The oneworld alliance says that its new “carrierconnect” platform will make the need for passengers to use multiple apps for each airline they fly a thing of the past. The new platform for member carriers will allow air travelers to book tickets, check-in, print boarding passes, track bags and check flight status across multiple carriers without logging onto each airline’s app.
The oneworld alliance is taking steps to make cobbling an itinerary together on multiple member airlines as seamless as flying on a single carrier. The alliance which counts founding members, American Airlines, British Airways and Cathay Pacific among its ranks, will link member airlines’ interactive databases – allowing passengers to access multiple carriers through a single app.
The so-called “carrierconnect” platform will allow passengers to access flight information, book tickets, obtain boarding passes and even track checked bags for each leg of their journey, all in one place – no matter which member airline they are traveling on. In the future, oneworld will allow passengers to select seats and pay for upgrades or additional checked bags across multiple member airlines.
“The role of global alliances, like oneworld, is to connect the networks of airlines, making it easier and more rewarding for customers to travel to many more places beyond the reach of any single carrier,” oneworld CEO Rob Gurney said in a statement unveiling the new technology.
“Our new digital platform brings our promise of seamless connectivity to life in the digital era – delivering multi-airline, multi-sector journeys the way they should be in this millennial day and age. Three-quarters of oneworld’s frequent flyers use at least one airline app. Half of them have at least three airline apps on their mobile devices – but there is a strong preference for using just one single app to cover a journey involving a transfer between different airlines. Yet, until today, the technology to support that has not been available. It is now, progressively throughout the oneworld network.”
So far, Cathay Pacific and Qatar Airways are the first airlines to link to the new carrierconnect platform. Passengers are now able to use either airline’s app or website to check-in and print boarding passes for connecting flights on either airline. The airline alliance says all member airlines are eventually expected to connect to the universal platform.
According to oneworld, more than 8 million passengers make travel plans which involve connections between at least two different oneworld member airlines. Previously, the only way these travelers could check-in for itineraries involving a connection through another oneworld-affiliated carrier was to do so in person at the airport. The alliance says the new digital platform means passengers will now be able to use their preferred airline’s app for the entire journey without having to download any additional apps or remember and enter multiple log-in credentials.
“From the trials and consumer research we have conducted as part of this development, we know our customers are going to love it,” Gurney noted.