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KLM’s new mobile app is contextual, real-time and personal

KLM Royal Dutch Airlines is rolling out an updated mobile application with analysis capabilities designed to anticipate guests’ preferences and needs without prompting, such as suggesting optimal flight seating during the booking process.

KLM’s new app, designed in conjunction with AKQA, aims to cater to each customer’s individual needs and make the traveling process more streamlined and comfortable. A simplified booking tool enables users to select a destination and pay for flights directly within the app, as well as save credit card information for a one-step checkout.

“There was an opportunity for KLM to differentiate on service,” said Rob McIntosh, head of experience design at AKQA. “This is an interface that serves you in real-time with the next best action, or simply talks to you and guides you through your journey.

“Our collaboration with KLM resulted in a digital experience that feels like an assistant, and not software.”

Catering to travelers
Spontaneous travelers will likely be enticed by the quick booking functionalities, which allow users to pick a destination and then sort through the various flights, dates and fare types suggested by the KLM app.

The streamlined user interface also provides a more attractive and simplified look that may excite consumers who find third-party booking apps too cluttered or confusing.

The app mainly behaves as a travel companion for hurried travelers, who often times prefer to rely on their smartphones for important airport information such as terminal locations and gate changes. As soon as a user opens it on their device, the app will display the most relevant information at that particular moment, ensuring that flyers will not miss any crucial steps in their journeys.

“We paid attention to customer feedback, and the new features demonstrate that we understand their unique needs,” Mr. McIntosh said. “This is about delivering the right service, at the right time, in the right place.

“We designed the app with a tight customer feedback loop all through the design process. They will find it’s a seamless user experience and a valuable companion to their journey.”

Personalized experience
The app will learn about a particular user based on previous usage and habits, and will be able to make future inferences based on its analysis. For example, if a customer tends to choose the window seat on a flight, the app may automatically offer to place him or her in the desired seat following the next booking.

Consumers may also add baggage with the click of a finger, and check-in to their airports by tapping a button. Boarding passes are entirely digital, which will likely alleviate worry from time-strapped travelers who may have a tendency to misplace paper tickets.

Another beneficial feature for novices is the destination information tool, which offers users up-to-date advice on their location of choice and ensures they pack all of the essentials needed for a stress-free trip.

“KLM has embraced a modern mobile strategy,” Mr. McIntosh said. “The app experience is contextual, real-time, and personal, with relevant services pushed to the customer at the right moment and the ability to sell ancillaries with one touch.

“The app features make it fast and easy to book and pay for a flight, and add upgrades to your trip. In the future, using additional services through the app will make travel even more seamless.”

Final Take
Alex Samuely is an editorial assistant on Mobile Commerce Daily, New York