Security, Loyalty Programs and the End of Overbooking: How Blockchain Could Help Airlines

Security, Loyalty Programs and the End of Overbooking: How Blockchain Could Help Airlines

Airlines and airports are functioning on outdated methods of information collection and distribution, using many isolated operating systems where data exchange can be timely and unsecure — despite a reported 170 percent increase in the past 20 years of U.S. outbound trips abroad.

Major competitors have recognized how the characteristics of the aviation industry align with blockchain, which has the potential to streamline data sharing among information silos in airports — and with ancillary travel enterprises more broadly — to create a seamless and secure travel experience.

Lufthansa Industry Solutions, a subsidiary of the largest airline in Europe, launched the initiative Blockchain for Aviation (BC4A) in an effort to compile potential applications of the technology and create industry standards for its use. Air New Zealand, Lufthansa, Eurowings, Austrian Airlines and Brussels Airlines have partnered with the Swiss-based non-profit Winding Tree, which is using blockchain to power a decentralized travel distribution network to make travel more cost effective and profitable for customers and providers.

The worlds airlines carry over three billion passengers annually and contribute $664.4 billion to the global GDP. Airlines must be flexible — yet systematic — to compete in the aviation industry, where the efficiency of their chain of operations determines their bottom line.

Smart contracts to improve customer experiences

Airports are microcosms of data storage. From the moment a traveler arrives at an airport to the time they depart, an enormous amount of secure data must be collected and shared among internal and external airport operations. The biggest obstacle for airlines lies in the decision making processes when travels plans change on a moments notice.

Each task within an airport may operate using different software, so the data reconciliation process is often timely and frustrating for both flight agents and travelers. Smart contracts can improve the customer experience and cost effectiveness of service by automating time consuming tasks.

Commonplace mishaps like flight delays and overbooked flights are costly to airlines when data is not shared quickly between decision makers. Currently, there is little cohesion among the mixed data and multitude of systems used at different checkpoints in airports.

The worlds leading airport communications and information technology specialist, SITA, has tackled the simple and prevalent issue of corresponding flight delay information in airports. SITA used the Ethereum protocol and smart contracts to create a blockchain platform that rec ...

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Tags: Loyalty program, Airline, Smart contract, Alaska Airlines, Loyalty, Geneva Airport, Air New Zealand, British Airways, Alfa-Bank, Winding Tree