How AI Is Impacting Air Travel – It’s More Than You Think

Companies across many industries are incorporating AI technology into their operations to varying degrees of success. It’s not realistic to think that every tool is going to make things more efficient. The airline industry knows a thing or two about efficiency or lack thereof. That’s why multiple airlines are implementing tools based on AI technology to improve their operations.

One of the more innovative technologies that’s in use today is called ConnectionSaver. This tool allows airlines to track passengers who are on other flights and are slated to board a connecting flight. Recently, the tool allowed dispatchers to hold a United plane back a bit so that passengers who were arriving on a flight from Costa Rica could make their connection. The app allowed United employees to see that these people were going to be around 7 minutes late to their next flight. That was a short enough window to where they decided that they could, in fact, hold off the plane to wait on them. In this situation, 13 passengers were helped out by AI. This scenario may bring a bit more questions than answers, though. Would the airline be willing to wait for one or two passengers the same way that it waited for 13? Do we really need to be halting flights to help people make it on time?

This is not the only way that AI is helping airlines. There’s an AI-based tool that helps Alaska Airlines calculate fuel consumption for upcoming flights. The airline has been using this tool since 2021. What the app does is it takes into account weather conditions and other factors that could impact fuel consumption on an upcoming flight 2 hours before the voyage is set to begin. This gives employees enough time to check if the calculations made by the AI are correct. Again, this seems like a great technological advancement that could help these companies reduce their costs. The AI, though, has to work flawlessly every time. Otherwise, passengers could be put in jeopardy.

New technologies are also helping airline customer service teams. United is once again the airline implementing this technology. In essence, they’ve built an internal version of Chat-GPT that they use to send updates to passengers about their flights. The technology allows these messages to be quicker and more precise, while ensuring that they get out to the right people.

American Airlines is exploring another cool application. In essence, this tool helps controllers find the closest available gate when an aircraft lands. The hope is that something like this can help reduce the amount of time that planes spend on the tarmac. It’s not a surprise that the airline industry is exploring these new technologies. In fact, some of these changes may have been long overdue. Passengers have been complaining for years about the way that airlines search for flights on their internal networks. A lot of the flight information, particularly from different airlines, even from partners like SkyTeam or Star Alliance, is not part of the same system. That’s why finding another flight when you arrive after the gate closes is such a challenge. The hope is that this will change in the near future thanks to new technologies.

Mario Perez

Author: Mario Perez


Mario is a seasoned journalist who’s worked with multiple publications over the years. He has a passion for looking for that story within the story itself. When he’s not actively looking for breaking news, he enjoys playing and watching sports.

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