Taking aviation customer support to the next level

By: Faith Kibor

This is a remarkably challenging era for airlines everywhere. In the past two years alone, there have been fewer air travelers than the world has seen in 15 years. 

When the World Health Organization (WHO) declared COVID-19 a global pandemic in March 2020, the aviation industry took a major hit. In just one month, air travel dropped by more than 75 percent as passengers were forced to cancel or postpone their plans.  
As containment measures and vaccine availability expanded, 2021 saw a slight spike in air travel. According to the International Civil Aviation Organization’s (ICAO) latest report, this number is still down by almost half of pre-pandemic levels

Good news ahead for airlines

Yet 2022 is looking up for the sector, as a new study by Bain & Company shows that air travel is likely to pick up worldwide following the patterns seen in the last two years. As vaccinations increase, restrictions are lifted and borders continue to open, many people are eager to resume traveling for work and for pleasure. (See projections below extending into 2023.)

This bodes well for the sector, of course. But one issue remains constant: the fear of flying is a lingering concern for many passengers. There are multiple causes for aviophobia. Regardless of the root cause for an individual, this fear begins and grows due to a lack of accurate information and personal misconceptions.

What if we could change that? How can airlines provide more reassurance? That is, better information and a deeper understanding of what happens when a flight takes off, for example?

These projections recently published by Bain & Company show possible recovery trajectories for global air travel.

SimpliFly: How airlines help passengers fly without fear

As global air travel finds its way back to ‘normalcy,’ SimpliFly is doing its part to ensure that passengers have the support they need to travel without fear.
The SimpliFly mobile app is the brainchild of our founder, Captain Alon Pereg, who himself has fielded hundreds of questions from concerned passengers throughout his distinguished career.
SimpliFly provides on demand knowledge from industry experts in real time.
The team has found that answering questions (including those that may seem obvious to airlines and aviation experts) is a powerful way to alleviate fear. The application features experienced pilots explaining all aspects of flight and even coronavirus safety in the air. It contains downloadable materials, easy-to-digest courses and podcasts to dispel concerns. The goal: to help all passengers gain more confidence when booking or embarking upon their next flight.

How can airlines take advantage of this?

Partner airlines’ passengers start their journey well before the flight; they get access to the SimpliFly app (branded with your logo) and can take the course that has already helped nearly 90% of participants. They’ll arrive at their flight ready and calmer than before. For airlines with an inflight entertainment system (or onboard Wi-Fi), SimpliFly will make its material available on every flight in your fleet.

For example, El Al, Israel’s flagship airline, is already doing this in its inflight entertainment system. Customer reviews enthusiastically state that SimpliFly’s media helps them understand what’s happening while they’re on the runway and in the air, and ultimately provides reassurance. Your airline customer service could reach new heights by speaking to this major customer pain point precisely when they’re experiencing it.

Screens aren’t the only mode of meaningful interaction, though. SimpliFly also provides training to cabin crews, equipping them with the necessary skills they need to support passengers who experience flight-related anxiety. When a passenger voluntarily indicates their concern within the app, their airline receives pre-notifications—allowing them to provide extra support to any incoming passengers.

From the moment passengers book their flight until they disembark, SimpliFly enables your airline to provide a solution to the many current and prospective customers who are afraid of flying.