In a time when “industry executives are in PR overdrive trying to clean up the backlash from a bunch of customer encounters gone wrong,” it’s wise to use tools that increase customer goodwill.

With the limited seating on planes, airlines have long been brainstorming creative ways to maximize passenger revenue. In-flight shopping can add excitement to a long, sometimes tedious flight. The right choice of mobile point of sale system can not only encourage additional purchases, but a sophisticated system allows passengers to take advantage of extra legroom, refreshments, and other amenities. A recent Aviation Pros article maintains that airline customer are not balking at add-ons: “Customers’ continued investment in these add-ons shows there’s a market for customisable, more convenient flying experience.”

In a time when “industry executives are in PR overdrive trying to clean up the backlash from a bunch of customer encounters gone wrong,” it’s wise to use tools that increase customer goodwill. Nimble – and reliable – mobile point of sale technology lets flight attendants serve passengers more efficiently, minimizing customer frustration and making for a more pleasant flying experience for both passengers and staff.

Airlines are increasingly adopting mobile technology. In the Aviation Pros article, Google marketing manager Jaclyn Loo says that it’s crucial for airlines to create a “fast, easy-to-use mobile experience,” and that “marketers who design relevant, useful websites and apps for travellers will drive bookings and win the space long-term.” The technology can increase brand awareness by allowing passengers to share positive flight experiences with social media.

Mobile point of sale systems have the advantage of being able to target relevant products and services to each individual customer. This personalization can increase passenger loyalty. For example, frequent flyers are known to get “excited by in-flight beverages.” Mobile point of sale systems can remember these passengers’ favourite cocktails, or whether they prefer white wine to red. The technology can also be used to tailor special offers to passengers who have purchased the same item over multiple flights: “A crew member could let them know about the offer, or it could be ‘pushed’ to the passenger’s seatback screen, tablet, smartphone or smartwatch.” Familiarity breeds a repeat customer.

Dietary restrictions and food allergies are on the rise. With a mobile point of sale system, a flight attendant can input a passenger’s preference for vegetarian meals, or can remember not to offer the peanuts. And the use of a mobile point of sale system doesn’t have to be limited to in-seat amenities; it can also be employed during the boarding process. Passengers can be offered the possibility of upgrading their seats, as the systems can be programmed to remember preferences for aisle, window, or exit-row seating. The seat upgrade process can also allow for unique revenue-generating opportunities; some airlines are now giving travellers the opportunity to bid for seats in a higher cabin class.

Purchases need not be limited to seats or onboard amenities. One airline has utilized iPad-equipped flight attendants to help passengers purchase train tickets, sightseeing passes, and tickets to attractions. Airlines can earn commissions from these third-party sales.

Mobile point of sale systems can improve the flight experience for passengers and staff, encourage brand loyalty, and offer innovative avenues for airline revenue generation. The modern flight can be reimagined as a retail environment.

If you’re interested in mobile point of sale systems for the airline industry take a look at AirPoS, the purpose-designed answer to in-flight retail, CX, and maximising ancillary revenue. Alternatively, you can contact the team at ECR for a tailored demo.