Airlines Use Digital Technology to Get Even More Personal
Using technology to position itself as a forward-thinking airline can have a positive impact on preference among fliers, but there is a very fine line between cool and creepy.
LONDON — As the door of his limousine opened outside Virgin Atlantic’s business class lounge at Heathrow Airport one recent afternoon, Declan Jones was startled to be greeted by more than just a smiling face.
Kenneth Charles, a Virgin customer service agent, picked up Mr. Jones’s suitcase and peered at him through a Google Glass headset, which had been informed of Mr. Jones’s arrival by the driver of the limo, a pickup service provided by the airline to its most-valued customers.
Without breaking eye contact with his guest, Mr. Charles consulted the virtual reality glasses to verify the details of Mr. Jones’s flight to Newark, N.J. He also confirmed the other data Virgin had on file for Mr. Jones, including his passport information, frequent flier status and whether he had completed the necessary customs and immigration formalities for travel from London to the United States.