Airports have always been the dreaded part of a traveler’s vacation or business trip. All travelers want their time in the airport to run smoothly and without much frustration so they each try to find the fastest line while checking in and the easiest way to walk through security. With the stresses of airports, travelers do not have enough time to figure out what and where they are going to eat. Most are not usually happy with the type of food found near their departure gates and do not have the energy left to search for healthier options throughout the maze called an airport. This is why Clear Channel Airports has presented the free mobile application called FLYSmart which provides maps and guides to restaurants, shops and other services for thirty-six airports.
By using the FLYSmart app, airports are accessing the grow section of the RGT (run grow transform) framework. The mobile application technology is already in effect and is widely used throughout the country and Clear Channel Airports has the information of the locations of restaurants and other stores in airports. This technology is an important innovation since it takes available information and organizes and transforms it into a free convenient mobile application. People love convenience; they need something that is interactive. Unlike a regular airport map, an application can help customers find what fits their wants and needs first followed with the location of the places available in the airport. The best part of this application is that it is always at their fingertips.
The FLYSmart application is a useful and unique app that creates an overall better customer experience. By using above the line technology, airports will hopefully increase customer satisfaction and even reach new customers. This is a free app available to anyone with a mobile device, allowing almost every customer to access it. The increased customer satisfaction throughout the airport will cause a definite return of customers. Not only will the airport have increase in profits, but also the restaurants and convenience stores inside the airport. Stores that are usually hidden or “out of the way” of most customers will have increased profits. Many of these stores include healthier food options than the normal McDonald’s or Cinnabon. Both of these typical airport fast foods restaurants serve unhealthy food. For example, a single cinnabon is 730 calories (as stated from the article) and can make for a very uncomfortable plane ride. The article also stated that each airport usually has at least one alternative healthy restaurant that can definitely change a traveler’s experience. A healthier customer leads to a happier customer therefore also increasing customer satisfaction and eventually increasing total revenue.
A problem with the FLYSmart application is that it is currently new and unknown to many travelers. If travelers do not understand or hear of the application it will become a useless invention. If advertised correctly, however, the app should give customers a more comfortable experience in travelers’ home airports and in other airports they may visit. Advertising is such an important part of information technology because without it, practical inventions go unused.
From a broad point of view, the FLYSmart information technology can not only increase the profits of airports around the country but also help the economy at its unstable state. Every small contribution to the economy counts, even as small of a contribution as a mobile application. Many other companies should organize their information and utilize it in a way that positively affects above and below the line strategies to help make business more convenient and profitable.
Sharkey, Joe. "Airport Maps and Apps to Guide a Hungry Traveler." The New York Times. 19 Sept. 2011. Web. 20 Sept. 2011. http://www.nytimes.com/2011/09/20/business/airport-maps-and-apps-show-the-way-to-good-food.html?_r=2&ref=technology.