According to a Chicago Tribune report, Delta Air Lines relies on individualize profiles, based on private and publicly available personal data, to give employees a leg up when interacting with passengers.
Even before a passenger sets foot in the airport, Delta Air Lines agents already know a lot of information about that customer. Some of the information available to frontline employees is readily supplied by flyers when they make bookings or join the airlines loyalty program, but according to a Chicago Tribune investigation, other information such as the passenger’s recent travel history and personal and career achievements might come from information supplied by big data collection.
According to Delta VP Allison Ausband, the airline expects at least 20 personalized interactions based on passengers’ digital profiles to occur on each an every flight. She says the priority for using the research is to reach out to passengers who may have recently been on a delayed or cancelled flight or customers who have had recent customer service issues. The airline even has hand written postcards from airline executives that cabin crew members will deliver to travelers on the plane in some cases.
“They want us to know them and know what’s happening to them when they’re doing business with us,” Ausband told the newspaper. Delta is not alone in relying on big data to personalize interactions with millions of travelers each year. American Airlines and United Airlines have explored the possibility of using the information gleaned from passengers’ online footprint to anticipate everything from food preferences to favorite seats on aircraft, but Ausband says Delta intends to maintain its position as a trailblazer.
“We want to stay one step ahead of them,” she told the Tribune’s Lauren Zumbach. “By using our big data when things go wrong or when things are going great.”