Birmingham Airport offers new flight update service via Facebook messenger

Birmingham Airport has announced the introduction of its new flight update service – Flight Smart – for departing passengers via Facebook messenger.

The Flight Smart flight update service was originally offered via Twitter, having launched in summer 2017. Following the success of the programme, Birmingham Airport will now add Flight Smart to Facebook messenger as well. Passengers can send their flight number to the Flight smart messenger page and instantly receive live flight updates direct to their mobile and tablet devices.

Jo Lloyd, Business Development Director – Birmingham Airport said: ‘In this digital age we live by our mobiles, so to be able to see where to check in, what gate to use and which restaurant to choose from, all from your phone or tablet, takes the stress out of travelling. The twitter Flight Smart has been heavily used by our passengers since its inauguration, but we were conscious that not everyone uses twitter, with the addition of Facebook messenger Flight Smart all passengers can have up to date information on their journey at their fingertips.

Paul Brugger, C.E.O of TIC said: ‘Birmingham Airport has been running BizTweet under the Flight Smart brand for eighteen months, due to its phenomenal success they will be launching our complementary Facebook Messenger service. At a touch of a button the airport will be able to provide even more passengers with real-time, high personalised operational and customer service messages directly to passengers via these two platforms.’

Facebook messenger also offers more detailed content, allowing passengers to access maps and directions, information about restaurants and contact details, enabling them to plan ahead of their trip. Flight Smart was developed in collaboration with Cork -based technology company, TIC for Facebook Messenger.

Passengers using Flight Smart on Facebook messenger may type @flybhx into the search tab on the Facebook app or the Birmingham Airport facebook page to get live updates. This service helps passengers get constant flight updates until departure and also allows family and friends to track the flight, the airport said.

Hotels.com launches a Facebook app

Hotels.com, a company that offers advice on destination travel for customers, has announced that it has introduced a travel application on Facebook.

The firm said that the new ‘Deals’ application would provide customers with regular alerts depending on their travel and notification choices. The firm, which offers advice on hotel deals, amenities and hotel availability, expects to keep its customers better informed with the new application that will offer alerts periodically. It is also expected that the application will augment the company’s services, which include an accommodation booking service for more than 150,000 properties around the world.

The app from Hotels.com allows users to interact with other travellers, acquire first hand information on the most travelled-to places and to also acquire first-hand information and reviews of hotel services from members in their network. The app also allows users to create a wish list to identify destinations they would like to travel to, and integrates Welcome Rewards, a Hotels.com loyalty programme.

Nigel Pocklington, CMO, for Hotels.com worldwide, said, ‘We at Hotels.com are pioneering a new approach to social recommendation and discovery on the Facebook Platform. This application and the algorithm behind it, surfaces friends’ popular destinations and matches that with great hotel deals. This creates a powerful social context that will drive travel recommendations and enable users to find their ideal destination.’

The application will also make it easier for customers to book a hotel by researching all Hotels.com deals that are currently available.

 

‘Seatmate’ selection could be available on your next flight

Dutch airline KLM is working on a tool that will give passengers the chance to choose their seatmate by linking travellers Facebook and LinkedIn profiles to their check information.

 

‘Meet and Seat’ will allow travellers checking in to choose their neighbour through online networking sites.

 

This idea allows passengers to pick people with similar interests to sit next to them.

 

Passengers will also be able to use these networking sites to choose their neighbour based on looks and even job description.

 

The matchmaking service, which is currently still in development is set to launch early next year, and further details are being kept under wrap.

 

An opt-out option will be available for passengers who prefer to ignore their neighbour and enjoy entertainment through their headphones; this will mean that they don’t have to share their personal information with others.

 

However for those who do choose to join in, their neighbour may not be what they expected, making their flight a long one. For instance their neighbour may turn out to be less attractive than first thought or they insist on talking business for the entire journey.

 

KLM airlines is not the first to spark controversy and harness social media for its passengers.

 

Malaysian Airlines are planning to release a Facebook service, allowing passengers to see whether any of their friends are booked on the same flight or plan to visit the same destination at the same time.

 

Making headlines in 2006 were AirTroductions, which offered an online dating service for frequent flyers, allowing them the chance to meet other travellers. However the company have since closed down.

 

Article by Charlotte Greenhalgh