a plane, from the fact that it will take off on time to finding your luggage has arrived safely at the other end. But technology upgrades have revolutionised the efficiency of the airline industry, a sector which has been leading the way in leveraging big data, especially in four key ways:
- Airlines can more closely monitor their planes and anticipate repairs, ordering parts ahead of time and knowing which parts to have on hand for last-minute mechanical issues.
- Thanks to cloud data storage and big data analytics, airlines can now track how much fuel each plane is using and take all of these factors into consideration. Southwest has already utilised big data across 700 Boeing 737s and potentially saved $100 million in jet fuel costs.
- Leaving empty seats on flights usually costs airlines money, but using real-time data, airlines can now determine whether it’s better to wait for a passenger, or leave on time in order to prevent other passengers from missing their connecting flights.
- Airlines can also offer luggage tracking via apps and tracking data, also helping travellers track down lost or delayed luggage.
This win-win use of big data means that airlines that save on fuel, maintenance, and fewer missed flights, and have the cash to offer lower fares, leading to more customer loyalty.