You’ve boarded your flight and stowed your carry-on luggage. Now you’re patiently waiting for the plane to push back from the gate. If you’re flying with TUI fly, that wait is about to get shorter thanks to the new Seatmap App, which assists the airline’s cabin crew with their on-board tasks. Currently used in Germany, the iPad app will soon be adopted by other TUI airlines in Sweden, Belgium, the UK and the Netherlands.
TUI fly is a wholly owned subsidiary of the TUI Group, the world’s leading travel and tourism company, headquartered in Hanover and Berlin. TUI Group operates TUI fly in Germany and five additional airlines in Europe, with a total of 150 aircraft. In the past year, TUI fly served 7.9 million passengers, flying to traditional holiday destinations around the Mediterranean as well as to the Canary Islands, Cape Verde, Madeira and Egypt on behalf of TUI and other tour operators. TUI fly’s fleet comprises 39 Boeing 737 aircraft.
For years, TUI fly, a wholly owned subsidiary of the TUI Group, has used various apps for its flight preparations. Now the new iOS-based Seatmap App is bringing digital efficiency on board. TUI fly cabin crews used to have to consult long paper lists containing booking data and match this information to the right passengers—a time-consuming and unwieldy process. The Seatmap App, developed in conjunction with HanseVision and used by some 7,000 airline employees, has made the process considerably faster, more reliable and more convenient. “The Seatmap App has made our work much easier, delivering exactly the information our cabin crews need on board in a clear, intuitive format,” says Jennifer Hübner, a senior cabin crew member for TUI fly.
Real-time data at a glance.
If Mr Johnson in Seat 12A requests a vegetarian meal, the flight attendant taking his request enters it into the Seatmap App, which then automatically synchronises with the other TUI fly tablets on board via Bluetooth or Wi-Fi. Now the entire cabin crew is informed of Mr Johnson’s meal choice. “This vastly improves communication between crew members and takes in-flight service up a notch,” explains Jens Konerow, a team leader for HanseVision.
The Seatmap App has made our work much easier, delivering exactly the information our cabin crews need on board in a clear, intuitive format.
The app contains an abundance of information, but only shows what is pertinent at each stage of the flight. “This ensures that users aren’t unnecessarily distracted, so they can focus fully on the task at hand,” says HanseVision aviation consultant Frank Kunath, whose extensive experience in the aviation industry—and personal background as a recreational pilot—have closely acquainted him with its specific requirements.
A specialist in digital collaboration, HanseVision helps its business and public-sector customers leverage the full potential of mobile working, cloud computing and the digital workplace. SharePoint, Exchange, Skype for Business, Yammer, Delve and other Office 365 applications combined with Wizdom intranets, Nintex and Microsoft Azure provide the ideal solutions platform.
The right information, right when you need it.
When preparing for a flight at home or in a hotel, crew members are briefed on key flight information, such as boarding time, customs requirements and aircraft type.
During the boarding process, they are notified of any passengers requiring extra assistance, for instance those with reduced mobility or small children. The app also shows seat reservations and requests for extra services.
During the flight, crew members can see who has pre-selected which meals thanks to a clear diagram displaying seat arrangements within the aircraft’s outline. This diagram is designed to rotate 180 degrees, so flight attendants can flip it as needed when they change directions walking up or down the aisle.
It’s important for us to give the customer a test product to try as early as possible in the development process, allowing us to best advise the customer and quickly achieve results that fulfil all requirements .
The native iOS app was developed using the programming language Swift, which communicates in the background with a web service that stores the app’s data in a database.
In developing the app, HanseVision opted for an agile approach from the very start. After initial consultation, the app’s custom requirements were defined in a joint workshop with the customer. A three-strong HanseVision developer team developed a UX design concept as well as the first mock-ups. A few days later and TUI fly was already trying out a test version of the app, on the basis of which, both sides discussed further details of the design and usability. “It’s important for us to give the customer a test product to try as early as possible in the development process, allowing us to best advise the customer and quickly achieve results that fulfil all requirements,” says Jens Konerow.
Approximately three months were required for this custom development, which included integrating it with check-in counters at airports in multiple countries. The app has caused quite a stir within the TUI Group and will be making its début in other countries within the coming months.
TRAILBLAZING IN THE AVIATION INDUSTRY.
TUI fly began digitalising its business processes with the help of HanseVision back in 2008 and has become known as a trailblazer in the aviation industry. In addition to the Seatmap App, TUI fly and HanseVision have developed other apps to expedite tasks for the airline’s flight attendants and pilots. A further app to streamline communication between ground handling and cabin crews is planned for the near future.
Published on Feb 1, 2019.