September 15, 2016
By Tom McCole, Mobile Commerce Strategy, Infinite Peripherals, Inc.
Space: the final frontier. Well maybe we’re not talking outer space yet, but in-flight travel for sure. Infinite Peripherals’ (IPC) mobile iOS handheld devices are simplifying multiple duties on many of Earth’s commercial aircraft and at airport terminals as well.
It started with built-for-purpose POS units for on-board food and beverage sales. Mobile POS (mPOS) was employed to accept credit/debit cards to eliminate accepting cash, and the issues it presented; i.e., providing change for purchases and accurate cash accountability after each flight segment. The early units were large, unwieldy, and required comprehensive training for the flight attendants.
On Board With Change
In true Darwinian fashion, IPC saw the opportunity to outfit the iPhone® 6 Plus and iPad mini™ tablet with a custom housing containing an encrypted credit card reader and a barcode scanner. This evolutionary step provided a user-friendly screen to perform on-board sales and payment functionality; instantly leading to many additional benefits, including:
1. Increased revenues – Airlines expanded the use of IPC’s mobile solution to include duty-free sales on international flights and processing on-board seat upgrades, which dramatically increased revenues across many categories.
2. Improved employee communication – Thanks to the endless applications available for iOS, flight crews can use the IPC mobile solution for checking work schedules, trading shifts with management approval and receiving messages or notifications from management.
3. Fast employee training – With a familiar iOS user interface, flight attendants needed little time to adjust to the mobile device. In short order, the new devices were used for downloading training videos to learn new menus, safety mandates or simply to verify the food, beverages and supplies delivered to the aircraft from the caterer.
Fast forward to now where leading airlines are leveraging the iOS units for even more tasks. IPC’s custom application development team helped one large international airline create a simple way to solve the nightmare of the “backwards bag walk.” You know what I mean. When you are in the last group to board, heading towards the back of the plane, and there is no overhead space left for your bag. You feel like a salmon going upstream on your trek back to the door to gate check your bag. Flight attendants now can scan your boarding pass using the IPC mobile unit and instantly print a luggage tag to your destination using an IPC mobile label printer.
On the ground, IPC and its airline partners are working together to speed the passenger check-in and bag check process during peak travel periods, too. Gate agents using IPC mobile units and mobile label printers can serve passengers standing in line to check their bags to reduce counter wait times. Get more details of how IPC’s solutions team can create a mobile solution to streamline your POS, warehouse or delivery operations at ipcmobile.com.
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