Video of the week – With Google and Amazon hovering, can airlines parallel the tech titans in customer interactions?

One of the most pertinent question in the airline distribution space is the role tech titans Amazon and Google will play in the future. For now, their fate in the overall travel sphere remains somewhat unknown, but airlines can continue to valuable lessons from those giants about customer interaction.

Google’s 2011 purchase of ITA Software gave the company an entry into the travel space. Google Flights is now a popular flight search engine that directs customers to an airline website after they select a certain itinerary.

In a recent interview at the CAPA Americas Summit in Denver, Colorado, Jim Davidson, the CEO of software firm and New Distribution Capability (NDC) specialist, Farelogix, was asked about the role Google and Amazon could take in the travel space.

“Probably any role they want,” Mr Davidson joked. He concluded there is a lot copying occurring in the airline industry with respect to “what Amazon and Google are doing well. I think there’s a role they can play in setting customer interaction behaviour that airlines can parallel”.

However, he concluded, “whether they get into that space themselves remains to be seen”.

Airlines also have a lot of runway remaining in executing their retailing and merchandising, strategies, Mr Davidson explained. “I think the threshold has been crossed at a strategy level, but …I think there is a tremendous opportunity for airlines to really look at their product from a customer value point of view”.

LEARN MORE… Find out more about the influence of Amazon and Google on the travel industry in our exclusive video interview with Jim Davidson, CEO, Farelogix. Recorded on the sidelines of the CAPA Americas Aviation Summit in Denver, USA in Mar-2019, he also highlights that one of the biggest challenges for airlines going forward in implementing IATA’s New Distribution Capability (NDC) is hunkering down, making investments and “getting it done”.