Amadeus is aiming to bring true personalization to airline websites and mobile portals with a new product called Dynamic Website Manager, slated for a launch in the first quarter of 2011 with Finnair.
Airline websites recognize frequent flyer numbers but not much else, Denis Lacroix, vice president of product development, sales and e-commerce platforms, said.
"Compare this to the shopping experience on Amazon. As you window-shop, they keep track and make recommendations," he said. "You don't find anything like this on any airline site."
The airlines know "a ton of stuff" about their passengers but don't make much use of the information, Lacroix said. And when they try to cross-sell or upsell, they often miss the mark with inappropriate recommendations.
For example, a customer might shop for a family trip involving six airline seats, and the airline will try to sell the buyer a rental car, even though "they won't fit in the car," he said. Dynamic Website Manager will have "the first contextualized banners that take into account what you are looking for," Lacroix said.
The product can offer alternatives as well. A user might shop for flights to Madrid or Barcelona but not buy. "We will know that you just looked but did not find anything you liked, so maybe we will show you Toledo," Lacroix said.
And if an airline lost your bag two weeks ago, "the first thing you'd like when you log on is a nice apology," he said. Then an airline can make amends at an appropriate time. With more customers using mobile devices, that might be when they enter the airport.
"We know where you are," Lacroix said. "If you are coming into the airport, we know it. If you are sitting at home and logging onto airline.com, we know where you are. The home page should adapt to what you are doing."
Dynamic Website Manager will pull information from the customer relationship management system that the airline has on its site, and it can add other contextual information, such as whether the traveler is accessing the site through a wireless connection in a foreign country, so that offers make more sense.