- Air New Zealand has managed to play at the front foot with its innovative digital tools such as Airband, a monitoring wristband for unaccompanied minors and an AI-enabled chatbot answering commonly asked travel questions.
- AIR launched the digital tool on 20 July 2020, which is a huge step by the airline towards streamlining the way it deals with credit (issuance of credit instead of refunding the cancelled tickets) of the individuals due to pandemic.
- The online credit redemption tool enables single booking customers to manage their credit online and further use it for booking new flights.
- Currently, the airline is working on a solution for its international customers’ bookings, group bookings and booking through a travel agent.
Air New Zealand Limited (NZX:AIR) runs an international network offering travel and shipment services from New Zealand to other nations, and domestically as well.
Over the last couple of years, AIR has been increasingly gazing at digital technologies to enhance customer experiences and striving to be at the forefront of innovation.
It has numerous digital tools like Air NZ mobile app, Airband- a monitoring bracelet for unaccompanied children travelling and Oscar an AI-powered chatbot.
Air NZ mobile app makes the journey of a passenger easier by providing latest flight updates, check-in facility from anywhere and usage of phone as a ticket.
Airband, a wristband is slipped on the wrist of any unaccompanied minor. These wristbands send a message to up to five nominated contacts (the parent or guardian, drop off and pick up contacts) whenever the wristband is scanned by staff of the airline.
Oscar, an AI-powered chatbot with its unique personality, answers commonly asked travel questions. The chatbot keeps on learning and makes its AI (artificial intelligence) smarter on a daily basis by conversating with more and more people. The chatbot is adaptable and accessible across numerous devices and platforms with continuous addition of new content. The chatbot is available on- Air NZ website, mobile app, and Facebook messenger.
On 20 July 2020, Air New Zealand added a new feather in its cap after launching its long-awaited credit redemption digital tool.
Yes, you heard it right, AIR is allowing its customers who hold direct credit with the airline to manage it online while eliminating the hassle of contacting the customer care.
Given the turbulence caused due to the outbreak of pandemic, numerous airports witnessed either zero or near-zero passengers travelling through their terminals, primarily due to cancellation of a large number of domestic, as well as international flights across the globe to limit spread of the virus.
Amid COVID-19, Air NZ had angered many customers, as they had issued a credit to them instead of refunding their cancelled tickets.
For a couple of weeks, Air NZ received a massive demand in its call centre from its frustrated customers mostly because of inadequate information concerning their credit balance and what it could be used for.
Now, the live online credit redemption tool is allowing customers to manage their credit online and further use it for booking new flights.
Let us now deep dive and enrich ourselves with this new tool that would calm the passenger credits storm.
As per various media reports, this online tool is a huge step, taken by the airline towards smoothening the process of dealing with individuals left with credits, as a result of pandemic.
Let us familiarise ourselves with the eligibility of customers for redemption?
The tool went live on 20 July, and was available for over 300k consumers who had purchased a ticket in New Zealand dollars from Air New Zealand.
This tool authorised customers to view a breakdown of their credit, alongside seat selection and carbon emissions offset and utilise it for booking their new flights.
This self-service tool made customers use their credit from their own device without calling the airline’s contact centre.
The online tool could only process credit from single bookings; consumers with numerous flights would still require getting in touch with AIR’s contact centre.
Furthermore, international clients, group bookings and those who had booked via travel agent, at present, would not be able to use the new tool to manage their credit either.
Are you wondering, what would be the timeline for this extended credit?
As per the airline, the period in which its customers could use their credit had noted an extension, with booking up to 31 December 2021 and an additional 12 months to travel.
AIR further added that if any of its customers do not use the full value of their credit in single booking, the residual balance would still be available for viewing, and could be used as long as the credit is valid.
The airline is also giving flexibility to its passengers; customers could use credit from an international flight to book a domestic flight and vice versa. Moreover, the credit owner could hand-pick who used the credit.
AIR is also proactively contacting its customers via email, who have a fare in credit with Air New Zealand, to make them aware about the availability of the redemption tool on its website.
Currently, the airline is also working on a solution to cater its international customers, group bookings and bookings through a travel agent.
A quick fact!
As per various media reports, AIR’s consumers redeemed credit worth NZ$70,000 within two hours, post the launch of its self-service tool for passengers holding credit directly with the airline.
Unbelievable, isn’t it!
On 21 July 2020, AIR last traded at NZ$1.33, up by 2.70% from its last close.