Passenger-centric innovation is a driving force behind airlines’ efforts to deliver enduring, positive customer experiences. Today’s forward-thinking carriers are meeting traveler expectations, including health and hygiene demands, with solutions to improve day-of-travel activities and increase digital self-service opportunities. Fueled by a growing industry consensus that innovation and digital transformations generate customer loyalty, WestJet is an example of one such airline focused on revitalizing its passenger-centered digital tools.
In December 2020 and early 2021, WestJet, our newest Canadian airline partner, released several innovative updates to their iOS mobile app. Most notably, WestJet incorporated our indoor wayfinding capabilities and digital maps of their top 10 Canadian and international destinations serving their highest-volume routes. The enriched app experience is well-timed as it provides WestJet’s passengers returning to the sky with a robust tool to self-navigate their travel day from their mobile device.
Innovation Through Adversity
WestJet recognized the need to incorporate wayfinding into their app long before COVID-19 disrupted travel and increased demand for touchless travel tools. But rather than slowing digital innovation during the pandemic, WestJet accelerated their investment in mobile app development, including integrating wayfinding and other advanced features to deliver accessible, contactless, and self-service user experiences.
74.8% of airport transport sector anticipate greater use of self-service and automation for passenger processing, confirming airlines need to up their digital game to gain customer trust.–Future Travel Experience, May 2020
The revamped mobile app is just one of several recent WestJet digital transformations. After a successful July 2020 pilot program with Calgary International Airport, the airline rolled out their fully branded touchless tag printing service in September. WestJet is expanding the popular self-service program from Calgary to their kiosks in airports across the country.
The airline’s innovation goes beyond baggage tags. At Calgary International Airport, eligible passengers enter WestJet’s flagship Elevation lounge by scanning their boarding pass, no contact required. Once inside, the new technology reduces touchpoints while enhancing travelers’ experience. Members can access and order from touchless menus with food and drinks delivered from the lounge’s kitchen and bar right to their tables. WestJet’s inventive toolbox also includes giving Elevation lounge members a unique code to access seven hours of complementary reading material on their personal devices.
Looking To The Future
Looking into the future, WestJet is continuing to prioritize improvements in their digital experience having concluded a trial for an in-flight food and beverage ordering platform directly within their mobile app and in the future allowing for dynamically updated boarding passes for Apple Wallet. With 67% of flyers prioritizing their mobile devices and the apps to manage their travel journey, it’s safe to assume WestJet’s continued investment in their mobile app will have high favorability among their passengers.
We can’t wait to see more innovation from our airline partners!
While you wait for the next highlight, learn how United Airlines, another Atrius partner, also redesigned their passenger-facing mobile app at the height of the pandemic.